Chicken Dijonnaise

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Recently a friend requested my go-to, weeknight chicken recipe.  I told her about Slow-Roasted Chicken in Sweet Soy Braising Sauce, but she wanted to use chicken “pieces”, preferably boneless, skinless chicken breasts (not a whole roaster chicken).  Like most of you home cooks, I’ve prepared my share of dinners with chicken breasts, drumsticks, thighs, etc. but haven’t latched onto that one that’s made me want to keep fixing it over and over again, week after week.  So I sought out that go-to recipe…and I found it and it’s called Chicken Dijonnaise.

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For any of you cooks (or eaters) from the 80’s who were fans of The Silver Palate Cookbook, you’ll probably remember this.

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I didn’t cook in the 80’s, I left that to my mom.  She did an excellent job of providing nutritious, home-cooked meals on the table every night.  But she didn’t love cooking.  I don’t know how much I’d love cooking if I was working full-time then cooking for six people in the evening.

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She wasn’t a recipe junkie or cookbook hoarder (like her daughter), but she did own The Silver Palate Cookbook.

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My dinner memories of childhood are 7-deep (does anyone else know what that is?), chop suey, chicken ala king (for fancy nights), spaghetti and meatloaf. My mom may have fixed Chicken Dijonnaise for dinner, but probably not because I’m sure I would have remembered it.

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I re-discovered Chicken Dijonnaise in some internet top 10 chicken recipe list (one of the many articles, lists, etc. that continue to suck away my time).  Everyone raved about the delicious sauce.  But the true beauty of Chicken Dijonnaise?  It’s only four ingredients!!!  That’s right, four, 4, IV, 1111 (if you are tick marking).

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So give Chicken Dijonnaise a try and see if it becomes your go-to, all-around, workhorse, weeknight, family favorite chicken dish.

1 year ago: Spinach Bars

Chicken Dijonnaise (serves 4)

Note:  Rice and broccoli go nicely with this dish and soak up extra sauce.  If you have one type of mustard, by all means use that.  But if you have a few types, feel free to combine.  Whole-grain mustard is really nice in this dish.  Creme fraiche is similar to sour cream but it’s less sour and has a higher fat content, making it an excellent choice for sauces as it won’t curdle.

2-3 lbs (1-1.4 kg) chicken pieces, bone-in (I used half drumsticks, half thighs)

1/3 cup (80 ml) mustard (I used half Dijon and half whole-grain mustard)

Salt and pepper

1/3 cup (80 ml) vermouth or dry white wine or dry sherry

½ cup (120 grams) crème fraiche or heavy cream


Place the chicken in a medium-sized bowl and coat with mustard.  Let marinate in the refrigerator for about 3 hours.

Preheat the oven to 350°F / 175°C.  Arrange the chicken in a large baking dish (9″ x 13” or 23cm x 33cm). Scrape out any mustard remaining in the bowl and spread it evenly over the chicken. Season lightly with salt and pepper and pour the vermouth or wine around the chicken.

Bake the chicken, basting occasionally, until the chicken is done, about 1 hour.  Chicken is done when juices run clear or when white meat is at 165°F / 75°C and dark meat is at 175°F / 80°C.  If you are using a mixture of white and dark meat, remove the white meat once it’s fully cooked and continue cooking the dark meat 5-10 minutes longer, until it’s fully cooked.

Transfer the chicken pieces to a serving platter and pour the cooking juices accumulated in the baking dish into a small saucepan.  Scrape the mustard off the chicken and add it to the saucepan.  Cover the chicken to keep warm.

Cook the small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, whisk in the crème fraiche or heavy cream, and lower the heat. Simmer the sauce until it is reduced by about one-third, 5 to 10 minutes. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Taste, correct the seasoning, and spoon the sauce over the chicken.

Adapted from “The Silver Palate Cookbook” by Sheila Lukins and Julee Rosso

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