I love a good saucy chicken.
BUT- it must be done correctly. For one, it must be cooked properly. Overcooked, dry chicken takes me back to my college sorority days when the cooks would serve us dry, flavorless, season-less chicken. The kind where you chew, and you chew, and you chew. There's no end reward. You end up with a dry, ball of mush that you eventually force down your throat with a large gulp of water.
And then you never want to eat chicken again.
Nothing against those cooks. They were cooking for 60+ ladies. That's 60+ palettes. 60+ people who all want their chicken a different way. You try to please as many people as you can, but inevitably, some will be discontent.
I'm never content with dry chicken :-)
Secondly, the sauce that covers the chicken needs to have flavor. Lots and lots of flavor! Not too much salt. Not too much cheese. And there needs to be a large volume of it, enough for dipping if you want. I was craving a comfort meal when I made this, so I made mashed potatoes to serve on the side. I wanted enough sauce to give my mashed potatoes some flavor as well. There is no problem with the amount of sauce in this recipe- there was enough and then some.
Mission accomplished :-)
I love the mushroom-dijon sauce. The original recipe called for quite a bit of dijon, so I ended up cutting that in half. Thank goodness because the final product does taste like dijon. The hubby hates everything in the dijon flavor-family (i.e. horseradish, wasabi, dijon, radish), so I was worried that he was going to turn up his nose. Luckily, he didn't. He did remark later that it was the perfect amount of dijon- not enough to turn him off but just enough flavor for him to enjoy.
Let's get into how you make this-
Season your breasts...
Your chicken breasts that is! (insert laughing emoji here).
And get that lovely sear on those pieces of meat. After the chicken is seared, pop them in the oven until they are fully cooked. I find this usually takes 8-10 minutes after a good sear. I still depend on my handy meat thermometer to determine when chicken is done when I prepare it this way.
Once finished with the chicken, remove it from the pan and set it aside. Wipe out the pan with a paper towel, and then get to work on the sauce.
The sauce is super-simple. It's chicken broth, dijon, white wine, and a little flour.
The flour serves as the thickener of the sauce.
How could I almost forget? The sauce is also all about those mushrooms. To make the sauce, sauté the mushrooms in a teaspoon of olive oil. Once softened, add in the flour. Coat everything with the flour, and then add the broth, wine, and dijon. Cook the sauce, stirring often, until it is thickened and bubbly.
Put the chicken back in the pan, and dinner is served!
Well, almost. I still had to make those mashed potatoes I was yammering about.
This is a truly flavorful and comforting dinner. Leftovers of this are pretty darn amazing too. I had leftover sauce and mashed potatoes the next day, and yowza! I was left wishing I'd cooked more than 2 breasts :-)
I just wanted to say thank you to everyone that reached out to me after Tuesday's post. It really does help to receive kindness. I learned a while ago that you can only take things one day at a time, and that's what I try to do. I know that I'm just a little bit stronger every time I make it though a tough day. On Wednesday, the weather was sunny and almost 80º. I spent the day sitting in the garden, aerating the soil in my raised beds, herb garden, and pots. It felt wonderful. I've been feeling better since then, and woke up today feeling great.
And that's the way it goes :-)
Today, I'm working on next month's recipe redux, Banana Cake with Vanilla Bean Frosting. I'm looking forward to eating it ALL too, mwhahahaha.
Have a great weekend everyone!
Recipe adapted from: Better Homes and Gardens
Ingredients (serves 2 with extra sauce):
1 tbsp olive oil
2 boneless, skin-less chicken breasts
1 tsp olive oil
8 ounces mushrooms
1 tbsp flour
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 scant tbsp dijon mustard
1 tbsp fresh parsley, minced
hot cooked mashed potatoes (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 400º. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
2. Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper. When the skillet is hot, add chicken. Cook for 1 1/2 minutes, then flip chicken over. Cook for another 1 1/2 minutes, then remove from heat. Place pan in oven, and bake chicken for 8-10 minutes. Chicken is done when a thermometer inserted reads 160º (the chicken's temperature will raise a bit more after resting and then going in the sauce). Remove chicken from pan, and set aside.
3. Wipe pan out with a paper towel. Add 1 tsp olive oil to pan. Add mushrooms to the pan, and saute for 5-7 minutes or until browned. Add flour, stir to incorporate. When everything is coated in flour, add broth, wine, and mustard to the pan. Continue to cook, stirring often, until sauce is thickened and bubbly. Place chicken back in pan, and coat with sauce. Remove from heat.
4. Serve chicken and sauce over hot mashed potatoes, if using. Sprinkle with fresh parsley, and devour.
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