By Ginna Parsons/NEMS Daily Journal
After I returned from Knoxville last week – and recovered from the food coma brought on by all the fried chicken, biscuits, greens, barbecue and grits I consumed at the Southern Food Writing Conference – I returned to the gym and a more healthful diet.
Salads, fish, fruit and yogurt again became part of my day. But that doesn’t mean I came home to boring food.
I began looking for recipes that delivered big flavor for a reasonable amount of calories and fat – not three-ingredient Spartan dishes, but certainly not recipes that take half a night to prepare.
This chicken recipe, which I’ve adapted from one in Cooking Light magazine, fit the bill. It was quick with a luscious sauce and I had all the ingredients on hand, once I bought the chicken. I served this with roasted new potatoes and green beans. The leftovers were good, too.
Chicken with Mustard-Thyme Sauce
2 tablespoon olive oil, divided
6 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
1⁄2 teaspoon salt, divided
1⁄2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
1 tablespoon butter
1⁄2 cup chopped onion
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
1 cup no-salt-added chicken stock, divided
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon oil to pan; swirl to coat. Sprinkle chicken with 1⁄4 teaspoon salt and 1⁄4 teaspoon pepper. Add 3 breasts to pan; cook 4 minutes on each side or until lightly browned. Remove chicken from pan; place in an 9×13-inch glass or ceramic baking dish. Repeat process with remaining chicken breasts. Bake at 425 for 15 minutes or until a thermometer registers 165. Remove chicken from dish; reserve drippings.
Return skillet to medium-high heat. Add butter; swirl to coat. Add onion and thyme; sauté 5 minutes or until tender. Combine 3 tablespoons stock and flour in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk until smooth. Add flour mixture, remaining stock, and reserved drippings to pan, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Bring to a boil, and cook for 2 minutes or until slightly thickened. Remove from heat, and add mustard, stirring with a whisk. Serve sauce with chicken.
Ginna Parsons is the Daily Journal’s food/home/garden editor.