Chicken and mushrooms just seem to go together. I guess mushrooms go with a lot of things. They are earthy, meaty, hearty and add flavor at the same time as they take on flavor. They’re kind of the slut of the culinary world (I mean that in a totally good way). But they’re especially slutty (again, in a good way) with chicken.
This dish started out as one of those one-pot recipes where I would brown chicken legs and thighs in a Dutch oven and add chopped onion, sliced mushrooms, chicken stock and cornstarch. Throw that in the oven for a half hour and it’s done. I usually use shiitake and oyster mushrooms but it will work with any mushrooms. I also use cornstarch to thicken instead of flour because it’s easier and you only use half as much cornstarch.
It wasn’t pretty, but it was tasty. Still, it was missing something. I added different herbs and seasoning but something was still missing. Turned out it was technique.
As I was discussing this dish with Alexis, the food stylist, we realized it really wasn’t going to photograph very well. It was a very monochromatic final product which, quite frankly, looked bland. We talked about a different way of presenting the essence of this dish and basically transformed it into a better recipe for the shoot.