A few weeks ago I tossed well aged chicken manure onto our vegetable garden. Today as I tilled it, I was happy to see fat worms wiggly through. A simple country pleasure.
To top that off, my neighbor Liz stopped by with her toddlers, Ollie and Calvin. Yes, they kept their distance, though it was hard for those little ones not to run right up to say hello.
The boys played in the sandbox, checked the chickens out and then they went walking back home. That, too, brought a smile.
Maybe something simple in your life was magnified this week, as well. Savoring the little things is a benefit of this “sheltering in place,” don’t you think?
Anyway, by the time the garden was tilled supper was on my mind. I made a cooking school favorite. Originally from friend and cooking expert Carol Tabone, this chicken with mustard sauce is not only easy, it’s out of the ordinary and so yummy. A way to elevate the chicken we all seem to have so much of.
Chicken moutard (chicken with mustard sauce)
This calls for whipping cream and white wine. Worth a trip to the grocery.
Whipping cream can be frozen — just whisk it after thawing.
The wine can be any white or even Rose or white Zinfandel. In this day and age, no use getting picky. This is my slight adaptation to Carol’s recipe.
About 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts (4 breasts)
Salt and pepper
Butter and olive oil for sautéing
2/3 cup white wine, dry wine if you have it (see note above)
1/4 cup finely chopped shallots, or red or sweet onion
1 cup whipping cream
2 nice tablespoons Dijon mustard (or country mustard)
Parmesan cheese for garnish
Pound out chicken. This makes them all the same thickness and easier to cook.
Season with salt and pepper.
Heat butter and oil and sauté until— golden brown and cooked. Remove from pan and keep warm.
Pour off some of the fat that remains. Deglaze pan with wine and reduce by half.
Add shallots and 3/4 cup of the cream and reduce until nicely thickened (but not too much).
Dilute mustard with rest of cream and whisk into sauce. Pour in any juices from chicken. Heat through but don’t boil.
Place chicken on plate, nap with the sauce and sprinkle with Parmesan.
Gilding the lily: A shower of chopped parsley or a sprinkling of chives is nice on top.
I served it on a bed of spinach with orzo.
Why a combo of butter and olive oil?
Butter adds flavor but has a low smoke point; oil has a higher smoke point, keeping butter from burning.
Unsalted or salted butter — does it matter?
Not in this recipe since you are adjusting the seasonings.
Unsalted butter doesn’t keep as long as salted since salt acts as a preservative.
I freeze extra unsalted butter.
Just means to stir a liquid into brown bits to get them off bottom of pan. These bits are called a “fond”.