Serves 8

Chicken breasts simmered in a sauce taste great. But the problem is that chicken breasts quickly overcook whether they’re cooked from scratch that evening or reheated. On the other hand, chicken thigh meat is richer tasting and higher in fat. It tastes even better cooked a day in advance and gently reheated, which is great since this easy recipe takes about 1 hour to complete.

  • 1 pounds firm mushrooms (shiitake, portabello, cremini)
  • 12 organic chicken thighs, boned and skinned by the market
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup white flour
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 6 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 3 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 2 teaspoons tomato paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon Asian chili sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano or thyme leaves
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream, optional
  • 1/3 cup chopped parsley

If using shiitake or portabello, trim off and discard the stems. Cut the mushrooms into thin slices. Cut each chicken thigh into half. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, then coat with a thin dusting of flour. Place a deep 12-inch sauté pan over medium-high heat. When hot, add the olive oil. When hot, add the chicken. Cook the chicken, stirring often, until it is browned on all sides. Remove the chicken with a slotted spoon. Add the mushrooms and garlic. Reduce the heat to medium, and cook, stirring occasionally until the mushrooms wilt, about 8 minutes. Meanwhile, combine the wine, broth, oyster sauce, tomato paste, chili, sugar, and thyme. When the mushrooms wilt, return the chicken to the pan and add the wine mixture. Cover, and simmer over lowest heat until the chicken is very tender, about 20 minutes. Cool. Can be done to this point up to 24 hours before cooking, with all food refrigerated.

Cooking: Bring to a simmer. Taste and adjust seasonings, especially for salt. Stir in cream. Transfer to a heated platter, sprinkle with parsley, and serve family style, or serve on dinner plates.

Menu ideas: Appetizers: Spicy Marinated Mussels; Melon Slices Wrapped in Prosciutto. With the entrée serve Oven Fries. Salad course: Classic Tuscan Salad. Dessert: Dense Chocolate Brownies with vanilla ice cream.