Saturday, September 30, 2017

Creamy French Mustard Chicken

I am glad to see September go. It's typically a month I love, but this year I hate it. I had to say goodbye to a very dear friend. It was a friendship spanning 47 years. I met Taffy when she was still in high school. But the friendship was not just for me. Taffy married my best friend. And Taffy's best friend is now my wife. I hang out at Taffy's son's gym all week long. I am the godfather to her daughter Alison. And my wife is godmother to her daughter Ashley. She was connected to my life in 360 degrees. I mourn her. I miss her. And life will never be the same.

So all I can tell you is hug your friends. And it seems especially appropriate to cook some comfort food. This Christine Gallary recipe fills the bill.

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 pounds bone-in chicken thighs
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup diced shallots (2 medium shallots)
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 cup chicken broth
2 tablespoons whole-grain Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons heavy cream
Coarsely chopped fresh parsley, for serving

  1. Preheat oven to 400ยบ.
  2. Heat the oil in a large cast iron or oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Meanwhile, pat the chicken dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Add the chicken skin-side down and cook until the fat is rendered and the skin is crisp and golden-brown, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a large plate. Remove all but 1 tablespoon of fat from the pan.
  3. Add the shallots to the pan and cook over medium heat until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the wine, scrape up any browned bits at the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon, and cook until evaporated, about 3 minutes. Stir in the broth and whole-grain mustard and bring to a simmer. Return the chicken skin-side up, and add any juices accumulated on the plate to the pan.
  4. Braise in the oven uncovered until the chicken is cooked through and reaches an internal temperature of 165°F, about 15 minutes. Transfer the chicken with tongs to a platter. Place the pan over medium-high heat, whisk the smooth Dijon mustard into the sauce, and simmer until reduced slightly, about 2 minutes.
  5. Remove from the heat and whisk in the cream. Taste and season the sauce with salt and pepper as needed. Serve the sauce with the chicken ( recommend you serve it underneath the chicken to keep the skin crisp) and garnish with parsley.

Wine pairing: A dish this refined is best complemented by a Petite Syrah. If it's a special occasion, head to Total Wine and grab a Puccioni Petite Sirah Dry Creek for $39.99 (not sure why they chose to spell Syrah with an "i"). If you are more budget-minded, let me advise you to buy what I consider one of the best bargains in the wine industry... a McManis Petite Syrah. It will only set you back $8.99 but it tastes like it should be priced at $89.99.

My wife Becky with our dearest friend, Taffy Hirtz.

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