Saturday, January 25, 2014

ChezCindy: Chicken Dijonnaise a la Dale

Our favorite local French restaurant served a pheasant dish with a Pommery mustard sauce that was so delicious, it was hard not to order it every time we dined there.  Sad to say, the chef retired, and the pheasant is just a memory.  In one of my French recipe cookbooks, I discovered a chicken recipe that meets the memory of that wonderful pheasant meal.  Here is my tribute to Chef Dale; thanks for the delicious memories.

Chicken Dijonnaise

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
salt & pepper to season

2 shallots, chopped
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 cup unsalted chicken stock
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup heavy cream
4 heaping teaspoons whole grain Dijon mustard, such as Maille
1 teaspoon dried tarragon
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
pinch of white pepper
chopped fresh parsley for garnish

In a large sauté pan over medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons butter with 1 tablespoon olive oil.  Season  the chicken breasts with salt and pepper.  Add the chicken breasts to the hot pan; sauté turning only once, until golden brown on each side - about 3-4 minutes per side.  Transfer to a plate; set aside.

Add the remaining butter and olive oil to the sauté pan, heat until foamy.  Add the chopped shallots, cook until softened, about 2 minutes.  Add the white wine, cooking for 3-4 minutes.  Add the chicken stock, garlic and bring to a boil.  Boil until the liquid is reduced by half - this should take about 3-5 minutes.  Lower the heat, whisk in the cream and the mustard, cooking until the sauce is slightly thickened.  Whisk in the tarragon, thyme, salt and white pepper. 

Return the chicken breasts, and any collected juice, to the pan.  Cook until the chicken is heated through, about 5 minutes depending on the thickness of the chicken. 

To serve:  Arrange the chicken breast on a serving plate, spooning the sauce over the chicken.  Garnish with chopped parsley.  We serve this with creamy mashed potatoes and a vegetable. 

Wine pairing:  French red Burgundy or a light bodied Pinot Noir 

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