Thursday, July 28, 2011

Pan Roasted Dijon Chicken

Chicken. Oh how I don't hate it, but don't love it either. I'm kinda on the fence about chicken, which obviously flies in the face of the ridiculous stereotypes that revolve around black people and chicken. Now before you start inching your cursor closer to that little "x" in the corner of your screen, I promise I'm not about to launch into some rant about racial stereotypes or race relations. I'm hardly motivated nor smart enough to write such a rant in a sensical manner, especially not after the two glasses of wine I just had with dinner.  I would just like to state for the record that the stereotype annoys me because as far as I can tell from the absurd amount of food focused television that I watch (and DVR), chicken is universally popular amongst most meat-eating cultures, and I'm utterly flabbergasted as to how we got singled out for it in such a ridiculous way. And that's all I have to say about that. 

My problem with chicken is that I suck at cooking it. It's not that I don't know what I'm doing, it's just that I find myself making chicken dishes with the same flavor profiles over and over and OVER. This redundancy is largely due to my lack of natural creativity as well as my absurd level of pickyness that's so ridiculous in fact, that I'm amazed I can even call myself a foodie. However, in recognition of my shortcomings, I have increasingly turned to others by way of food blog stalking and a subscription to Food & Wine magazine for culinary inspiration. Which is where this dish comes along. And for the record, it was amazing. 

There is just one small problem wit this post, and that is the fact that I made this dish many MANY moons ago. So many, in fact, that I don't actually remember the recipe or its proportions because it was a combination of recipes from two blogs, plus my own two cents.

What this means is that the following recipe has been pulled entirely from the depths of my wine soaked memory, jump-started only by the pictures seen here.

What I do remember distinctly about this dish was that it was amazing. And seeing as how I'm rarely blown away by any of the chicken dishes I make, that's saying something.

What made it so effin' good from the jump was the crisped chicken skin a la searing in my beoved and trusty cast iron skillet as provided by the good folks at CSN. I have to say, the best things in life are free from corporate entities who grossly overestimated the traffic to my blog. Man, if only I were a better blogger, I would probably be rolling in all manner of kitchen gadgets that I have absolutely no space in which to store them in my laughably small kitchen. 

And then there were the mushrooms that soaked up all the flavor of the braising liquid that consisted of (if memory serves me right) white wine, dijon mustard, lemon, garlic, thyme, salt and black pepper.

So let's see how my memory holds up against time and wine, shall we?

Pan Seared Dijon Chicken

1 Whole Roaster Chicken, sexted? <---that can't be the right word. cut into at least 6 pieces [wings, thighs, breasts, etc]
1 10oz package baby portabello mushrooms, halved
1 whole head of garlic, separated into cloves but not peeled
1/2 lemon, juiced
1/2 lemon, sliced
1 cup of dry white wine
4 tbsp dijon mustard
10 sprigs fresh thyme
4 tbsp vegetable oil
Salt and Black Pepper to taste (heavy on the pepper for sure)

Generously season the chicken pieces with salt and black pepper. Heat vegetable oil in skillet over medium-high flame until hot. Add chicken pieces skin side down to skillet, sear about 3-5 minutes on each side until skin is browned. Sear the chicken in batches to avoid overcrowding the pan. Preheat oven to 400. When all the chicken is browned, set aside ad reduce heat on skillet to medium.

Add garlic, mushrooms, lemon slices and juice, wine, and dijon mustard, and thyme sprigs. Return all the chicken to skillet on top of mushrooms. Simmer about 3 minutes, then transfer to oven. Roast approximately 20-25 minutes, or until juice from chicken runs clear. Once removed from oven, scoop out  the whole garlic cloves, and squeeze the roasted garlic out of skins onto chicken pieces and spread like butter. Baste chicken with pan liquor, serve directly from skillet, and enjoy. 

¡Cuidado! That skillet with be fucking hot. So if you have crumb snatchers or are burn prone like myself, perhaps leave the skillet on the stove. Not that I burned myself this time, but my hands and arms are starting to look like those of seasoned restaurant cooks, and that's just not sexy, smh. 

*That whole photographic memory jump start didn't work [as if], and I totally had to go digging through my recipe binder to find the two recipes I used for inspiration. 


  1. My chicken recipes are very boring and repetitive too.  But I do love chicken, especially when it's prepared just right! And I'm sure my tummy wouldn't protest to your delicious-looking chicken! I'm in just for the mushrooms alone (how do I love thee!), the rest is the icing on the cake! 

  2. Is that your recipe binder I spy in one of the photos? This is genius. I have always lacked a sensible way of organizing my recipes. I want to be the person with a box and organized cards written in nice penmanship. Alas, I am not. I have one card with one nice recipe and then a ton of pages torn from magazines and printed recipes from on line. PS, the recipe looks delicious too!!

  3. I'm making a concertred effot to try new things in every aspect of my eating. The mushrooms were the second best part of this dish, because they soaked up all that flavor, so I definitely think you should give this recipe a try :)

  4. why yes, that is my recipe binder you spied in the background. I started it in college, so it's very crudely organized, but it does help to have all my loose recipes in one place. I tried to emulate one of my aunts who has beautifully written recipe cards, and failed miserably as my handwriting looks like a schizophrenic kindergardenter's, so don't beat yourself up about it. This is by far one of my favorite chicken recipes (aside from the Barefoot Contessas lemon-thyme roast chicken) :)



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