Chicken with Creamy Mushroom Sauce

Here is a family favorite for a weeknight dinner—chicken thighs, floured and browned and then baked, served with a creamy mushroom sauce. You can serve it with rice, or if you put it over egg noodles, you have something resembling a chicken stroganoff.

Years ago, when my mother was a young housewife with a husband and six rambunctious kids to feed, she taught herself how to cook from various cookbooks that were popular at the time. One of her favorite books was Elena’s secrets of Mexican cooking, now long out of print, by Elena Zelayeta, published in 1958. This recipe is adapted from a recipe for Pollo con Jocoqui (Chicken with Sour Cream) in that book.

The note in the cookbook regarding this recipe is “Brides might well add this to their kitchen repertoire. It is easy to fix and never fails to make a hit.” We all agree. It’s a great combination, and so easy to make!

Elena’s original recipe calls for a whole chicken cut into parts. We find using thighs to be easier—all the chicken pieces get cooked in the same amount of time, and we prefer the flavor of thighs to breasts. You could use whole chicken parts, or chicken breasts. If you use chicken breasts, watch the timing—the white meat of chicken breasts cooks faster than the dark meat of thighs or legs.

Updated from the recipe archive. First posted in 2006.

Chicken with Creamy Mushroom Sauce Recipe

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 1 hour
  • Yield: Serves 6 to 8.

Before you start to prep, take the chicken out of the refrigerator and sprinkle all sides with about a teaspoon of Kosher salt. Salting first helps draw out the flavor in meat. Let sit for at least 20 minutes to take the chill off of the chicken.

Ingredients

  • 3 to 4 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken pieces (we used thighs), trimmed of excess fat
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup flour for dredging
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth
  • 1 small onions, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 3/4 pound fresh mushrooms, thickly sliced (I use cremini with a handful of shiitakes included for more intense mushroomy flavor)
  • 1 clove of garlic, crushed
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme or 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream

Method

1 Mix 1/2 cup flour, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and a 1/4 teaspoon of pepper in a shallow bowl. Dredge the chicken in the flour mixture.

place chicken thighs skin side down in hot pan brown all sides of chicken

2 Preheat the oven to 350°F. Heat oil in a large frying pan on medium high heat. When the oil is hot, working in batches, place the chicken pieces in the pan, skin-side down. The oil should be hot enough so that the chicken pieces sizzle when they are in the pan, but not so hot as to burn the chicken. You want the pieces to be lightly browned. Brown on all sides.

place chicken in roasting pan and pour in broth

3 Butter the insides of a roasting pan. Arrange the chicken pieces in it in a single layer, skin side up. Pour chicken broth over it, and bake at 350°F until the chicken pieces are cooked through (thighs with an the internal temperature of 170°F, breasts at 165°F) about 30 to 35 minutes for 3 to 4 pounds of chicken thighs. If you don't have a meat thermometer, you can check for doneness by poking the largest chicken piece with a sharp knife. If the juices run clear, not pink, the chicken is done.

cook chopped onions until translucent cook mushrooms until browned

4 About 20 minutes before the chicken is expected to be done, start cooking the onions and mushrooms. Heat 2 Tbsp of olive oil in a large frying pan on medium heat. Add the onions and cook until they are soft and translucent, about 6 to 7 minutes. Remove the onions from the pan to a bowl. Add the mushrooms to the same pan with the crushed garlic and the thyme. Increase the heat to medium high and cook the mushrooms until they are lightly browned. Add the onions back to the pan and if you want, remove the crushed garlic clove (or keep it in, your choice).

add sour cream and cream to mushrooms and onions

5 And add the sour cream and the heavy cream to the onions and mushrooms. Lower the heat. Keep warm, but do not boil. Add salt and pepper to taste.

6 When the chicken is done, remove from oven. Serve on a platter with the mushroom sauce spooned over it, or served on the side.

Serve with noodles or rice.

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Recipe adapted by one for Pollo con Jocoqui (Chicken with Sour Cream) in Elena's Secrets of Mexican Cooking, published in 1958 by author Elena Zelayeta.

I know that this recipe doesn't seem typical of Mexican cooking, but Elena mentions in her book that in Mexico, for hundreds of years people have been influenced by many cuisines—especially Spanish and French.

Another note about Elena Zelayeta, she was one of the first people to publish English language cookbooks about Mexican cooking. Her books were popular in the 1940s and 50s. Elena was also blind. She went blind as an adult and after having children, yet still managed to cook her for family (she knew where everything was in her kitchen), and write cookbooks that became classics.

Chicken in Mushroom Cream Sauce

66 Comments

  1. Lou

    I have that same cookbook and I treasure it! Her recipe for Arroz con Jocoqui (Rice and Sour Cream Casserole) is no doubt the forerunner of the many versions of that wonderful dish that never fails to make a hit. It is wonderful dish to take to potlucks.
    Thanks for sharing the Chicken recipe from her book — it’s on the “to try” list! Lou

  2. Steve

    Terrific! Living in Japan you don’t get good ol’ home cooking like this. I just made it for the family and it was a big BIG hit. Thanks!!

  3. Iris

    I prepared this recipe for my family, this past weekend and everyone loved it! I got high-fives all round. The only change I made was using chicken breasts instead of a whole roasting chicken. The dish turned out amazing and absolutely delicious. I will definitely be making this again. Thanks for the recipe.

  4. Katelynn

    I made this last night – it was delicious! The sauce went perfectly with egg noodles.

  5. Jamie and Katie

    One word awesome, we are now cooking this for both of our families, so so tasty, HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!! This won’t disapoint!!

  6. Leigh-Abna Robey

    OH MI GOSH! I just did this recipe for my husband and I and I could not believe how good this was~! Thank you so much for the oportunity to make this fantastic dinner idea!

  7. Kejora

    Elise,
    Thanks so much for sharing this recipe.
    Tried this and love this so much. Everyone in the family loves this.

  8. Mandy

    I cooked this and loved it. I left the garlic in. It makes a wonderful pasta sauce on its own. Had a bit of trouble with the ‘cup’ measurements (being English) but got it in the end. Thanks.

  9. rocki

    Really good and easy. to add flavor to the sauce I added creole seasoning and cayenne. Excellent and yummy!!!

  10. cleartrampoline

    This sounds good. I’m going to have to try it. A side note, I love old cook books. I don’t know what it is, but I just have a strange obsession with their oddly colored pictures and the language that they use, especially 50s cook books. Very cool indeed. :)

  11. PaniniKathy

    Thanks so much for the recipe! My mom used to make something very much like this when I was growing up (perhaps she had that out-of-print cookbook). It was always a family favorite, so I’ll definitely be trying this version.

  12. JoAnn

    If you use boneless chicken breasts instead of the bone-in pieces taken from the bird (I’m still squeemish…) do you have to adjust the cooking time? Looking forward to trying this recipe out!

    • Pat N

      You would cut your cooking time at least by half. Using bone-in thighs really cuts down the margin for error. Plus it the best part of the chicken. Boneless breast can get over cooked in a heartbeat.

      This is a real good meal and should be in a regular rotation for a lot of folks.

  13. Nadia

    I also add a hint of dijon mustard and some oregano, herbes de provence to the sauce. Very good just a bit too fat for my husband’s diet.

  14. Marco

    Elena’s Secrets of Mexican Cooking. My mother used that cookbook. we still have it in the family. Brings back memories, wonderful memories! Elena was the foreunner and she was the real deal! Thanks for this site

  15. amir arie

    Tips:

    1. Add a 1/2 tablespoone nutmeg and 1/4 cup of white wine to the sauce, will make it great.

    2. For nadia husband diet – change the cream and sour cream to milk or 1/2 milk and 1/2 water, how to cook: fry the onion,garlic and mushrooms, add 2 spoons of flour and mix well, put 1/4 cup white wine, 1/4 cup chicken sroth and scrape the pan, add milk and cook for 20 min on low heat mixing from time to time.

    Have fun.

  16. Ursula

    I made this with pork and it was fabulous! I did deglaze the pan with a bit of sake to get all the good bits up with the onion and mushrooms (baby bels…Mmmmm), added a bit of red pepper flakes as well. Side of a plain baked potato to share in all that delicious sauce!

  17. Rachel

    I made this for dinner tonight, it was fabulous. I used boneless, skinless breast and it still came out very good and made the whole dish into about 30 minutes of cooking.

    I served the chicken and sauce over a bed of lightly sauteed baby spinach and had good sourdough bread on the side.

  18. Linda

    Hi Elise,

    Your chicken looks quite yummy. Great Photos!
    Years ago I ate dinner with one of my husband’s friend wife while living in California. She made a chicken dish called chicken papasomething that had a creamy white sauce but it also had carrots and potatoes. Her dish was great but she wouldn’t share her secret recipe. Have you any ideas?

    Linda in Washington State

  19. Jenn

    I decided to make a variation of this last night. It tasted okay, but I ended up throwing it out. My problem is that the cream sauce broke and it just looked gross! I added some wine to deglaze the pan. Do you think this is what caused my problem?

    Yes. Wine is slightly acidic and if you have an acid in the sauce and if the sauce comes close to simmering, it will curdle. ~Elise

  20. MariaV

    This sounds like a cookbook that I would like. Would you mind telling me if photos are included?

    No photos in this classic cookbook. ~Elise

  21. Felicia

    Oh my gosh this is so good!!! I love it and am afraid that my Husband won’t get any before he gets home because I will eat it all. I also agree to adding it to a bride’s kitchen repertoire because I am one ;)

  22. Ellie

    Oh man, that looks delish! And your dad is right, this particular reader is gonna get a LOT of joy from this recipe next weekend!

  23. Lindsay

    Excellent recipe – I made this last week. I was pressed for time and baked the chicken breasts instead (brushed butter on them and put paprika, salt, and pepper on them). The sauce was so delicious – added butter to that too. Can’t wait to do the full recipe next time!

  24. KimC

    This was delicious. I added a few drops of truffle oil and went to heaven.

  25. claudelle

    Made this recipe for lunch today ,really cold and wet down here in Auckland New Zealand,it was a GREAT HIT,used crushed garlic…yummmm.Thanks for sharing your recipe.

  26. Isabella

    Elise!! I have made this for my husband twice now, and I must say, I know it makes him love me more. Whenever he gets grumpy or has a particularly horrible day, I just pull up your website and make this recipe. There’s only two of us so we tend to have leftovers, despite the fact that I’ve modified portions. He would eat it for the rest of his life if I would make it.

    Thank you so much for posting this, you have the best cooking website on the internet and your recipes never fail to impress myself or my family!

    Warm wishes,
    Isa

  27. Dave

    We made this dish and absolutely love it. We used a super chopper to mince the mushrooms, onions and garlic, that’s how we sneak it past the kids. Tastes great over rice or egg noodles.

  28. Lydia

    I made this for dinner earlier and although I cooked enough for 6 ppl. four of us finished everything, served with potatoes and salad, licked the bowls and fingers clean! that is how delicious it is! thank you for the recipe!

  29. Leah

    I was wondering if anyone think half and half in stead of heavy cream would work in the sauce? I can’t get to the store and only have half and half. I really want to surprise my husband with this delicious sounding recipe tonight. Thanks.

  30. Stacia

    Elise, I know I’ve said this over and over, but you have the BEST recipes! This was wonderful. Until I read your recipes that called for using a whole chicken cut up, I never dared to do it myself. But local grocers so rarely have a whole cut up chicken nowadays and your recipes looked so good that I had to try, and I’m seriously tickled with myself now that I can cut a chicken!

    Just wanted to add that while this recipe would probably be good with chicken breasts, I think it is absolutely made for whole pieces of skin-on chicken.

  31. Jocelyn

    Wonderful dish! My husband is currently singing and vacuuming the kitchen after this meal. In other words, he loved it! Also enjoyed by my seven year old!

    I made it with 3 garlic cloves (crushed then discarded), boneless skinless chicken breast and added a small amount of ground nutmeg to the sauce!

    Thanks for the recipe, it is getting added to my rotation of family favorites!

  32. Shannon

    YUM YUM YUM

    Used boneless chicken breasts b/c I needed to use what was on hand (almost payday – yay). This cut down the cooking time, and I’m sure the savory level, but made for a respectable weeknight meal that did not come from a can or call to the local take-out joint.

  33. teelaehn

    Fantastic! I added a couple tablespoons extra of sour cream for the heck of it and the sauce was delicious. Slight tang from the sour cream and wonderful onion and mushroom flavors. I minced and left in one garlic clove, and I thought it added just enough garlic flavor to the sauce. I made it with bone-in thighs, and it turned out perfect. Definitely a keeper!

  34. Samantha Ritchie

    Really love this recipe! I’ve made it twice now. Tonight I used my cast iron 10in skillet to bake the chicken. I preheated it and threw in a tablespoon of butter while it was preheating. then just threw the chicken pieces into the skillet and the broth. I’m adding this recipe to the cookbook I’m making for my soon to be sister-in-law. It’ll be a bit on the difficult side for her, but it’s something she can work up to. Thanks!!

  35. Kim

    Tried this recipe today. Its turned out great. Used baby bella mushrooms and chicken breast only. Thank you for a great recipe.

  36. Patrick M. Mitchell

    This was wonderful. Very, very rich, but extremely satisfying. Served it for company and everyone had seconds – while simultaneously asking for the recipe. I did add some garlic powder to the flour mixture and replaced the garlic clove with a minced shallot (and did not remove, obviously). Served with roasted broccoli and toasted almond rice pilaf – truly a keeper!

    For those who own one, I suggest using an electric skillet as I did to fry the chicken and prepare the mushroom sauce. Make sure to spray the roasting pan with nonstick spray before buttering. Cleanup was simple and quick.

  37. Candice

    Followed this recipe exactly, and was perfect! I normally don’t comment but it was too good not to. Thank you for such a great resource.

    So glad you liked it! ~Elise

  38. Cheryl

    Yes, this a really good recipe. I’m not from the States and my family wanted a Western-style dinner so I chose this recipe. I didn’t make my own cream sauce because heavy cream is hard to buy where I can from, so I used a carbonara pasta sauce instead. Turned out to be equally good, and everyone was asking for seconds. Thanks Elise! :D

  39. pi

    I love this recipe, i add about a 1/8 to 1/4 cup of grated parmesan cheese to the mushroom cream sauce, and WOW! freakin amazing

  40. CKCrabb

    I substituted white wine for the chicken stock and did not discard the garlic.

  41. ferrett

    I tried this recipe on Friday and my wife and son LOVED it. I have to agree with Janet and Rosie, we are all garlic fanatics (lots of listerine in my house), so I put in 4 minced cloves and a shallot, just because I like them, and saute’d with the onions. It was really good. My wife actually asked me to make it again last night :).

    One other substitution that I made, I used boneless, skinless chicken breasts and served it over egg noodles.

  42. caroline

    My first thought when I read this recipe was that it could very easily be adapted to become another dish. Use boneless skinless chicken instead and cut it up into strips/slices (similar in shape to however you choose to cut up your mushrooms). You can also use spices and herbs to make it taste more like roasted chicken (poultry seasoning works well for this). Then when the mushroom sauce is done, add the chicken back in. Then serve the whole thing over egg noodles… Voila! Chicken stroganoff!

  43. Julie

    My family loved a suuuuuper-simple version of this recipe: Put 4 chicken breasts in a baking dish. Stir together one can cream of mushroom soup and 8 oz sour cream. Pour mixture over chicken. Bake at 350F for one hour. I’m going to try your version — it sounds classier! But I wonder if I’ll find it worth the extra effort?

    • Ellen

      I’ll bet you will find it worth the extra effort. I swore off cooking with canned condensed soups years ago. I know that I am using more wholesome ingredients by doing so and saving me and my family a whole lot of sodium. AND recipes made from fresh ingredients DO taste better. I look forward to trying this one!

      • IMHO

        I’ll back you up on that, Ellen. Getting the fresh mushrooms and slicing them to your desired thickness is definitely adds to the fun of cooking. Also, be sure to get the best quality chicken you can find…Trader Joe’s, Bell & Evans, any Amish brand…and “air chilled” makes a difference. There’s less water weight and generally a better flavor.

  44. Steve @coolcathotfood

    This looks like awesome comfort food, and creamy mushroomy goodness!

  45. CARMELA

    A long time I don’t cook this recipe but I’ll do it soon. Yummy!

  46. Renee

    We are going to love this sauce! I also like how you mentioned using a good amount of butter on the baking dish.

  47. diane

    Thanks for all the recipes I get from you! You are great..

  48. Earl

    Very good, nice touch with Mushrooms!

  49. Carol at Wild Goose Tea

    What a wonderful recipe. I love the sauce! In fact I think I am going to print it for a dinner party. Fascinating about Elena. I truly enjoyed your post.

  50. Studio1RedBank

    I have been making a similar recipe to this one, but I would double or triple the finally chopped garlic [especially for 3-4lbs!], and double or triple the thyme. This is not a strong herb and to actually have enough means that you can enjoy the taste. I also make this recipe with Paprika, a good tablespoon of the regular sweet variety and I add a little later in the browning process so as to not burn it. It makes the sauce a more rosy color and perks up the taste. Do not be afraid to use herbs! They don’t add spice, instead adding flavor and valued nutrients.

  51. Chic

    Elise, I love this recipe. I shared it on my new Blog! Thank you! Here’s the link: http://chicladie.weebly.com/cooking.html

  52. Barbara Shea

    I made this the other nite & when I added the sour cream to the 2% milk (didn’t have cream) to the mushrooms it all separated. I had lowered the heat & I did not use wine in the recipe at all (didn’t have any), so, why did it not come together? I tried whisking but the mushrooms were in the way. I ended up trying to pick out the mushrms, but threw it all away. We just had the chicken & noodles with butter.

    • Elise

      Hi Barbara,
      I think it curdled because you used 2% milk instead of cream. There’s enough acid in the sour cream to make added milk curdle. The reason we use cream is that it doesn’t curdle.

  53. Debbie

    I made the creamy mushroom sauce and served it over wide egg noodles. It was
    D-LISH! It made a wonderful side dish. I will surely make this again.

  54. Jenn

    Made this for dinner tonight & it was a huge hit! I was worried that the chicken wouldn’t stay crispy through the cooking process but it came out order fully crispy. The sauce did come out a bit thicker than I would have liked so I think when I make this again (bc I def will!!) I will try using half & half or maybe even whole milk.
    Thank you so much for the recipe!

    • Elise

      Hi Jenn,
      I’m so glad you liked it! I wouldn’t use milk because of the curdling issue. You may be able to thin the sauce with some of the chicken drippings or some stock.

  55. Mary

    I made this last night, and my family loved it. I followed most of the recipe exactly as stated, but I did change some things, and it was still wonderful. I forgot to buy chicken broth and didn’t want to go back to the store, so I used beer. I bought half and half instead of cream, because I’ll use the rest for coffee, and I’ve subbed it in recipes before with good results. The biggest thing I changed was to use boneless, skinless chicken thighs, just because I didn’t feel like dealing with bones. OK, I’m sure you lose some flavor and texture eliminating bones and skin, and I’m not saying the way I made this would be any improvement on the recipe. I guess I’m just appreciating that you can be a little flexible when you cook and still get a delicious outcome. Thanks for this one, Elise. It reminds me of Eastern European cooking more than Mexican, which is awesome.

  56. Sherry Copeland

    I made this last week and it was great! I did use boneless chicken breasts, since that was what I had, otherwise I followed the recipe exactly. They did cook faster, but that wasn’t a problem, as I checked the temp of the chicken with an instant read thermometer. I did add the drippings from the chicken (after cooking) to thin the sauce. I found the cookbook on Ebay. You really don’t need pictures, since she describes everything so well.
    Elise, thank you for all the great ideas. I have gotten into the habit of looking on here to see what is for supper each night!

  57. Jane M.

    What a great recipe, Elise. I am one of those crazy people who could eat chicken 7 days a week (and an occasional sauteed pork chop) without getting bored. Unfortunately, my son and his wife don’t share my love of chicken. I generally prefer it with skin on (dredged in flour and sauteed so it stays somewhat crispy) and bone in for better flavor. It’s economical and lends itself well to many recipes. That this includes a mushroom sauce is perfection for my tastes. Thanks for posting it.

  58. Tomoko

    Super tasty and filling. It’s a nice recipe because the chicken cooks while you get the sauce ready. Even loved by picky preschooler. Will be added to the regular comfort dishes.

  59. Joy Morris

    I made this for supper tonight with turk’y cutlets as the protein and it was fabulous. My only changes were I deglazed the pan with a splash of sherry and used white pepper instead of black. The only suggestion my husband had was to put a bit of sage in the sauce too.

  60. Donna

    we are borderline diabetics can I use quinoa? instead of noodles or rice?

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