Saturday, August 18, 2012

Trader Joe's Maple Mustard Chicken aka Man-Pleasing Chicken


This simple recipe for Maple Mustard Chicken, originally from the I Love Trader Joe's Cookbook, also known as "Man-Pleasing Chicken" by Witty in the City, has gone absolutely viral over on Pinterest.  Since my boyfriend would happily eat chicken every night of the week, I am constantly looking for new ways to serve it so that I don't get bored. The recipe calls for ingredients that I almost always have lying around in my house anyway: Dijon mustard, rice wine vinegar, and maple syrup. With a name like Man-Pleasing Chicken, it certainly sounded like a promising recipe to try!

I had a jar of whole grain country-style Dijon mustard in my fridge, so I decided to try that this time. This was a good call, as the little speckles of mustard seeds gave the sauce some texture and made it look appealing. I used boneless skinless chicken breasts instead of thighs, since that is what my boyfriend prefers and also what I happened to have in my freezer at the time. I used four pieces and cooked it about 30 minutes. It came out juicy and tender.

We liked how the chicken turned out and would make it again, although I am not sure that it quite lived up to all the hoopla. This was partly because the recipe wasn't all that different from a few other recipes in my regular chicken recipe rotation, the unique part here being the addition of maple syrup. Next time I might try some dark agave syrup and apple cider vinegar for a different twist. I served mine with some steamed Jasmine rice and broccoli.

Maple Mustard Chicken Breasts (adapted from a version on Witty in the City and the I Love Trader Joe's Cookbook)

serves 4-6

4-6 skinless boneless chicken breast halves, trimmed of any visible fat, pounded slightly
salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 cup Country-Style Dijon Mustard
1/4 cup pure Maple Syrup
1 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
rosemary, fresh or dried, to taste, chopped

Preheat your oven to 450 F. Lightly grease an 8" square casserole dish. Season chicken to taste on both sides with salt and pepper and place in a zip-top bag. Add mustard, maple syrup, a small amount of rosemary, and vinegar. Seal bag and shake around until the chicken is fully coated in the sauce. Pour the entire contents into the casserole dish and bake for 15 minutes, baste with the pan juices, and flip over the chicken. Continue cooking for another 15 minutes, or just until the chicken is fully cooked. (According the the original source, it should read 155 F on a meat thermometer). Let the chicken rest a few minutes before cutting into it.

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