Have you ever been pressured into dinner? It happens to me all the time. In fact, it's how this dish was born. I take something out of the freezer to defrost it and then end up having dinner out, using leftovers or ordering in. So I wind up with chicken sitting in the refrigerator. I can't let it go bad so I've got to make something with it. But, by the next day, I no longer want chicken and I've lost my mojo for it. I've got to make it though and so please witness my kitchen pressuring me into dinner.
The last time it happened I decided I needed to do something easy because I'd left barely enough time to eat dinner let alone making it. With an open bottle of sparkling sweet apple cider (Have you ever seen the stuff by R.W. Knudsen? It's so yummy!) in my refrigerator, I figured I couldn't go wrong if I paired it with some dijon. (I'm sure you could use regular apple cider, I'm just addicted to the sparkling stuff at the moment.) I served the chicken on a bed of sauteed spinach and, considering I was totally against having chicken that night, I ended up loving it. Scarlett actually said to me, "This is nice mommy. You're getting better at this!" I'm not sure what she meant by "this" but she said it as if her culinary degree from Lenotre was framed on the wall behind her. (Sometimes I swear I've made a cooking monster out of the kid.) Any way, this once reluctant chicken dish is now a staple in our home. I guess a little pressure in the kitchen isn't so bad after all.
Roasted Dijon Chicken
6 skinless, boneless chicken thighs
salt and pepper
1 teaspoon oil
1 minced shallot
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
1/4 cup apple cider
1/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
Preheat the oven to 425°. Generously season chicken with salt and pepper.
Add 1 teaspoon oil to a large room-temperature skillet. Add chicken. Place skillet over medium heat and cook, allowing meat to brown, and pouring off excess fat to keep only a thin layer in the pan, until chicken is cooked halfway through, about 10 minutes.
Transfer the skillet to the oven. Roast until chicken is cooked through and skin is crisp, about 6–8 minutes.
Transfer chicken pieces from bottom of skillet to a platter. Return skillet to medium heat. Add shallot and garlic; cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Whisk in dijon mustard, apple cider, broth and a bit more salt and pepper; cook for about 3 minutes. Return chicken to skillet along with juices that have settled on the platter to rewarm. Serve with our favourite sides.