The huge amount of flavour in this simple, earthy, slow-simmered dish comes from mushrooms – seven cups of them. You can use a food processor to make quick work of chopping them up, but they should be chunky, not puréed. Opt for chicken thighs over breasts to avoid dryness; you could even use dark ground chicken meat if you don’t want to cut up the thighs. Either way, it makes a rich ragout that is ideal for pasta, polenta, rice or mashed potatoes.
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1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
1 pound (500 grams) boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into ½-inch dice
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh tarragon, chopped
1 cup onions, chopped
1 pound (500 grams or 7 cups) mixed mushrooms (including cremini, shiitake and king oyster), roughly chopped
1 tablespoon garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
¼ teaspoon dried chili flakes or to taste
1 cup chicken stock, low-sodium store-bought or homemade
⅓ cup mascarpone
2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
Heat oil and butter over medium-high heat in a large skillet. Season chicken with salt and pepper and 1 teaspoon each of thyme and tarragon. Add chicken and sauté until browned (about 4 minutes). Remove from skillet.
Add onions to skillet and sauté for 1 minute or until softened.
Add mushrooms to skillet with garlic and sauté for about 2 minutes or until juices exude.
Add remaining thyme and tarragon, balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, chili flakes and stock. Bring to boil and simmer for 10 minutes.
Add chicken, cover and cook slowly for 10 to 15 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Stir mascarpone into mixture. Sprinkle with parsley. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve over pappardelle or polenta.