Stovetop Chicken in Lemon Cream

I made up this recipe by chance this weekend when trying to think of something to make my in-laws for dinner after spending the weekend moving into a new house. They've been without a full kitchen for over a year, so I wanted it to be something extra delicious.   However, I was staying at my sister in-laws and she wanted to use ingredients she already had in her refrigerator -- chicken, lemons, cream and a few vegetables.  I ended up with a dish that got rave reviews from everyone at the table, including the picky eaters. I'm not kidding when I say that there were no remnants on any of the plates, once we had finished eating.  Definitely a new family favorite.

1 stick butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
8 bone-in chicken thighs, skin removed
1 leek, white part only chopped fine
1 carrot chopped fine
1 stalk celery chopped fine
1 clove garlic minced fine
7 mushrooms sliced
Juice of two small lemons, about 1/3 cup
1 teaspoon chicken flavor Better Than Bullion (you can find it near the chicken stock)
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/4 cup water

In a Zip Lock bag, combine the flour, salt and pepper.  Place a few pieces of chicken in the bag at a time and shake to coat. 

In a small bowl, whisk together the cream, bullion, water and lemon.  Set aside. 

In a large skillet, with fairly deep sides, melt 1/2 stick of butter with 1 tablespoon oil over medium heat. Place the chicken in the skillet and brown on both sides. 

While the chicken is browning, use another skillet and melt the remaining 1/2 stick of butter over medium heat. Place all of the vegetables and the garlic in pan.     Season with salt and pepper and sauté, stirring occasionally  until the vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes.   

When all of the chicken has finished browning, dump the sauted vegetables in with the chicken.  Pour the cream mixture into the pan and stir to combine.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.   Place a lid over the pan and cook over medium low heat for about 20 minutes until the chicken is tender and no longer pink near the bone. You will have to cut into a piece to determine doneness.   If the sauce is too thick add water a table spoon at a time to thin to a consistency like gravy.

To serve, transfer the chicken to a platter and the sauce into a bowl with a ladle.  The sauce is delicious spooned over a side dish of quinoa, wild rice or mashed potatoes.

Serves 8

Warning:  There will be no leftovers.

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