Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Mustard Chicken

Mustard Chicken
From: SmartAleq

This is THE quintessential potluck dish--it's cheap, yummy and endlessly expandable/contractable depending on the number of people expected. I've made this stuff big enough to feed twenty five people by itself as a main dish and it's really no more difficult than cooking it for four.

Goes like this:

Chicken thighs--if you get them skinless/boneless to start out they will be even easier, at the least take the skins off before cooking. Place in a baking pan in a single layer. Figure 1-2 thighs per person. Sprinkle a nice amount of thin sliced onions over the top.

Mustard sauce: Melt some butter, margarine or heat olive oil in a saucepan. Add a bunch of mustard--for this you'll probably want just a brown mustard like Gulden's, nothing fancy. Put in something for a spice, oregano or tarragon is what I usually use, maybe some sage along with it; some fresh chopped garlic is also nice. Fresh herbs is best. Stir until nicely blended, then spread evenly but thinly over the chicken. Bake at 350-400 degrees about a half hour/45 minutes until the chicken is done.

Remove pan from oven, remove the thighs to a plate, scraping off the browned mustard and onions on the top back into the pan. Heat the pan over a medium burner until the chicken fat and mustard sauce is bubbling, then stir in enough flour to make a nice smooth roux. Brown it a bit, scraping every bit of crunchy stuff off the sides and bottom of the pan. Then add water a bit at a time, stirring constantly to make a nice smooth, fairly thick gravy. Pull the chicken into chunks and add back to the pan, heating all the way through. Serve over a massive bed of rice--the genius of this dish is that if there's even a smidgen of the gravy on the rice it will get eaten up even if there's no actual chicken involved, which is why it's such an evilly perfect potluck dish. It's also really easy to break the chicken into very small pieces so it goes further.

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