Friday, February 18, 2011

Chicken with Mustard and Mushrooms

Invented this tonight, and we are two happy happy people having eaten it.  Tangy and uplifting, with a brightness from fresh herbs, but grounded to the earth from the mushrooms...this dish has it all.  It also has flexibility.  Don't have dill?  Use some thyme.  Don't like dark meat? We like chicken thighs, but you can make this with whatever chicken parts you like, although if using breasts, you will likely need to lower the simmer time, and make sure they don't dry out.  You could also cut up a whole chicken and multiply the sauce by 3, and make this for a crowd.  For speed's sake I usually serve dishes like this over a quick cooking pasta (mini farfalle cook in 7 minutes), but you can serve this easily over rice or cous cous or quinoa, see my point.  By cooking a significant amount of mushrooms in the sauce, you also gain a vegetable serving without an extra pan or effort.

The important components to this dish, aside from buying quality chicken from a responsible source, are the choice of mustard, the choice of wine and using fresh herbs to finish the dish.  The mustard I use is one of my favorite go-tos: Raye's Winter Garden.  This is a stone ground brown mustard with dill, garlic and celery.  To echo the dill, I used fresh dill as my finishing herb.  If you use a dijon-style mustard, you might prefer thyme as your finishing herb.  You have lots of flexibility here for flavor profiles.  Also remember the rule about cooking with wine:  If you wouldn't drink it, don't cook with it.  Make sure you pick a dry wine, that you enjoy the taste of.

Serves 2 for a light dinner (easily multiplied, although back off on the water by half when multiplying)


  • 2 large or 4 small chicken thighs, bone-in, skin on (or other chicken parts that you like)
  • flour
  • 1 1/2 TBS olive oil
  • 8 ounces white button mushrooms, quartered
  • 1 large shallot, small dice
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 1/2 TBS brown or dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup water
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 tsp chopped fresh dill (or thyme)
  • Dredge chicken thighs in flour, and season with salt and pepper.  Shake off excess flour.
  • Heat 1 TBS olive oil in large skillet over medium high heat.
  • Place chicken thighs in skillet, skin side down first, and brown deeply on both sides, and then set aside on a plate.
  • Add mushrooms to pan and cook until browned and all moisture is thrown off.
  • Add 1/2 TBS olive oil and shallot to pan, saute until shallot starts to soften.
  • Add wine, mustard and water to pan and scrape up any browned bits.
  • Return chicken to pan, skin side up, and bring sauce to a simmer.
  • Simmer for 20 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through and sauce is reduced and thickened.
  • Serve over pasta, sprinkled with fresh dill.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Breakfast Tacos

A few months ago we went out to breakfast at the Penny Cluse in Burlington, VT and I had some delightful breakfast tacos with chorizo.  Matt also talked about how his favorite breakfast used to be a breakfast burrito, so I knew I had to step up and create something to appease us both.  Breakfast tacos are a common dish these days, traditionally made with chorizo and served to staff in many restaurants around the country.  But, chorizo made with good pork isn't cheap, and so not a frequent visitor to my pantry.  But I always have quality bacon!  There's only one slice of bacon per serving here, so this isn't an unhealthy dish.  In fact, two tacos are less than 500 calories, with less than a third of those coming from fat.  There's also lots of dietary fiber and protein.  The reason I know this, is that the dish was so delicious the first time I made it, I saw it becoming a frequent visitor to our table, and I was curious if that would be wise.  A little label reading, research, and math told me we could have this any time we wanted!

The trick to this dish is how to cook the eggs so they are creamy.  No rubbery or crumbly eggs in this house!  Whether you like your eggs on the dry side or the wet side, if you cook them over very very low heat, you will have creamy, fluffy, beautiful eggs.  Eggs are mostly protein and if you cook a protein hot and fast, it will dry out too much and get tough.  You want to cook eggs slowly, stirring regularly.

Although I've been making these for a few months, I hadn't considering blogging the recipe, until my sister asked me if the recipe was on the blog, because she wanted to make them.  However, I didn't make these today, so no picture, but soon!  Meanwhile, Allegra wanted the recipe and so you get it too!  The recipe is easy to double or triple depending on how many people you have.

For two servings- two tacos each

  • 2 slices thick cut bacon, cut into bite size pieces
  • 3 eggs, beaten together well with a pinch of salt and a few grinds of fresh black pepper
  • 1/2 can drained and rinsed black beans (or other canned bean)
  • 4 taco-sized tortillas (flour or corn)
  • 0% greek yogurt
  • salsa
  • In a small non-stick pan, cook bacon over medium heat until crispy.  Remove from pan and place on a paper towel, leaving rendered fat in pan.
  • Lower the heat under the pan to the lowest level possible and add the eggs, stirring slowly and gently, but regularly to scramble the eggs and have them cook evenly.
  • Just before the eggs are done, stir in the beans, to heat through.
  • Heat the tacos in the microwave or regular oven until pliable.
  • Divide egg and bean mixture into tortillas, and sprinkle each one with 1/4 of the crisped bacon.
  • Serve with greek yogurt and salsa.