Seriously Simple: Dijon chicken is a speedy dinner
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Seriously Simple: Dijon chicken is a speedy dinner

From the What's for dinner? Mexican sopes perfect for Cinco de Mayo and a fresh take on pasta salad series
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SIMPLE

Enjoy this meal with your family in no time.

My email and texts are buzzing with requests asking me to send easy recipes that have lots of flavor and few ingredients.

We are all trying to enjoy a meal together (which is a welcome change from eating on the run) now that we can sit down and enjoy. I have also found the following recipe to be kid-friendly (except for the mushrooms that can be pushed to the side for picky eaters).

This recipe is easy enough for a quick dinner. It uses only 3 tablespoons of sour cream, so it is not too rich. Adding sour cream and heating it can sometimes curdle, but if you add flour and don't boil the sauce, you will have a deliciously creamy result. I prefer using creme fraiche because it has a mild, sweet yet slightly nutty flavor and has less of a chance of curdling when heated; but either will work. Also, grainy Dijon mustard offers a sight textural contrast to the sour cream.

Look for skinless boneless chicken breasts. Use a mallet to flatten them and even them out. If you can find wild mushrooms, feel free to substitute for the creminis. The browned mushrooms add a rustic component to the tender chicken breasts.

Tomato paste, Dijon mustard and a big squirt of lemon juice balance out the chicken broth and sour cream. You can double this recipe if you like. And if there are only two of you, save the rest for another dinner. It will last two days, covered and refrigerated and gently reheated.

Serve this dish alongside a bed of steamed rice or buttered noodles and some roasted asparagus. I like to begin this menu with a butter lettuce salad with shavings of Parmesan cheese and thinly sliced apples in a lemon vinaigrette. Accompany this with a crisp Sauvignon Blanc or light Pinot Noir.

Dijon Chicken Saute with Mushrooms and Sour Cream

Serves 4

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 (1/2-pound) boneless and skinless chicken breasts, flattened to about 1-inch thick
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 pound brown (cremini) mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 3 tablespoons creme fraiche or sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons grainy Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley, for garnish

1. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large skillet on high heat. Dry the chicken off with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Saute the chicken in batches so you don't crowd the pan, about 2 minutes on each side or until nicely browned on both sides and just cooked through. Remove to a side plate, loosely cover with foil and reserve.

2. Lower the heat to medium and add the remaining tablespoon of oil and the butter to the skillet. Add the mushrooms and saute until nicely browned, about 5 more minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

3. Stir in the tomato paste and cook a minute or until lightly browned. Sprinkle in the flour and paprika, stir and cook another minute. Add the broth, turn up the heat to high and scrape up any brown bits with a wooden spoon. Let boil a minute and then reduce the heat to medium.

4. Add the cream, mustard and lemon juice and cook another minute, making sure it doesn't boil, until nicely blended. (If the sauce is too thick, add a bit more broth.) Taste for seasoning. Return the chicken and any juices to the sauce and cook no more than 2 minutes or until just hot. Serve immediately with noodles or rice and garnish with parsley.

Diane Rossen Worthington is an authority on new American cooking. She is the author of 18 cookbooks, including "Seriously Simple Parties," and a James Beard Award-winning radio show host. You can contact her at www.seriouslysimple.com.

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