honey-mustard chicken with thyme
Well hello! Long time no blog. In late September, my beloved Macbook died a painful death — hard drive permanently ka-put. But while I was terribly sad to see it go, I am warming up quite nicely to its successor (hellooooo, Macbook Pro. You are so sleek, so fast, so lovely!) But, it meant a longer hiatus from blogging than intended, as I scrambled to recover — unsuccessfully — a batch of recent food photos.
So now I’m making a fresh start with my new, sleek laptop, and I’ve finally gotten my act together to tell you about one of our new favorite weeknight meals: honey-mustard chicken with thyme. It’s a classic combination that I’ve made endless times, tweaking and streamlining the recipe method along the way. One of the realities I’ve had to come to terms with since having a child is that honestly, I just don’t have hours and hours to tinker around in the kitchen anymore with finicky recipes. At least for the time being, the name of the game around here is delicious food with a minimum of fuss.
One of Miss A’s favorite things to do with me is help prepare meals. Now, granted, she’s only just about 2 – so this mainly entails stirring, mixing, pouring, and washing vegetables under my hawk-eyed supervision. But when I hear her little voice chime “I want to help mommy cookin’!,” I pull out the step stool and find her favorite spatula, and we get to work.
Into a measuring cup goes the honey, dijon mustard, some white wine, a little oil and vinegar, salt, pepper, and thyme leaves. She stirs it all together, then I pour it over some chicken — either a whole chicken cut up into parts, or if I’m pressed for time, chicken thighs — and let it marinate in the fridge for a few hours.
When dinnertime approaches, I pop the whole pan, chicken and marinade together, in the oven. When the chicken is just about done and the sauce is bubbling, I switch on the broiler and brown it up for a few minutes, letting the marinade bubble and boil and thicken slightly.
Serve the chicken, with generous amounts of the sweet-tart sauce spooned over it, with oven-baked brown rice (that’s a post for another day, and boy does it rock my world!). Alongside some garlic-roasted broccoli, you’ll have happy tummies indeed.
Honey-Mustard Chicken with Thyme
loosely adapted from Bon Appetit
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup dijon mustard
3 tablespoons white wine
3 tablespoons canola oil
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
1/2 tsp each salt and pepper
1 whole chicken, broken down into pieces and backbone removed, or 1.5 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs
Place the chicken in a single layer in a container. In a medium bowl, mix together the marinade ingredients — honey through salt and pepper. Pour the marinade over the chicken, cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 4 hours.
To bake, preheat the oven to 425 degrees and take the chicken out of the fridge while the oven preheats. If the chicken has not been marinating in the dish you’re going to bake it in, transfer it along with its marinade to a baking dish. I like to use a ceramic 9×9 casserole dish, or a 9×13 pyrex dish. There will be lots of marinade, and that’s okay (you’ll boil it and use it as a sauce later.)
Bake the chicken until the sauce is bubbling and the meat is cooked through, about 20-25 minutes for boneless skinless thighs, flipping the pieces halfway through. Turn on the broiler and broil the chicken for about 5 minutes (I keep the pan on the rack about 8 inches from the broiler – not the very highest level) until starting to brown in spots. You’ll want the marinade to be briskly bubbling and boiling for at least 5 minutes.
Serve, spooning the sauce over the chicken.