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MUFFIE'S CHICKEN WITH MUSTARD AND LEMON

From Park Avenue Potluck: Recipes from New York's Savviest Hostesses

By Muffie Potter Aston

NEW YORK — This easy, yummy, and fast recipe is a "must" for anyone with no extra time on their hands. I created this recipe on the spur of the moment because my boyfriend at the time wanted to eat a home-cooked meal for once. He doubted that I could actually cook. I took him up on the challenge with the requirement that he ask no questions and stay out of the kitchen. I went to the supermarket and gathered ingredients and winged it. But the dish was a success, and the boyfriend is now my husband..

Ingredients :

1/2 cup flour

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 1/2 pounds boneless and skinless chicken breasts (either 6 large or 8 small)

5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, approximately

3/4 cup Dijon-style mustard, or to taste

Zest of 1 lemon

1 1/2 cups dry white wine

2 tablespoons lemon juice

Preparation

Place the flour in a shallow soup plate and whisk in salt and pepper to taste. Dip each chicken breast in the seasoned flour to coat completely and set aside on a plate or a cutting board.

Place a skillet that will hold all the chicken breasts in a single layer over medium heat and add half the oil. Use two skillets if necessary, dividing the oil. Cook the chicken breasts in the oil, a few at a time, turning them once, and adding more oil as needed, until they are lightly browned on both sides. Remove them from the pan as they are lightly browned. They may not be completely cooked through.

Return all the chicken breasts to the pan or pans. Using half the mustard, coat one side of each chicken breast, season with salt and pepper, and then turn the chicken breasts over. Coat the second side of each piece of chicken with the mustard, scatter the lemon zest over them, and season with more salt and pepper if desired.

Pour in the wine and lemon juice, increase the heat to medium-high and cook the chicken about 5 minutes, basting it with the liquid in the pan until the breasts are cooked through. Remove the chicken breasts to a platter or a cutting board. Continue to cook the sauce in the pan, stirring it constantly, another couple of minutes, until it is the consistency of heavy cream. Taste for seasoning.

The chicken breasts can be served whole-best if you used the smaller ones-or, with the larger breasts, slice them on an angle about 1/2 inch thick, and arrange on a platter or on individual dinner plates. Briefly reheat the sauce and spoon it over the whole chicken breasts or slices, and serve.

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