Creamy Garlic Parmesan Mushroom Chicken with Bacon

PREP TIME: 10 MINUTES
COOK TIME: 45 MINUTES
TOTAL TIME: 55 MINUTES
SERVINGS: 6 PEOPLE


Ingredients


FOR THE CHICKEN:

•    6 chicken thighs (bone-in, skin-on or off)
•    1 tablespoon olive oil
•    2 cloves garlic crushed
•    2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
•    Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


FOR THE CREAM SAUCE:

•    4 cloves garlic crushed
•    7 ounces (200 g) diced bacon
•    14 ounces (400 g) sliced brown mushrooms (Cremini)
•    1 cup heavy cream OR half and half*
•    1/2 cup chicken broth
•    1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
•    1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper to taste
•    Salt only if needed to your taste
•    Extra chopped fresh parsley to garnish
•    Fresh shaved or grated parmesan to garnish


Instructions
1.    Preheat oven to 400°F.
2.    Arrange chicken on a plate. Combine together the olive oil, garlic, parsley, salt and pepper in a jug. Rub the oil mixture over the chicken to completely coat.
3.    Heat a large ovenproof pan or skillet over medium-high heat. Sear the chicken, skin-side down first, until the skin is crisp and golden brown. Rotate and sear the other side (about 2-3 minutes per side).
4.    Transfer to oven and roast until completely cooked through, about 25-30 minutes.
5.    Once the chicken is done, remove from skillet; set aside. Pour out HALF of the chicken juices left in the pan.
6.    Using the same skillet the chicken was in, fry the garlic in the reserved chicken juices over medium heat, stirring frequently until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the bacon and fry until just beginning to crisp. Add in the mushrooms and cook until mushrooms begin to soften.
7.    Pour in the cream OR half and half, chicken broth and Parmesan; allow to simmer until slightly thickened, about 2 minutes. (SEE NOTES if using half and half INSTEAD of cream option.)
8.    Season with pepper. Taste first before adding in any extra salt, as the bacon will add the salt.
9.    Add the chicken back into the pan; allow to simmer for 1-2 minutes in the cream to take on the flavors.
10.    Garnish with parsley and shaved or grated parmesan, if desired. Serve over rice, pasta, or steamed/grilled vegetables.


TIPS
    If using cream: Thickened cream, heavy cream, light or reduced fat cooking cream are all fine to use. If you prefer a thicker sauce, whisk together 1 level teaspoon cornstarch with 1 tablespoon cream until lump free and well blended. Add the mixture into the cream sauce, while stirring continuously, until thickened.


If using half and half: Bring to a gentle simmer; whisk 2 teaspoons of cornstarch into 1-2 tablespoons of *extra* half and half; pour cornstarch mixture into the centre of the pan; stir continuously until the sauce thickens and becomes a 'cream'. 

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