Magic Mustard Chicken

finish 2

I saw my friend Lauren’s dad making this once and I HAD to have it. I have a severe lack of “sauce knowledge”, so I am always eager to expand my repertoire. For those picking up the “Dinner in 17-and-a-half-minutes!” cookbooks, you can pump the brakes a bit on your epic quest to discover the shortest amount of time possible to cook a half way decent meal. This one is easy, doesn’t take much time, and the bulk is all done in a single pan (yowza, you mean I don’t have to go to Ikea to pick up another 6-piece set of Teflon?).

Ok, that’s a bit of a lie when you factor in sides. I never said I was a truthful lass.

Creamy Mustard Chicken

adjusted a tad from Williams-Sonoma

2 chicken breasts, cut in half lengthwise and dried with paper towels
3 T flour
2 t butter
2 t olive oil
2 shallots, minced
3/4 c wine
3/4 c heavy cream
3 T mustard (I used the Mendocino Mustard “Seeds and Suds”, because it is SO GOOD, but the original recipe calls for whole grain. Both are fantastic choices)
2 T capers
Salt and Pep

Preheat oven to 170.

In a bowl, mix together the flour and some salt and pepper. Coat the chicken thoroughly and lay aside.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat with the olive oil and butter until hot. Brown the chicken until crispy, pretty, and cooked through, about 4 minutes per side (your pieces should be fairly thin).

Remove from the pan and set on a baking tray; place in the oven to keep warm while you make the sauce. Reduce the heat in the pan to medium-low and add the shallots, using additional oil if necessary. Cook about 4 minutes, until the shallots are soft (if you like them caramelized, cook longer). Add the wine and reduce for a few minutes, until there is about 3 T of liquid.

Whisk in the cream and some more S&P, turn off the heat, and mix in the mustard and capers. Take the chicken out of the oven and spoon the sauce over. I chose to have some boiled/mashed/lumpy potatoes with mine (so tasty) and a side of asparagus.

 

And before you know it, you’ve fainted from beauty. And speaking of beauty…..

BAM! Epic cat picture.

She is totally eying the chicken. Fat chance, my fluffy friend.

Nom!

Hungarian Goulash to the rescue!

Hello, all. Being busy is never a solid excuse, but I’m going to go ahead and use it to explain my lack of noms the last couple of months. Let’s not dwell on the negative, though! Here we are, friends forever, food to be eaten, love to be shared.

My grandma used to make the most killer goulash when we were kids, complete with buttery egg noodles and a tall glass of ice cold…milk. I’ve since retired the milk component, and for this meal the egg noodles got the heave-ho as well, but the basic goulash brings back so many memories I nearly teared up with joy during the meat-flouring process.

Goulash is basically a spicy, paprika-y stew that you typically serve over egg noodles and snarf down with rage-blackout like enthusiasm. My aunt gave me the secret ingredient from good ole grandma, so the final product was insanely delicious.

A do a lot of Sunday cooking preparation for the week and this was an excellent choice. It saves well and can be served with rice, noodles, polenta, etc. I bet it would even be tasty shredded and put in a lavosh wrap! It’s very easy to make and simmers on it’s own for a good while, so it is pretty down-to-earth recipe to attempt.

I adapted the recipe from this one and my aunt’s rendition of G-ma’s.

Here’s what you’ll need:

Vegetable or canola oil

3 onions, sliced

2 heaping T sweet paprika

2 t salt

1/2 t pepper

1 t garlic, freshly chopped or in powder form

2 T flour

3 pounds stew beef, patted dry

1 6-oz can tomato paste

1.5 c V8 juice (secret ingredient! shazam!)

1 c red wine

an extra teaspoon of paprika

Heat some of the oil in your fancy dutch oven until they are soft but not yet brown. When they’re ready, remove them from the pot and set aside. You can do this recipe in a crock pot, which means throwing it all in and letting it simmer for about 9 hours. I like doing it on the stove to get that nice crust on the meat, which is just so darn tasty.

In the meantime, put the salt, pepper, paprika, flour, and garlic in a large ziplock bag with the dry stew beef and shake it like a salt shaker. Make sure the pieces are completely coated.

Heat a bit more of the oil in the pan and brown the meat on all sides. It took me two batches and I had to reduce the pan with some wine to loosen up the browned-on bits, and add a bit more oil to the pan in between batches.

Reduce the pan a bit more with some of the wine, then add everything to the pot: the onions, browned meat, V8 juice, tomato paste, rest of the wine, and the last teaspoon of paprika.

Simmer for a couple of hours, or until the meat is tender. I took many, many taste tests from this because it was the juiciest, most flavorful pile of amazing I’d had in awhile. I mean LOOK at it, isn’t it a beaut??

Oh, and I threw in some broccoli at the last minute to healthy-it up a bit. It was a delightful addition.

Oh yea. Check out that angle. Mmhmm.

Make it and thank me later!

Nom