Balsamic Chicken and Mushrooms

$6.13 recipe / $1.53 serving
by Beth - Budget Bytes
4.72 from 69 votes
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Pan sauces for the win! Making a quick sauce in the skillet after browning meat is one of the easiest ways to make a really spectacular meal. Those little browned bits on the skillet (called fond) are ultra flavorful and shouldn’t be wasted. This time, I used a mixture of balsamic vinegar, garlic, thyme, soy sauce, brown sugar and butter to turn some plain chicken thighs into this decadent Balsamic Chicken and Mushrooms. You’re going to love the rich and tangy taste, and how easy it is to throw together!

Overhead view of a skillet full of Balsamic Chicken and Mushrooms with a wooden spoon in the side

Garnished with fresh thyme.

What to Serve with Balsamic Chicken and Mushrooms

I served my Balsamic Chicken and Mushrooms with Garlic Herb Mashed Potatoes and some steamed green beans. The buttery balsamic sauce would also pair beautifully with Browned Butter Mashed Sweet Potatoes, Roasted Asparagus and Tomatoes, Roasted Vegetable Couscous, or Grilled Vegetable Pasta Salad.

What Kind of Mushrooms Should I Use?

I used baby bellas for this Balsamic Chicken and Mushrooms, but I think white button mushrooms would work just as well. The sauce is so flavorful on its own that a less flavorful mushroom, like white button mushrooms, wouldn’t make or break the dish.

Close overhead view of Balsamic Chicken and Vegetables on a plate with mashed potatoes and green beans

Don’t Fear the Fond!

If looking at a skillet full of brown gunk stuck to the bottom makes you cringe because you think you’re in for a lot of hard scrubbing to get it clean, it’s time to learn how to make a pan sauce! Those little brown bits are caramelized proteins and they have a LOT of flavor! The process of making a pan sauce dissolves them off the bottom (no need to scrub later!) and brings all that flavor back onto your plate.

How to Make a Pan Sauce

Pan sauces are simple:

  1. Brown a meat or other protein in a skillet or pot with butter or oil, then remove it from the skillet.
  2. Add a liquid (broth, stock, wine, balsamic vinegar, etc.) and stir to dissolve the browned bits.
  3. Let the liquid simmer and reduce by half.
  4. Add butter and stir until melted. The butter thickens the sauce and adds body.
  5. Drizzle the pan sauce over your cooked meat and enjoy!

Other options for pan sauces: add other flavorful ingredients like garlic, shallots, herbs, spices, or even jams and jellies.

Close up of the balsamic pan sauce being drizzled over the chicken and mushrooms in the skillet
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Balsamic Chicken and Mushrooms

4.72 from 69 votes
A quick buttery balsamic pan sauce brings a ton of flavor to these Balsamic Chicken and Mushrooms without a lot of work. Perfect for weeknight dinners!
Close overhead view of Balsamic Chicken and Vegetables on a plate with mashed potatoes and green beans
Servings 4
Prep 5 minutes
Cook 30 minutes
Total 35 minutes

Ingredients

  • 4 Tbsp balsamic vinegar ($0.55)
  • 1.5 Tbsp soy sauce ($0.18)
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar ($0.04)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced ($0.16)
  • 1/4 tsp dried thyme ($0.02)
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 1.25 lbs. total) ($3.02)
  • 1 pinch salt and pepper ($0.05)
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil ($0.16)
  • 8 oz. mushrooms ($1.69)
  • 2 Tbsp butter ($0.26)

Instructions 

  • Prepare the balsamic sauce first. In a small bowl, stir together the balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, brown sugar, minced garlic, and dried thyme. Set the sauce aside.
  • Season the chicken thighs with a pinch of salt and pepper on each side.
  • Heat a large skillet over medium. Once hot, add the olive oil and swirl to coat the surface. Add the chicken thighs to the skillet and cook on each side until browned and cooked through (about 8 minutes first side, 5 minute second side). Remove the chicken to a clean plate and cover to keep warm.
  • While the chicken is cooking, clean the mushrooms and then slice them in half. After removing the chicken from the skillet, add the mushrooms in their place, and sauté in the remaining oil and fat until the mushrooms are slightly tender and browned on the outside (5-7 minutes).
  • Turn the heat down to medium-low. Add the prepared balsamic sauce to the skillet and stir to dissolve any browned bits from the bottom of the skillet. Allow the sauce to come up to a simmer. Simmer the balsamic sauce with the mushrooms, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes, or until the sauce has reduced by half.
  • Add the butter to the skillet and stir until it is melted into the sauce. Add the chicken back to the skillet, turning it to coat in the sauce, and allow it to simmer for a few minutes more to rewarm the chicken. Serve hot and drizzle the pan sauce over the chicken and mushrooms.

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Nutrition

Serving: 1ServingCalories: 322.4kcalCarbohydrates: 8.28gProtein: 28.6gFat: 20.35gSodium: 700.83mgFiber: 0.63g
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How to Make Balsamic Chicken and Mushrooms – Step by Step Photos

Balsamic sauce mixed

Prepare the balsamic sauce first. In a small bow, stir together 4 Tbsp balsamic vinegar, 1.5 Tbsp soy sauce, 1 Tbsp brown sugar, 2 cloves minced garlic, and 1/4 tsp dried thyme. Set the sauce aside.

Season chicken thighs

Season four boneless, skinless chicken thighs with a pinch of salt and pepper on both sides.

Browned chicken thighs in skillet

Heat a large skillet over medium. Once hot, add 1 Tbsp olive oil and swirl to coat. Add the chicken thighs and cook until they are browned on both sides and cooked through (about 8 minutes first side, 5 minutes second side). Don’t worry if some of it sticks to the skillet, you actually want that to happen! :)

Sliced Mushrooms

While the chicken is browning, clean and slice 8 oz. mushrooms in half.

Mushrooms in skillet

Once the chicken is cooked, remove it from the skillet to a clean plate and cover to keep warm (foil or a second, upside down plate). Add the mushrooms to the skillet and cook them in the leftover oil and chicken fat.

Browned mushrooms in the skillet

Sauté the mushrooms until they are slightly tender and browned on the outside (5-7 minutes). 

Balsamic sauce being poured into the skillet

Turn the heat down to medium-low. Pour the prepared balsamic sauce into the skillet. Stir to dissolve the browned bits from the bottom of the skillet. Allow the sauce to come up to a simmer. Simmer the sauce until reduced by half (about 5 minutes).

Butter melting into balsamic sauce in the skillet

Add 2 Tbsp butter and stir until it is melted into the balsamic sauce.

Chicken added back into the skillet with the mushrooms and balsamic sauce

Finally, add the chicken back to the skillet, turning it to coat in the sauce. Let it simmer for a few minutes more to warm the chicken through.

Close up side view of finished balsamic chicken and mushrooms in the skillet with a wooden spoon

Serve the balsamic chicken and mushrooms hot, making sure to drizzle the extra pan sauce over the chicken!

Balsamic Chicken and Mushrooms on a plate with mashed potatoes and green beans

Shown with Garlic Herb Mashed Potatoes and steamed green beans.

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  1. Made this tonight. Used boneless chicken breasts since that’s what I had on hand. Also threw in a couple handfuls of grape tomatoes towards the end. Delicious!

  2. Delicious, quick and easy. Handy weeknight meal. With the balsamic vinegar and soy sauce, it tastes like a balsamic version of Filipino chicken adobo. (If you wanted, you could easily adjust the sauce to taste more like Filipino adobo by replacing the balsamic vinegar with white vinegar and increasing the soy sauce and sugar amount).

    The thighs I had were similar in size to the photos but I only needed about 5 mins per side as I covered the skillet with a lid (both to mitigate oil splatter and to help the thighs cook through) and it was still enough time to get nice browning on the meat and develop fond on the pan.

    As I only had a handful of mushrooms, I cut each mushroom into four thick slices instead of just halved (so they were half the thickness of the ones in the photo) so I ended up needing less time to cook them.

    As recommended by another commenter I doubled the sauce (including butter) amounts as I wanted extra for drizzling over my mashed potatoes and blanched broccoli. Would highly recommend doubling.

    If you find your sauce too vinegary for your tastes, just add more butter as fat balances out the acidity. I like the intense sauce though, goes well with the mashed potatoes.

  3. Wow! This has officially replaced our family’s long-standing favorite marinaded chicken dinner. So yummy.

  4. Delicious! I did have to cook the chicken significantly longer than the 8 and 5 minutes listed in the recipe.

  5. I made this tonight, using a cast iron skillet. It was awesome, no changes needed. I served it with skin-on mashed potatoes.

  6. I only had chicken breast to use but this was delicious and my husband raved about it. Will definitely be a regular on my menu.

  7. This recipe is so savory and delicious! Very easy. I cooked it with Trader Joe’s cauliflower gnocchi.

    I added onions to the recipe with the mushrooms.

    My only suggestion is to double the sauce if you want to pour on the starch/veggie.

  8. This recipe is so savory and delicious! Very easy. I cooked it with Trader Joe’s cauliflower gnocchi.

    I added onions to the recipe with the mushrooms.

    My only suggestion is to double the sauce if you want to pour on the starch/veggie.

  9. This was dreadful. The thighs don’t fully cook in 8 and 5 minutes at medium heat, and what little sauce there is dried up well before the mushrooms became slightly tender. You’re showing a lot more than 4 1/2 T of liquid in your photos, by the way. I wound up throwing both this entree and the recipe in the garbage.

  10. I’ve been meal prepping this and it’s something I actually don’t get tired of for lunches. It’s so delicious!

  11. We really enjoyed this!! When I added chicken at end I also added green beans that had been boiled/drained then served all over cauliflower rice – mmmm!