This one is a go-to easy baked chicken dish that I first enjoyed thanks to my mom’s friend Bill in the early 1990s. I loved it so much that I immediately adopted it as my own and have modified it somewhat. It was in heavy rotation for many years in my kitchen.
I remember telling a coworker about it, and she said, oh – my sister makes something like that. She calls it “bait a man” chicken. Only what I heard was “Beta Man” and I was thinking, that must have been a great frat house, where the guys made creamy baked chicken! She corrected me, and explained that her sister called it that because if you make this the first time you cook dinner for a guy, he will love it so much that he will become yours forever! (Therefore, don’t make this for just anyone.)
Here’s how you make it:
Chicken in Sour Cream Mushroom Sauce
Four boneless, skinless chicken breasts
One can of cream of mushroom soup
8-12 ounces of sour cream (half to three-quarters of the larger container)
A splash of dry white wine (optional) (but not really)
Extra mushrooms (definitely optional) (there’s already mushrooms in the soup)
Salt & pepper
1-2 tsp chopped fresh parsley, or dried (optional)
Egg noodles, or rice (4 servings) (more if you want leftovers) (hint: you want leftovers)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9×11 baking dish with cooking spray. Place chicken in a single layer in the dish and sprinkle lightly with more pepper than salt. Place pan in oven for 20 minutes to give the chicken a head start.
Meanwhile, in a bowl, mix the soup, sour cream*, and a splash of wine (maybe 1/4 cup?) until well-incorporated. Set wine aside, but keep it handy.
*Aside #1: I wrote “King Sour” on the recipe card. If memory serves, that was the brand name of (I think) a non-dairy sour “cream.” I just spent five minutes searching the internet for it, and it is nowhere to be found! I mean, nowhere. Did it even exist?? I have no idea why I wrote down King Sour versus just sour cream. I always use regular sour cream (not light – the good stuff).
Remove the chicken from the oven. Pour the soup/sour cream mixture over the chicken and spread it to cover. Put the dish back into the oven for 30-40 more minutes, until chicken is cooked through.
Aside #2: Say you don’t get home from work until after 6 and your crew is already snacking and you want this to cook faster. Don’t use big fat breasts! You can cut them horizontally into two thinner pieces, or cut into chunks or strips. In that case, I’d suggest cooking the chicken alone for 15 minutes, then another 20-30 after you cover it with the creamy stuff.
Aside #3: I wrote something on the card about adding button mushrooms, but I have never added them because, well, I don’t love mushrooms. I like the taste, but not the texture. (Don’t judge.) However, if I was going to add them, I would probably use a small can of them (drained), or some sliced fresh white mushrooms, and stir them into the creamy mixture. Or, maybe just scatter them atop the chicken before you add the creamy stuff. I can’t make these decisions for you. Do what feels right.
While magic is happening in the oven, you’ll want to pour yourself a glass of that white wine you bought “because the recipe called for it” then cook your egg noodles per the package directions. I like the big curly ones, but use the ones you like best. Drain them, then return to pan with a chunk of butter (about 2 tablespoons). Let the butter melt, then toss to coat the noodles and add about a teaspoon or so of chopped fresh (or dried) parsley and a sprinkle of ground black pepper.
Aside #4: If you don’t have egg noodles, don’t make a special trip to the grocery store just to buy them. You can use white rice, or a nice long grain & wild rice mixture. Or cooked pasta (orzo is good). Or even try quinoa or couscous! The point is, if this is the biggest problem you have all day, you are doing just fine.
To serve, refill your wine glass, then place chicken with sauce atop buttered noodles on a plate. Bask in the effusive praise you are certain to receive, and start daydreaming about honeymoon destinations, because girl, that man is yours.