1 ½ pounds boneless skinless chicken breast, thighs or breast tenders
6 thick strips smoked bacon, diced
2 TBSP mild, fruity-floral Olive Gourmet Extra Virgin Olive Oil such as Hojiblanca, Picual, or Koroneiki or Wild Mushroom-Sage infused olive oil
1 large sweet onion sliced thin
8 oz. assorted wild mushrooms, sliced (cremini mushrooms will work)
4" piece of fresh thyme, stem discarded
¼ C. Olive Gourmet 18-year Traditional Balsamic
½ C. heavy cream
Sea salt & fresh ground pepper to taste
1 pound pappardelle pasta, or wide egg noodle pasta, cooked and drained
In a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat, brown the diced bacon to a crisp. Remove the bacon from the pan and set aside. Pour off all but a tablespoon of the bacon fat. Season the chicken on both sides with salt and pepper to taste. Add the EVOO to the pan, place it back over the heat, and allow it to heat for a minute over medium-high heat.
Sauté the chicken until golden brown on both sides, in batches if necessary. Do not over-crowd the pan. Remove the chicken to a plate and set aside.
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. Sauté for approximately three more minutes over medium high heat until the onions are slightly browned and 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 with sea salt and fresh ground pepper. Serve over pasta, rice, or cooked whole grains.