For those of you who have read my blog you know that chicken is my favorite. I cannot think of any way you can make chicken that I wouldn’t like. And since my husband is eating less and less red meat these days, my new recipes tend to center around chicken, turkey, fish, pasta and ground beef. You won’t hear me complain.
So I am always on the lookout for new chicken recipes and I found one on, yes you know, Pinterest and thought I’d try it. I’ve experimented with various honey mustard chicken recipes in the past but I liked this one because it suggested doing a honey mustard rub on the chicken as well as baking it in a honey mustard sauce. Needless to say, when my husband says “this one’s a keeper” I know this has been the best recipe yet.
Recipe Rating – A++ – this recipe is so flavorful and the sauce is just divine, great for crusty bread dipping. It isn’t difficult to make and is now one of my all time favorite ways of making chicken.
Lesson Learned 1 – Chicken thighs or breasts: The original recipe called for using chicken thighs. My husband is not a big fan of chicken thighs (I know, he’s probably the only one in the world). So I decided to make this with boneless breasts. It turned out perfectly. Most people shy away from cooking with chicken breasts. They think they are too dry. But the problem really is that most people cook chicken breasts far too long. I cooked mine at 375 for 25 minutes and they were moist and tender (I also kept the skin on the breasts). Chicken breasts lend themselves well to this recipe as the sauce gives them tremendous flavor. So don’t shy away from using chicken breasts – just be careful not to over cook them.
Lesson Learned 2: Buy chicken breasts with the rib meat attached and bone them yourself: I’ve found that I can save money buy purchasing chicken breasts with the ribs attached and bone them myself. It is a little bit of work but I think it’s worth it. Plus it’s getting harder and harder to find boneless chicken breasts with the skin still on them. I like to cook them with the skin on as I think that adds moistness and flavor. You don’t have to eat the skin, but I think it’s a great flavor enhancer in the cooking process. Just be careful when boning the breast. You want to finish with all of your fingers. The main thing is to use a very sharp boning knife. If you don’t have one then don’t do this. You’ll wind up either cutting yourself of getting frustrated because the process is taking to long. Sections of the ribs lie very close to the meat and you need to have a knife that can easily slice between the marrow and meat. Believe me, the only way to do this is with a high quality, very sharp boning knife.
Lesson Learned 3 – Let the meat marinate with the mustard rub on it for at least an hour: The skin and breast meet will be slippery so the rub will slide around on you. Get as much as you can on both sides and then cover it with plastic wrap and let it marinate in the refrigerator for at least an hour. As soon as you brown the meat the rub will come off. Don’t worry, it’s just more flavoring for the sauce.
Lesson Learned 4: The best sauce ever: I’ve made different versions of honey mustard sauces but I have to say I prefer this one. I like it because it has a nice balance of mustard and honey and also uses a little chicken stock. The stock tempers the sauce thickening process. A sauce made with honey that is not diluted in this manner can stick to the pan and cause a baked-on mess. This sauce is so good that you’ll want to eat it with a spoon or dunk your bread in it. I also recommend using a seasoned cast iron pan when making this for a variety of reasons. First, cast iron is one of the best conductors of even heat. It takes cast iron a little longer to heat up but it holds heat well and it provides even heat. Second, a well seasoned cast iron pan is even better than a non-stick pan and that’s a plus when cooking with a honey based sauce. Third, cast iron moves seamlessly from stove to oven and I really like that. Some people treasure their cast iron pans so much they hand them down through generations. Yes, the pans are heavy, but they are relatively inexpensive (unless you invest in enameled cast iron like Le Creuset) and are oh so worth it!
I know I will be making this recipe often, it’s that good. This time I served it with rice and a steamed vegetable medley, but this would also be great with a baked potato and a vegetable of your choice. I can’t wait to make this again. I really hope you try it!
To Die For Honey Mustard Chicken
2 boneless chicken breasts, skin on preferred (you can use chicken thighs)
3 Tbs. Dijon mustard
3 Tbs. whole grain mustard
3 Tbs. honey or more to taste
3 Tbs. chicken stock
1 Tbs. olive oil
2-3 rosemary sprigs
INGREDIENTS FOR THE RUB:
1 Tbs. olive oil
1 Tbs. whole grain mustard
salt and pepper to taste
Mix together ingredients for the rub. Rub both side of the chicken breast with the mixture. Cover with plastic wrap and let the chicken marinate in the refrigerator for at least one hour.
Preheat oven to 375. In a large bowl whisk together the mustards, honey and chicken stock. Add additional chicken stock to taste and until the sauce reaches the desired consistency. Set aside.
Heat a cast iron pan. Add oil and sear both sides of the chicken breast until golden brown, approximately 2-3 minutes per side. Add mustard sauce, sprinkle with rosemary. Place in oven and roast until the chicken is cooked through – approximately 25 – 30 minutes.
Spoon sauce over chicken when serving.