Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Honey-Mustard Chicken

When you look at this in the clear light of day, it is actually, rather disturbingly in some ways, pretty close to being 'chicken pieces baked in salad dressing'.  Mmmm, sounds nommy...  However, I would add, somewhat pleadingly, that it is simply not done justice by that description.  For a dinner that takes mere minutes to get ready to cook, and under half an hour in the oven, it is a very tasty treat and tarts up cheap chicken thighs a treat.

I'm trying not to be too prescriptive about the ingredients, because I know from reading certain writers' recipe books, among my hundreds, how irritating it is to be told that you need the best of everything in your kitchen at all times.  Most of my kitchen substitutions are borne of empty-jar-necessity, so as far as I'm concerned, the type of oil and the type of mustard you decide to use are fairly irrelevant.  Certainly the meal will be different, but that scarcely need suggest worse, or better, for that matter.  I use Dijon and wholegrain mustards with equal regularity in this dish and have made it occasionally with English mustard, though I would say halve the quantity specified unless, like some, you like it hot!   Likewise the oil, I am keen on rapeseed oil, especially the cold-pressed variety, but if you prefer olive, sunflower or vegetable oil, I can't see that it would make a huge difference.  I fact, it occurs to me now, as I type this, that you might possibly skip the fresh garlic altogether and use garlic oil instead...

Honey-Mustard Chicken

The number of thighs you use is dependent on your family's needs and appetite; I find one each for children, with two each for teenagers or adults is plenty.  This amount of sauce will easily do six, eight or ten thighs, the only difference will be the size of tin you need and how much juice will be left at the bottom of the dish to pour over your vegetables...

6-10 chicken thighs, bone in and skin on
2 tbsp oil 
juice of 2 lemons
2 tbsp runny honey
1 tbsp mustard 
leaves stripped from a few sprigs of thyme, or 1/2 tsp dried thyme
good grinding of white pepper and fat pinch of salt

Preheat the oven to 180Âșc.  Mix all the ingredients, bar the chicken pieces, together in a large bowl.  I prefer a whisk for this, but use a spoon or a fork if you prefer.  Turn the chicken pieces in the sauce, then put them skin-side up in a roasting tin or oven dish that takes them snugly.  Pour over the rest of the sauce and bake for 25 minutes.  If you've cooked some sort of (especially green) vegetables or prepared a salad to go with the chicken, I can't begin to explain how lovely it is if you spoon some of the still-warm juices left in the pan over the top...
Cath xx

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