Sunday, January 5, 2014

Mushroom Teriyaki Chicken and Grocery Cart Snooping

It’s true.  I am a grocery cart snoop.  I confess that I love to look in other peoples grocery carts to see what new and interesting treasures they found.  I have meddled my way into a plethora of new food items and awesome recipes from friends and acquaintances in the grocery store.  It always seems to take me longer than most to do my weekly/daily/hourly grocery shopping – it’s not just a “find the items on the list” excursion, a trip to the store can be a social and culinary adventure.  I’m sure there’s turnabout too – hmmm what does Sharon Matten have in her cart today?  What is she making for Shabbat this week…and why does she, a pastry chef, have a cake mix in her grocery cart???!!  FROZEN PIZZA??  Maccaroni & Cheese MIX??? You mean she doesn’t make everything from scratch???  You mean Sharon Matten is a mortal human just like the rest of us??  Shocking!!

Anyway, I really do get some of my best recipe ideas from friends while grocery cart snooping.  I was recently in Romanian Kosher buying some awesome meat products when I ran into my dear friend and neighbor Shoshi.  As usual I checked out her shopping cart and saw some pretty fabulous looking, thin steaks.  “So Shoshi, what do you do with those steaks?” I asked.  “Oh my goodness,” she answered.  “My family loves these.  My daughter has a great recipe for them and it’s super easy.”   Well, she had me at “family loves these”, and ”super easy” clinched the deal!!  I had her text the recipe to me, and tried it out for one of our Friday night Shabbat meals.  Basically, you sauté thinly sliced onions and mushrooms, and place them on the bottom of a pan. Then you brown the steaks, place them on top of the onions and mushrooms, cover them with Mikee’s sesame teriyaki sauce and bake for a while.  Super easy!  I was so happy with how mine turned out I even took a picture and texted it to Shoshi!  The steaks were good, but kind of salty from the sauce and I probably should have baked them for a little less time.  The family liked the basic idea of the recipe, and they loved the sautéd mushrooms, but I knew I was going to have to try again.  I do think the recipe was fine – it was probably my execution that was off.

A few weeks later I bought another thicker piece of roast.  I followed the same basic recipe that I did for the steaks and used a different type of teriyaki sauce and less of it.  The result was way better, and Dear Son suggested making the meat with the mushrooms and onions on top.  I stored that one away for later use.
So, this week I was in the grocery Shabbat 5 hours before Shabbat store trying to figure out what to make for.  Have you noticed that chicken has gotten super expensive?  What’s up with that?  What are they feeding those chickens – gourmet chicken feed?   Are the chickens living in poultry penthouses?  In any event the only chicken that was budgetary friendly was boneless, skinless chicken breasts.  I bought two packages and on impulse decided to try to make the cutlets using the sautéd onion, mushroom and teriyaki method that Shoshi had recommended for the steaks.  Since I’ve become a GFE (gluten free eater) I decided to try to make them gluten-free, and bought some gluten-free teriyaki sauce too.

Gorgeous, aromatic, delicious!
Once home, I thinly sliced some wonderful sweet onions and sautéd them in some olive oil with some crushed garlic.  Once they were caramelized I added a pound of thinly sliced crimini/baby portabella mushrooms and a pound of thinly sliced small/medium sized white mushrooms, sautéd them until all the liquid was absorbed, and transferred them to another container to use later.  I then removed the tenders from the chicken (I made chicken fingers from those later), coated the chicken pieces in corn starch, and browned them in the same skillet I had made the onions and mushrooms in.  Although I normally cut chicken cutlets in half to make two thin cutlets I didn’t this time. I was afraid that if the cutlets were too thin they would dry out and taste like salty sawdust.  I made the cutlets in batches and set them on a foil lined, greased baking sheet as they finished browning.  Once they were all done I spooned the reserved onions and mushrooms over the chicken (taking into account Dear Son’s suggestion),  drizzled a cup of GFE teriyaki sauce over the onions and mushrooms, and baked the whole thing for 30 minutes.  The chicken was fast to make…not quite as fast as the steaks were due to the time it took to brown all the cutlets, but still pretty speedy (it had to be – I didn’t leave myself all that much time!). 

Gorgeous, aromatic, delicious!  The cutlets were moist, flavorful, and covered with teriyaki infused mushrooms….mmmmmmmmmmmmmm!  The decision to leave the cutlets thicker was a good one. They were fabulous for Shabbat lunch the next day as the cutlets had even more time to absorb the melded flavors.  Although most of us loved the Mushroom and Teriyaki Chicken a small number of the more unadventurous Shabbat guests still would have liked a little less teriyaki sauce on the chicken.  If you are one of those ( ;-) ) you could easily add half the teriyaki sauce and the recipe would still be great. 

Happy for our Shabbat guests, but sad for me there weren’t a lot of leftovers for me to eat during the week.  I guess I should really be happy that the recipe was a success!  Happy but hungry!!!  I suppose with the weather being arctic here in Chicago I’ll be able to take some time to come up with some warm, comforting, hearty, winter recipes to sate my hunger and share with you!

Stay warm and Happy 2014!!

Mushroom and Teriyaki Chicken
(recipe can be halved…but why would you want to?!)
12 boneless skinless chicken cutlets, tenders removed
1 cup corn starch
3 tablespoons canola oil
4 medium sweet onions, halved and very thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, crushed (I used 2 frozen garlic cubes)
1 pound crimini/baby bella mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 pound white small/medium mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 cup teriyaki sauce (can use ½ cup for a milder flavor)
¼ cup canola oil for browning, plus additional oil if necessary
Nonstick vegetable spray

Line a large baking sheet with foil.  Spray with nonstick vegetable spray.  Set aside. 

Preheat oven to 350° F.

Heat the canola oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.  Add the onions and garlic to the oil and sauté until the onions are caramelized.  Add the sliced mushrooms and sauté until nearly all the liquid is absorbed.  Transfer the mushrooms and onions to another container.  Set aside.

Place corn starch in a large bowl or dish.  Coat the chicken cutlets in the starch, shaking off excess.  Set aside.  Heat the remaining ¼ cup of canola oil in the skillet.  Place several cutlets in the hot oil and cook until browned, but not cooked through, on each side.  Place the browned cutlets on the prepared baking sheet.  Repeat with remaining cutlets. 

Evenly cover the browned chicken cutlets with the onion and mushrooms.  Drizzle teriyaki sauce over the chicken.  Bake uncovered for 30 minutes until the cutlets are cooked through.  Serve warm.

Note: To make this chicken gluten free use gluten free teriyaki sauce.  This recipe can be made for Passover as well substituting potato starch for the corn starch.

 Sauté the thinly sliced onions...
Don't forget the crushed garlic!
 Slice the mushrooms...
That's a LOT of mushrooms!!
  Sauté onions until caramelized...
 Add the mushrooms and sauté until nearly all 
the liquid is nearly all absorbed...
Get the corn starch ready and dredge the chicken 
in the starch...
 Heat the rest of the oil in the skillet...
 Brown the chicken on both sides...
 So pretty! Can't wait for the mushrooms!!!
 Top the cutlets with the onions & mushrooms,
then drizzle with the teriyaki sauce...
 Bake for 30 minutes....
 Gorgeous, aromatic, delicious!

Here is the beef I made...
Thanks Shoshi!!!

Kosher Everyday is dedicated to the memory of my father
Dr. Theodore Saltzberg - Tuvia Ben Nachum Z”L
May his memory be for a blessing - Yihi zichro baruch.

Look for additional information about Edible Experience Kosher Everyday at,, Mishpacha Magazine’s Kosher Inspired Magazine,
The Chicago Tribune Syndication,
 or on Facebook at Edible Experience by Sharon Matten.

These recipes are for sole, personal use of visitors to Sharon Matten -Edible Experience Kosher Everyday. Edible Experience Kosher Everyday recipes are for your enjoyment but are not to be posted or reprinted without express permission from Sharon Matten. Thank you!!