Today would have been Julia Child’s 100th birthday. I remember sitting on my parent’s couch when I was about twelve watching an episode of The French Chef while Julia prepared chicken kiev. I was mesmerized. Then I had to replicate the recipe, I just had to. So I boned out and pounded several chicken breasts, prepared a compound of herb butter, trussed up the chicken with its flavored butter tucked inside, crumb coated the chicken “packages”, fried till golden, and baked them so they were cooked through. The only thing Julia forgot to mention was that melted butter could squirt quite far when you sliced into your portion of chicken kiev. A butter stained shirt was a small price to pay for the thrill of being able to copy one of her recipes. Once was enough though and I haven’t made chicken kiev since then. There is however another chicken dish I have made dozens of times, which has never squirted at me, not once. Honey Mustard Chicken.
When I wrote Two Girls in Brooklyn my friend Marisa reminded me of one of our staple suppers – Honey Mustard Chicken. It was and is a dish we made over and over again. Never going out of culinary fashion, even if it is nowhere near as fashionable today as it was when we first started making it. Grainy Mustard? Curry Powder? Both were exotic kitchen items back in the early 80s. I have not idea where the original recipe idea came from. Julia has a spicy mustard chicken in her book The Way to Cook, but I think the original inspiration came from elsewhere. It actually doesn’t matter where it came from, just that Marisa and I make it to this day.
Last month my daughter and I were in Boston for WordCamp (a weekend of geeking out over WordPress stuff) and decided to stay an extra day to visit colleges. Since we were staying a day more than planned we needed a place to stay. Our friend Laura B. offered her guest rooms. Delighted at not having to figure out hotel arrangements I offered to cook dinner. Something for a small gathering which wasn’t a recipe I’d already blogged about, but was a dish I could remember off the top of my head. Honey Mustard Chicken, Carrot Râpées Salad, Bill’s Sangria* and Laura’s Mixed Fruit Crumble with Ginger and Almonds. I’ll give you the sangria and carrot râpées recipes soon. In the mean time here is a recipe you should add to your recipe box NOW. Julia and I say so.
Honey Mustard Chicken
Chicken Breasts, bone-in or boneless & skinless, it doesn’t matter
1/3 cup honey
3 Tablespoons dijon mustard (grainy is great, but regular is delicious too)
2 Tablespoons curry powder.
Mix up the honey-mustard-curry. Slather half the mixture over the chicken breasts and cook at 400º F for 20-35 minutes depending on if the bone is in or out. Spoon the other half over the chicken and cook until the coating starts to caramelize and the chicken is done (another 15-30 minutes). Make sure to spoon the honey mustard glaze over the chicken when you serve it.
*I did text my friend Hilary for her step-father’s Sangria recipe. Fortunately she was able to send me a list of ingredients, which
I’ll try to post later this week. It’s posted and you can get the recipe here.