This post was not planned for today. Nope…I had another chicken dish planned and the photos shot and it was ready to go. Even though it used both maple syrup and mustard, both things I loved, the end result was just OK. Which meant I had a problem with it and I’m wondering what you would do in the same situation. It really was pretty ‘meh.’ Not a bad dish but it did not come CLOSE to the hype I read in the posts where I saw it mentioned. It was so simple so I thought…well, I’ll go ahead and post it because everyone can use a simple dish. But in the back of my mind I kept thinking, ‘Simple and simply boring.’ Not that our meals never consist of some of those dishes; weeknight meals that are fine but not necessarily blogworthy. I was in conflict about whether it would be the right thing to do; how do I get effusive about something that would make do on a night when you’re busy but didn’t really represent something I LOVED? For me that question was answered by seeing something from a friend and this Baked Chicken with Leeks, Bacon and Mustard fits all the criteria. I mean it is FANTASTIC!
My friend Jeanne at CookSister.com tweeted about a post that she had done at Great British Chefs for a chicken dish with leeks, mustard and bacon. I love them all and even had a new brand of mustard I had procured (begged for) that I really wanted to try in a recipe. Additionally I SO identified with Jeanne’s story about the lowly forgotten leek who has had to struggle in the garden with the ever so popular kale. I prefer the underdog. Kale is one of the popular kids but I think it’s gone to their head; I’m happy rooting for the leek! I’ve not used it often enough I admit, but just did recently in this Mediterranean Stroganoff and found myself falling in love all over again. Of course I LOVE both onions and garlic so it should be no big surprise but I was delighted that Jeanne mentioned that it can also be touted as good for your health with it’s mix of flavonoids, folate and antioxidants. Still, it’s the flavor I’m loving. LOVING!
So…I made This Dish and that first bite was what was missing from That Other Dish. That WOW factor; that ‘I’m going to sneak a few more bites than I should’ factor…it is SO good. While I normally love to mix it up when I make a dish I had little desire to make any revisions to this one. Still, I could not help myself from browning the chicken in the bacon drippings and then adding a bit of Sherry to the sauce. The other change was in simply revising Jeanne’s metric recipe for my non-metric readers…now everyone has a version to use. If you use Jeanne’s and want Sherry just add about 1/4 cup to the sauce mix in addition to the heavy cream; that’s all I did; so easy.
I had separate packages of chicken thighs (boneless) and chicken legs so my cook time is a bit shorter. Given my preference I would probably use ALL boneless chicken thighs although I must say those eating the legs with their fingers did not complain, not one bit; I guess you could say it was ‘finger lickin’ good!’
It must have been prophetic too that I had received a jar of Lusty Monk Mustard that very day I saw Jeanne’s post. A friend on Instagram had uploaded a photo of their mustard and mentioned that I would love it. I’m fine with having a reputation for a strong proclivity towards all things mustard; I’ve made several kinds and mine even have their own separate section in the fridge. Still this one was highly recommended by Rebecca at Foodie With Family and she got my attention; this is a woman with real cooking chops and I trusted her recommendation. I can not deny…I contacted the guys and asked if I could try some in a recipe for the blog and there it was; in all the lusty glory a mustard could possibly have. I LOVE whole grain mustard and this one had a nice bite; I knew it would be perfect especially when I was adding it to a dish with other ingredients where it has to have a stronger presence else it just gets lost. Their mustard is available online and at select stores including several Whole Foods Markets in the Denver area…YAY! Check out their website; you can’t help but smile at the marketing…Original Sin it is!
The end result? Now THIS recipe is worthy; maybe a bit more time consuming than that ‘other’ recipe but something I’m proud to share and I just know you will love. Goodbye Maple Mustard Chicken…you simply did not have enough ‘muster’ for us after all! :)
- 16 chicken thighs and legs, skin on
- Bacon Fat for frying
- 3 Tbsp flour
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp pepper
- 2 large leeks, sliced into rings
- ½ lb of Bacon
- 2 Tbsp wholegrain mustard
- ¾ cup heavy cream or half and half
- ¼ cup dry Sherry
- Pre-heat the oven to 350F.
- Make the seasoned flour by combining the flour with salt and pepper; mix well and put into a shallow dish.
- Fry the bacon in a large frying pan and drain it on paper towels reserving the bacon fat to brown the chicken (I had to do mine in three stages so added 2 Tbsp to the pan for each stage).
- Dredge each chicken piece well in the seasoned four, shake off the excess and brown the chicken in the bacon fat. Once browned, drain chicken pieces on paper towels and then lay them in a single layer in a large, shallow ovenproof dish.
- Cook the sliced leeks in the pan where you fried the chicken, scraping up any remaining bits of chicken skin as you saute them together.
- Once the leeks are softened, lower the heat and stir in the crumbled bacon, wholegrain mustard, cream and Sherry; stir to mix well.
- Pour the sauce over the chicken, cover with aluminum foil and bake for about 40 minutes; then remove the foil and bake uncovered for 10-15 more minutes until the chicken starts to brown nicely. Serve immediately on rice or mashed potatoes with a green vegetable on the side.
My thanks to the fellas at Lusty Monk Mustard for providing me with a jar of their whole grain mustard. You know, I hate writing that part that the stupid FTC requires, the part about all commentary being my own. Here’s the deal…if I don’t like a product, they will NEVER be mentioned; I just share what I love. And I loved this mustard!