Winner-Winner, Chicken Dinner!

Earlier this year – okay, like seven days ago – I made a promise to myself that I would try to clean out our refrigerator and pantry ingredients before we go out to eat. I have an influx of spices, stocks and canned veggies that I'd really like to use before buying stuff at the store or even at a restaurant. So tonight, between the refrigerator and the pantry, here's what I had to work with:

Refrigerated Ingredients
  • 1 package of chicken cutlets (~six to a pack)
  • 1/2 a white onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, diced
  • Half a bag of sliced Cremini mushrooms
  • 5 basil leaves, sliced/chiffonade
  • 1 tablespoon butter (you can also use good olive oil)
  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 microwavable bag of green beans
Pantry Ingredients
  • Olive oil spray (like Pam)
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons white flour
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • Salt & pepper, to taste
And here's what I made for dinner:

Pan-seared chicken cutlets with mushroom, balsamic cream sauce.

Just a little bit of cream, don't worry! And wow, I've got to say it was pretty great and only took about twenty-five minutes. I'm definitely adding to my dinner rotation. The best part was just experimenting with what we had in the house; luckily, it turned into a fantastic dinner! Here's what you need to do:

Preheat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and add a spray of olive oil. Season chicken liberally with salt and pepper and add to the hot pan (the chicken should sizzle when it hits the pan). Cook the chicken for 5-6 minutes on each side. Remove the chicken from the pan and cover with foil to keep warm.

Return the skillet to the flame, reduce the heat to medium-low and add the butter. Once the butter melts, add the mushrooms and stir occasionally until they brown, about 4-5 minutes. Once the mushrooms are brown, add the garlic, basil and onion. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally for about 2 minutes or until the onions are translucent. Sprinkle the flour into the pan and cook 2 minutes more.

Whisk in the stock, balsamic vinegar and the cream. Turn the heat up to high and simmer for about 2 minutes or until thickened. Slice the chicken on an angle. Add the chicken back to the skillet to heat up, about 1 minute. While the chicken is reheating, use a knife to poke two holes in the green bean bag. Microwave for three minutes or according to the directions on the package. Once the beans are steamed, split them evenly between two bowls and top with the chicken mixture. If you have any basil leftover, tear or chiffonade a few leaves and use them as a garnish/topper. You've got dinner!


  1. Hey Christie, good looking dinner.
    we call those "Chopped meals" at our house, where you open the cabinet and try to make a whole meal out of discordant ingredients. Its fun ! I am picking up some portobellos next week for your muchroom pizzas, those look wonderful

  2. Love it! "Chopped" is a great name for dinner. Let me know how you like the turkey pizzas!

  3. Just made it for dinner and everyone loves it! I put in twice as many mushrooms, because that's the kind of family we are...and roasted the green beans in the oven with cauliflower and leeks. Deeelish!

  4. Excellent! So glad to hear it! The roasted green beans, cauliflower and leeks sound fantastic. I'll definitely get those next time and add them to the mix! :)


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