1/2 pound orzo pasta
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (6 ounces each)
2 tablespoons butter
12 crimini or baby portobello mushrooms, sliced
12 shitake mushrooms, stems removed and sliced
12 white mushrooms, sliced
2 large cloves garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon thyme leaves (a couple of sprigs), chopped
2 large shallots, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar (eyeball it)
3 tablespoons heavy cream or half-and-half
1/4 cup chopped flat leaf parsley (a generous handful)
Heat a large pot of water to a boil. Salt the water and add the orzo pasta. Cook to al dente.
Pre-heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and add the EVOO, about two turns of the pan. Season the chicken liberally with salt and pepper and add it to the hot skillet. Cook the chicken for 5-6 minutes on each side. Remove the chicken from the pan and cover with foil to keep warm.
Return the skillet to the heat; turn the heat back a bit and add the butter. Once the butter melts, add the mushrooms and brown, stirring occasionally, about 4-5 minutes. Once the mushrooms are brown, season with salt and pepper; add the garlic, thyme and shallots. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 2 minutes, or until the shallots are wilted. Sprinkle the flour into the pan and cook for two minutes more. Whisk in the stock, balsamic vinegar and the cream. Turn the heat up to high and simmer for about 2 minutes, or until thickened. Slice the chicken on an angle. Add the parsley and the chicken back to the skillet to heat up, about 1 minute.
To serve, pile the orzo on dinner plates and top with the sliced chicken and sauce.