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BAKED LEGS WITH CREAM OF MUSHROOM

Yum, comfort food at its finest! If you’re looking for a cozy, delicious meal that wraps you up like a warm hug, these oven-baked chicken legs blanketed in an insanely flavorful mushroom cream sauce are just the ticket. One bite of juicy chicken coated in rich, earthy mushrooms and cream will have you going back for seconds!
First, we’ll prep our chicken. I like using bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs or drumsticks to maximize flavor and moisture, but you could use boneless breasts or tenders if you prefer. Just be sure to adjust the cook time. We’ll give the chicken legs a light dredge in flour seasoned simply with salt and pepper to help achieve crisp, golden brown skin. Arrange them nicely on a parchment-lined baking sheet and pop them in the hot oven while we work on the showstopping cream sauce.
Over on the stovetop, we’ll sauté up some meaty, umami-packed sliced cremini mushrooms in olive oil until they take on an appetizing brown hue. The flour on the chicken will also lend some extra thickness to our sauce. Then we’ll stir in a hefty dose of minced garlic (skip if you’re cooking for vampires!), followed by some chicken broth to lift all the rich browned bits off the bottom of the pan. After reducing down, we’ll finish it off with heavy cream for a luscious texture and sheen.
Once the chicken legs are fork-tender with crisped, crackly skin, we’ll reintroduce them to the pan to mingle with the mushroom sauce and absorb all that flavor. Can you smell how incredible this is yet?! Finally, we plate up the chicken legs absolutely smothered in the creamy mushroom goodness. I suggest serving this over rice, pasta or mashed potatoes to soak up every last drop of that sauce. Now dig in and prepare to be transported! This baked chicken is about to take you on a first-class trip to cozy, delicious flavor town.

What type of chicken legs work best?
Bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs or drumsticks work wonderfully. The bone keeps the meat moist and flavorful, while the skin crisps up beautifully.

Can I use fresh mushrooms instead of sliced mushrooms?
Absolutely! Swap in 8 ounces of fresh mushrooms like white or brown mushrooms instead. Just slice or quarter them before adding to the pan.

What can I serve this chicken and sauce over?
Rice, pasta, mashed potatoes or roasted veggies make great foundations for soaking up the luscious sauce.

What sides go well with this dish?
A fresh green salad or roasted green beans or asparagus would balance the richness nicely. Bread is great for dunking in the sauce too.

Can I prepare the sauce ahead of time?
Yes! Make the sauce up to 3 days in advance and refrigerate. Reheat gently before adding cooked chicken to warm up before serving.

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1⁄4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 pounds chicken legs (about 3-4 legs)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 8 ounces cremini mushrooms, sliced (about 3 cups)
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup unsalted chicken broth
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon salt
  • 1⁄2 cup heavy whipping cream

Instructions:

  1. Start by preheating your oven to 400°F to get it nice and hot for baking our chicken. As the oven heats up, line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. This will prevent any sticking. In a shallow medium bowl, stir together 1⁄4 cup all-purpose flour, 1⁄2 teaspoon salt, and 1⁄4 teaspoon black pepper until combined. One at a time, carefully dredge the chicken legs through the flour mixture, turning and pressing to coat all sides evenly in the seasoned flour. Make sure to shake off any excess before placing each floured leg skin-side up on the prepared baking sheet, spacing them out in a single layer.
  2. Once all chicken legs are lightly coated in flour and arranged on the sheet, place in the hot oven. Roast for 30 minutes, flipping halfway through, until the skin is browned and crisp and the meat is completely cooked through. To check for doneness, cut into the thickest part of a leg to ensure the meat is no longer pink inside. Remove from the oven and let rest on a cutting board while preparing the mushroom cream sauce.
  3. While chicken roasts, make the rich mushroom sauce. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, add 8 ounces sliced cremini mushrooms. Sauté the mushrooms, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon, for about 5 minutes until they begin to brown and become nice and golden. Next, stir in 3 minced garlic cloves and cook for 1 minute more until fragrant.
  4. Pour in 1 cup chicken broth, using the spoon to scrape up all the flavorful browned bits stuck to the bottom of the pan. Bring the liquid to a boil then lower heat and stir in 1⁄4 teaspoon salt. Allow sauce to simmer steadily for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms become extremely soft and tender.
  5. Finally, pour in 1⁄2 cup heavy cream. Let the cream simmer while stirring constantly for 2 minutes so it fully incorporates without curdling. Remove pan from heat and cover to keep sauce warm until the chicken is ready.
  6. Once chicken legs are cooked through and have rested 5 minutes, transfer them to the pan and slide them down into the hot mushroom cream sauce. Gently turn and spoon sauce over legs to evenly coat. Serve chicken legs immediately topped generously with the mushrooms sauce so every bite is dripping with creamy flavor! Enjoy right away.

Cooking Tips:

  • For extra crispy skin, pat chicken dry with paper towels before coating in flour. Let sit 20 minutes before roasting.
  • Stir chicken and mushrooms halfway through simmering for even cooking.
  • For a richer sauce, use heavy cream instead of half and half.
  • If sauce is too thick, stir in more broth by the tablespoon until desired consistency is reached.
  • For a vegetarian version, use your favorite roasted veggie like cauliflower or sweet potato instead of chicken.
  • Garnish with chopped parsley or thyme for a pop of color and freshness.

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