Thursday, August 30, 2012

Honey Mustard Beer Chicken

I wanted to call this saucy chicken, simply because that is the best explanation.  Delicious, pan-saucy chicken.  But if I did that, then you might not be aware of the whole honey mustard beer party that is going on it that pan.  True, there is soy sauce too, but it got voted off the island because honey mustard soy sauce chicken is more an ingredient list, not a recipe title.

Few times have I made a pan sauce, although I'm not quite sure why, because I get it.  You take all those stuck on crunchy bits, all the juice that steeped out while the meat was resting, all that flavor, heat it up, cook it down and then just barely refrain from pouring it straight into your mouth.  I get that.  It works.  Ben, on the other hand, asks why I can just grill or bake the chicken for dinner at the first sign of a little smoke coming from the stove top.  Don't be Ben.  It'll be ok.  Pan-fry the chicken.  Make the pan sauce.  And if you sneak a spoonful or two while plating up, it'll be our little secret.

**UPDATE 3/13/13**   I made this again a few nights ago, the first time since I wrote the post.  I did double the sauce, and Ben and I were still wishing for more.  We served it on top of a bed of quinoa, ladling the sauce over top.  I am taking the liberty of updating the recipe below to reflect the doubled sauce.  It's by far the way to go!

Honey Mustard Beer Chicken
Adapted from CL September 2012

I served this with brown rice.  The sauce I was marveling about upstairs, pour it over the rice too.  Or if you're not concerned with silly things like picture taking before you eat (patience is never quite tested until you can't eat before getting a good picture...), go like this: rice, chicken, lot-o-sauce.  It'll make your rice ever-so-happy.  Trust me.  Speaking of, I plan on 1.5x or 2x the sauce on my next go round.  The sauce makes the dish.  Just in case that hasn't been clear enough...

2 tsp.canola oil
4 6 oz boneless, skinless chicken breast
black pepper & salt to season
2 shallots, thinly sliced
1 c. beer (used Leinenkugels)
1/4 c. soy sauce
2 Tbsp. whole-grain Dijon mustard
2 Tbsp. honey

In large skillet over medium high heat, heat oil until it shimmers.  Season chicken liberally on both sides with salt and pepper.  Add to hot skillet and pan fry until chicken is cooked through, about 6 to 7 minutes per side.  Remove from skillet and tent with foil to keep warm.

Add shallot to pan and saute until translucent, about 1 minute.  In small bowl, whisk together remaining 4 ingredients that form the sauce.  Make sure honey has dissolved into the sauce.  Add to pan and turn up heat to high.  Using a wooden spatula, scrap bottom of pan to loosen brown bits.  Add any accumulated juices from chicken to pan.  Bring sauce to a boil and maintain heat until sauce has reduced and thickened.

Add chicken back to pan and turn several times in sauce, to coat and warm.  Serve over rice or whatever can use a good soak in some yummy sauce!

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