This champagne chicken recipe is fancy enough for entertaining but easy to make on a weeknight. And it’s delicious enough to make everyone want the recipe. With gorgeous dry champagne, mushrooms, cream, and fresh herbs, it’s packed with flavor.
Why You Will Love This Champagne Chicken
Elegant Flavor Profile: The combination of champagne, mushrooms, and cream creates a luxurious and sophisticated taste.
Simple Preparation: Despite its gourmet appeal, the recipe is straightforward to follow, making it accessible for any home cook.
Versatility: This dish can be served for a special occasion or as a delightful weeknight dinner, adding a touch of elegance to any meal (just like this lobster ravioli sauce).
Balanced Texture: The crispy-coated chicken contrasts beautifully with the creamy sauce and tender mushrooms, providing a delightful textural experience.
Ideal for Entertaining: It’s a showstopper for guests, yet manageable for you.
Perfect Pairing: The recipe pairs excellently with a glass of champagne or sparkling wine – use the same one you use in this recipe!
Gourmet Yet Accessible: This dish strikes a perfect balance between being a gourmet treat and a practical recipe that any level of cook can master.
Boneless, skinless chicken thighs: Provide the main protein base for the dish, offering a tender texture and deep flavor.
Cornstarch: This will help thicken the sauce.
Salt and pepper: Season the chicken, enhancing its natural flavors.
Olive oil: Used for searing the chicken, adding a subtle richness to the dish.
Butter: Adds a creamy richness and flavor depth to the chicken and the sauce.
Shallot: Imparts a mild, sweet onion flavor.
Garlic: Provides an aromatic element to enhance the overall flavor profile. I mean, who doesn’t love garlic?
Cremini mushrooms: Offer a hearty and earthy flavor, complementing the chicken and champagne.
Shiitake mushrooms: Add a unique, umami-rich flavor to the dish, complementing the cremini mushrooms. If you can’t find shiitake, that’s totally fine; just double up on the cremini.
Fresh thyme leaves: Thyme and chicken go together like PB&J.
Champagne or sparkling wine: Forms the base of the sauce, giving a luxurious and celebratory touch. Note – any sparkling wine will work here – it doesn’t have to be champagne, as that gets pricy!
Heavy cream: Creates a velvety, creamy sauce that coats the chicken and mushrooms.
Parsley: Adds a fresh finish and a pop of color to the dish as a garnish.
Zest of 1 lemon: This optional ingredient offers a zesty, citrusy note that brightens up the dish’s flavors. It also helps to cut through the fat of the cream and chicken.
Large Skillet or Pan: Used for searing the chicken and sautéing the mushrooms and aromatics. It provides ample space for even cooking.
Tongs: Essential for flipping and transferring the chicken thighs without damaging the crispy coating.
Cutting Board and Knife: Utilized for chopping the shallot, mincing garlic, and slicing mushrooms. Ensures precise and efficient prep work.
Pat the chicken thighs dry. Coat them generously with cornstarch, ensuring an even layer on all sides. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
Chop and Prepare Ingredients:
Finely chop the shallot and mince the garlic. Slice the cremini and shiitake mushrooms. Remove the leaves from the thyme stems.
Searing the Chicken:
Heat a large skillet or pan over medium-high heat. Add olive oil and butter. Let them melt and become hot.
Carefully place the coated chicken thighs in the skillet. Sear for about 3 to 4 minutes on each side or until golden brown and crispy. Use tongs to flip them. Once done, transfer the chicken to a plate and set aside.
Sautéing Aromatics and Mushrooms:
In the same skillet, add the chopped shallot and minced garlic. Sauté for about 1 to 2 minutes until fragrant and translucent.
Add the sliced cremini and shiitake mushrooms along with the fresh thyme leaves. Cook for about 5 to 7 minutes or until the mushrooms are tender and browned. Stir occasionally.
Deglazing with Champagne:
Pour in the champagne or sparkling wine. Let it simmer and reduce by half. This should take about 5 to 7 minutes.
Optional: Adding Lemon Zest (if using):
If you’re opting for the zesty kick, finely grate the zest of 1 lemon and add it to the skillet. Stir to incorporate the zest.
Creating the Creamy Sauce:
Pour in the heavy cream. Stir well to combine all the ingredients.
Return Chicken to the Pan:
Gently place the seared chicken thighs back into the skillet. Spoon some of the sauce over the top.
Simmering and Finishing:
Let the chicken simmer in the sauce for about 5-7 minutes or until the chicken is fully cooked and the sauce has thickened slightly.
Garnish and Serve:
Sprinkle with freshly chopped parsley for a burst of color and flavor.
For a Gluten-Free Version: Substitute cornstarch with gluten-free flour or a gluten-free cornstarch alternative for coating the chicken.
For a Dairy-Free Version: Replace butter with a dairy-free margarine or olive oil for searing the chicken. Use a dairy-free heavy cream alternative made from coconut milk or almond milk.
For a Keto-Friendly Version: Replace the cornstarch with almond or coconut flour for a low-carb coating on the chicken. Opt for a keto-friendly dry white wine or a sparkling wine with lower sugar content.
For a Vegan Version: Replace the chicken thighs with plant-based protein options like tofu, tempeh, or seitan. Use a plant-based heavy cream alternative made from coconut or cashews.
For a Low-Carb Version: Substitute the champagne or sparkling wine with a dry white wine with a lower sugar content.
This recipe is really versatile – you can make it your own. Here’s some inspo to get you started.
Citrus Twist: Add a burst of citrus flavor by incorporating orange or grapefruit zest along with the lemon for a vibrant twist.
Herb Infusion: Experiment with different herbs like rosemary, sage, or tarragon to impart distinct aromatic profiles to the dish.
Nutty Crunch: Enhance the texture by sprinkling toasted pine nuts, slivered almonds, or crushed walnuts over the finished dish.
Creamy Mustard Sauce: Blend Dijon or whole-grain mustard into the cream sauce for a tangy and slightly spicy kick.
Mediterranean Delight: Include ingredients like sun-dried tomatoes, Kalamata olives, and capers for a Mediterranean-inspired flavor profile.
To Store: Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
To Reheat: Rewarm gently in the microwave or on the stovetop with a splash of chicken stock or water to keep it from drying out.
To Freeze: Place leftovers in an airtight freezer-safe storage container in the freezer for up to 2 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
Herb-Infused Rice: Serve over a bed of fragrant jasmine or basmati rice cooked with a medley of fresh herbs like parsley, dill, and chives.
Truffle Mashed Potatoes: Creamy mashed potatoes with truffle flavor would provide a hearty and comforting base for the dish – one that pairs perfectly with the mushrooms in the chicken.
Steamed Asparagus Bundles: Wrap tender asparagus spears in prosciutto and steam them for an elegant side.
Mixed Green Salad: A light, refreshing salad with a lemon vinaigrette, cherry tomatoes, and avocado adds a vibrant contrast.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I use bone-in chicken thighs instead?
Absolutely! Bone-in thighs can be used, but adjust the cooking time to ensure they cook through.
Can I use chicken breasts instead?
Yes, definitely. If you use boneless, skinless chicken breasts and slice them in half horizontally, you should be able to do them in the same cooking time.
Can I prepare this recipe in advance for a dinner party?
Yes, you can! Sear the chicken and prepare the sauce ahead of time. Finish cooking the chicken just before serving.
What can I do if the sauce is too thin?
You can simmer it a bit longer to thicken it or make a cornstarch slurry (cornstarch mixed with water) and stir it into the sauce.
Champagne chicken is definitely going to be going in your regular rotation once you try it. The deep, savory flavor, easy prep, and quick cook time are a winning combo!
- 1 Large Skillet or Pan
- 1 Tongs
- 1 Cutting Board and Knife
- 4 boneless skinless chicken thighs
- Cornstarch for coating
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 2 Tablespoons butter
- 1 shallot chopped
- 2 Cloves garlic minced
- 1 Cup cremini mushrooms sliced
- 1 Cup shiitake mushrooms sliced
- 1 Teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
- 1 Cup champagne or sparkling wine
- 1/4 Cup heavy cream
- parsley chopped, for garnish
- Zest of 1 lemon optional
- Coat each chicken thigh in cornstarch, then season with salt and pepper.
- In a large skillet, heat olive oil and butter over medium-high heat.
- Sear the chicken until golden brown on both sides, then transfer to a plate and set aside.
- In the same skillet, add chopped shallots and minced garlic. Sauté until fragrant and translucent.
- Add sliced cremini and shiitake mushrooms, along with fresh thyme leaves. Cook until mushrooms are tender.
- Pour in the champagne or sparkling wine and let it simmer, reducing by half.
- Optional: Add lemon zest for a zesty kick.
- Stir in the heavy cream and return the chicken to the skillet. Simmer until chicken is cooked through.
- Garnish with chopped parsley.
*Nutritional information is a calculated guesstimate. Please note that this can change with different brands and modifications you may make to the recipe. For the most accurate information, use a nutritional calculator with the exact brands and measurements you’re using with each recipe.
Cara is the founder of The Gourmet Bon Vivant, a food blog that aims to get you to stretch your limits in the kitchen. Whether it’s a new ingredient or cooking technique, TGBV is here to help you make restaurant quality, gourmet meals from the comfort of your own home (and impress your friends and family while doing it. Cara has been featured in Fox News, Martha Stewart, Yahoo and more. A former broadcast journalist, she’s just as comfortable in front of the camera as she is behind it.