WEDNESDAY DINNER: Chicken with Mustard

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Some things are going to change in the article formatting when it comes to recipe posts. I’m going to stop asking the question about whether I’m going to use a recipe again because, let’s be honest, I almost always say yes, and I almost always don’t use it again. Over the past two years, I have rarely cooked the same thing more than once. This, I think, is good because we are always eating something different here, but in terms of the article question, I’m not really telling the truth.

The question of what The Wife said is also going away. This is not because I don’t value what she thinks (obviously I do), but it comes down to two things:

  1. The Kid, now four and one-half years old, dominates the conversation at dinner. We don’t actually get around to discussing what she thinks about dinner.
  2. And, if she does offer it up, I forget about it. I cooked this for dinner during the full week prior to Thanksgiving. We’ve discussed/debated/argued about/ignored 50 other topics in the space of time it takes me to write a dinner recipe.

I’m going to tinker with things until I’m comfortable with it. So, until then, please excuse the inconsistency.

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WHAT WORKED: Boneless, skinless chicken thighs from Costco at $1.99 per pound. That’s about $3 per pound less than Wegmans. If I was braising the thighs, I would go bone-in. For pan roasting, nah, boneless are fine.

WHAT DIDN’T: I thought I had coarse-grain Dijon mustard in my fridge, but I did not. I don’t think I lost anything here in terms of flavor, but I do like the texture of the grainy mustard. If you can get your hands on some, do so.

EASE OF PREPARATION: I’d say medium. There are a lot of ingredients here, which could be intimidating. Otherwise, your biggest concern is not burning the chicken.

BEST FOR: A quiet weekend dinner in or, if you move quickly, you can easily do this in the space of an hour after getting home from work.

SERVE WITH: I made a basic orzotto, but this would go with a rice pilaf or a small pasta like farfalle or orecchiette. 

Chicken with Mustard
Adapted lightly from the original at Seasons & Suppers

  • 1/3 cup Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 tsp. sweet or smoked paprika
  • 1/4 tsp. sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 6 chicken thighs (either boneless/skinless or bone-in/skin-on)
  • 1/2 cup diced pancetta
  • 1 small onion, finely diced
  • 1/2 tsp. dried herbes de provence
  • 3/4 cup white wine
  • 2 Tbsp. grainy mustard
  • 2-3 Tbsp. creme fraiche or heavy cream

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Whisk together the first four ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Add the chicken pieces and turn in the mustard blend, coating the chicken well. Set aside and let stand at room temperature.

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Using a large covered saute pan or Dutch oven, cook the pancetta over high heat, stirring to brown evenly and render the fat. Using a spatula or slotted spoon, transfer the pancetta to a bowl and set aside. Add the onion to the pan and saute in the grease, cooking until soft, about 3 to 5 minutes. Don’t let the onions burn. After about one minute of cooking, stir in the herbes de provence. Using the same spatula or spoon, transfer the onion to the bacon bowl.

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Add a splash of olive oil to the pan (if necessary) and add the chicken to the pan. Reduce the heat to medium-high and brown each side. Transfer to a large plate.

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Deglaze the pan with white wine, using a large wooden spoon to scrape any brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Return the bacon and onions to the pan, followed by the chicken. Cover the pan, and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

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Transfer the chicken pieces to a serving plate. With a flat whisk or wooden spoon, stir in the grainy mustard and creme fraiche. Continue stirring until heated through. Spoon the sauce over the chicken and serve hot.

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