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Monday, February 28, 2011

Mustard Chicken Unlimited

I have recently bought Jamie's 30 Minute Meals and I must say, I love it. Like most trademark books by Jamie, this recent addition to my collection of cookery books gives me many ideas and makes cooking an effortless experience. You may have heard about the controversy regarding the "30 minutes" part and I don't want to dwell on that, as I haven't yet cooked a whole menu from the book to dare Jamie and put him to the test. Suffice to say, your skills will be honed by long practice, and needless to say, by trials and (a few too many) errors. I fell in love with the Mustard Chicken from page 98 and I've cooked it three times so far: twice for Mike and myself, and once for guests. 

One of the things I love about Jamie's books is that once you understand the principles of a dish, you can take it from there, and be creative.  You can experiment with herbs, spices and seeds, and basically revamp the recipe to suit your tastes, the occasion you cook for, the ingredients you have in the fridge, the time at your disposal, or your budget. 

This is the perfect dish if you slow cook it to enjoy with the family and friends, or if you want to have a leisurely dinner. I used chicken breasts, cut in halves or in strips. I marinated the breast in dry white wine, herbs (rosemary, basil, thyme), turmeric, crushed mustard & coriander seeds, fresh garlic, half a teaspoon of honey, Dijon mustard, and mustard-with-honey. Whenever I marinate meat, I leave it aside for at least a couple of hours to allow all the flavours to mix and infuse the meat.

I put the chicken in an oven-proof dish, covered with aluminium foil and baked at 150 degrees for 100 minutes (more or less). As you know, if you are not careful, chicken breast can get very dry when cooked in the oven, so I set the oven on a lower heat, and every 15 minutes, I rolled the chicken over. The natural juices trickled out of the chicken and blended with the wine so it didn't stick to the dish.

After one hour I removed the foil and let the chicken brown. 

In the meantime I made the mustard sauce to bathe the chicken in. I used 1 cup of single cream, 1 spoon of crushed mustard, turmeric, herbs, a shake of sumac, 1 tsp Dijon mustard, 1/2 tsp honey, some balsamic vinegar, a small cube of chicken stock, a pinch of salt, a small bunch of either fresh chives or spring onions - finely choppedCover the chicken in this cream-and-mustard sauce and let it bubble for 10 minutes before taking the chicken out of the oven.

The chicken will be as tender as a rose and will melt in your mouth. 

But if you don't have time to spare and want just a quick meal, I would suggest you marinate the chicken as above, cut it in strips, flatten the pieces using a kitchen meat hammer, and grill for a healthy lunch or dinner. 

I have done so earlier today and basically revamped the whole dish. I grilled the chicken and I used the cream & mustard sauce separately as a dip.

Mustard Chicken Sandwich with Baby Bean Sprouts & Citrus

Use fresh brown bread, spread the mustard cream on the slice of bread to moisten it and place the chicken on top. Sprinkle chopped spring onions and radishes, tiny mustard seeds and sumac (to decorate the plate), a pinch of salt, and a few drips of extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar. I can assure you, you'll have the nicest lunch/dinner ever. :) 

Mike's sandwich

fresh baby bean sprouts

the heart of a lettuce

the oranges were slightly sour and they balanced the sweetness of honey


1 comment:

  1. Seems so easy & yum. I'll check out the recipes in the book again, thanks to you :)
    I'll try this chicken for my kids. It should work with turkey breast as well...