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Chicken with Mushrooms – Potravka

August 29, 2012

…..  and I mean LOTS of mushrooms. My Mom came over for dinner last week and she loves mushrooms. I mean LOVES mushrooms. I wanted to do something that would give her a truly full mushroom flavor. Instead of button mushrooms, I decided to use baby portabellos or criminis. These are heartier mushrooms that hold their shape, texture and flavor, whether in baking, sauteing or both. Another easy method to ramp up mushroom flavor is to slice them thickly (3-4 slices per mushroom) or quarter them crosswise. Do you have ways to do chicken with mushrooms that have been making everyone happy for years? Please share with us in the comments section.

Ordinarily, I don’t follow recipes when I’m cooking. But I love cookbooks and read them for inspiration. This time, my inspiration came from The Book of Jewish Food, An Odyssey from Samarkand to New York, by Claudia Roden.

This is a BIG book, both an impressive and very readable work that takes you all around the globe to see how Jewish communities worldwide have been inspired by the countries and regions in which they have settled. It’s a fascinating trip and an amazing body of work reflecting Jewish history as told through food. Thank you, Ms. Roden. What better way to tell the history of a people?

This recipe comes to us by way of Russia and is called Potravka. The original recipe calls for a whole chicken cut in quarters. I used boneless and skinless chicken breasts. I rinse and pat the breasts dry before placing in a lightly greased baking dish. If they are very large, I sometimes cut them across the middle. Then I sprinkle them with salt and pepper.

Amazing how many dishes the world over begin with chopped onion and garlic. World Peace organizations and governments should consider this when engaging in peace talks.

Back to the recipe:

Sauteing onions can be very meditative

This image looks rather questionable. But this is reality. After sauteing onions, garlic and mushrooms and adding wine, the mixture is poured over the chicken where it will come together in the most delightful way!

Chicken with Mushrooms

inspired by Potravka in The Book of Jewish Food


2 lbs. chicken breasts, skinless and boneless (or a whole chicken, cut into 4-8 pieces)
2 T. olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 lb. baby portabello, crimini or shitake mushrooms, thickly sliced or quartered
1 c. dry white wine
salt and pepper
2 T. finely chopped parsley
1/2 t. sweet paprika (optional)


Pre-heat oven to 375°. Rinse chicken breasts and pat dry. Place in lightly greased baking dish large enough to place chicken in a single layer. Season with salt and pepper.

In a large skillet, heat oil. Add chopped onion and saute for 2 minutes. Next comes the garlic for a brief saute, about 30 seconds. Now add mushrooms and saute on a medium flame for about 3 minutes or until just starting to get tender. Pour in wine, a little salt and pepper, and simmer until liquid begins to bubble.  Turn heat off.

Pour mixture over chicken and sprinkle with paprika. Bake, covered with foil, for 15 minutes.

Remove foil (don’t toss it yet!) and bake for 15 more minutes or until just cooked through. Remove from oven and tent with that piece of foil that’s sitting on your counter.

Sprinkle with parsley and serve hot.

Serves 4-6

STOVE TOP VERSION: The original recipe is cooked on the stove.The chicken pieces are browned in a large casserole or Dutch oven in hot oil and set aside. Mushrooms only (no onion or garlic) are sauteed in the same oil. The white wine is added and returned to the pot. The dish is simmered for 30 minutes or until tender. Add a little water if needed. Sprinkle with parsley and serve.

ps. The chicken in the featured image was served with roasted corn shaved off the cob and brown rice with broad beans. Mom was happy!


From → Mains, Poultry

  1. Love this recipe…simple and I know it’s delicious!
    I also love your suggestion for World Peace Organizers. Maybe sauteed onions and garlic could be discussed at the UN.

    • Thanks! When you try it, let me know how it goes. Meanwhile, shall we start an onion & garlic letter-writing campaign to the UN?

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