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.

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