Chicken, Caramelized Onions, and Wild Mushrooms Over Pappardelle Sauced With A Creamy Bacon-Thyme-Balsamic Reduction

That’s quite a title, no?  You could just shorten the name of this dish to “Nom-Nom!”.  Other descriptors include, easy, elegant, comforting, and delicious.

Ingredients
1 1/2 pounds free-range, boneless skinless chicken thighs or breast tenders.
4 thick strips smoked bacon, diced
1 large sweet onion sliced thin
8 oz. assorted wild mushrooms, sliced (cremini mushrooms will work in a pinch)
4″ piece of fresh thyme, stem discarded
1/4 cup Traditional Style Balsamic Condimento
2 tablespoons of fruity-floral Extra Virgin Olive Oil such as Hojiblanca, Picual, or Koroneiki or Wild Mushroom-Sage infused olive oil
1/2 cup heavy cream
sea salt & fresh ground pepper to taste
1 pound pappardelle pasta or wide egg noodle pasta, cooked and drained

Directions
In a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat, brown the diced bacon to a crisp.  Remove the bacon from the pan and reserve. Pour off all but a tablespoon of the bacon fat.  Season the chicken on both sides liberally with salt and pepper  Add the olive oil to the pan, place it back over the heat, and allow it to heat for a minute over medium-high heat.

Saute the chicken for a few minutes until golden brown on both sides, in batches if necessary.  Do not over-crowd the pan.  Remove the chicken to a plate and reserve.

Add the onions to the drippings in the pan.  Cook for about five minutes, stirring frequently until the onions become a soft golden brown.  Add the mushrooms.  Saute for approximately three more minutes over medium high heat until the mushrooms are browned and slightly caramelized.

Add the fresh thyme leaves and balsamic to the mushrooms and onions, de-glazing the pan by scraping up any browned bits from the bottom.  Cook to reduce for a minute.  Add the cream and stir to combine.  Add the bacon and reserved chicken.  Allow the pan to come to a simmer.  Cook for another two minutes until the chicken is cooked through and the sauce thickens.  Season generously with sea salt and fresh ground pepper.  Serve over pasta, rice, or cooked whole grains.