With Lane’s birthday approaching, I decided to take M and O shopping so that they could find their dad the perfect birthday gifts. O’s approach was hilarious. Walking into Walmart, he was fascinated by the idea that they have a Subway inside and repeatedly discussed how awesome it would be to eat in a store. Walking into Kohl’s, he exclaimed “this place is fancy!” I failed to inherit a shopping gene, and his dad primarily takes him to home improvement stores so I suppose it’s easy to see why he thinks so. Two stores later, he spotted what he decided was the perfect gift for dad and clutched it, refusing to consider any other option, until we were at the checkout where he happily handed it over so that I could pay for it. M’s approach was much more calculated. She was on a mission to find the most perfect gift, ever. Ever! It was sweet to see how much thought they were putting into this (even if I did have to pry O away from a Skylanders display and an Angry Birds item more than once and remind him we weren’t shopping for him) and hilarious to hear their commentary and ideas concerning what makes a perfect gift. M suggested they could get dad something for his desk, O suggested a shish kabob and M informed O that a shish kabob would get slimy if dad leaves it on his desk. Overall, although incredibly comical, it was a good excercise to help them learn to be thoughtful gift givers.
Lane is a very thoughtful gift giver. I’m always pleasantly surprised by any gift I receive from him, especially when that gift feeds my cookbook addiction. For our first Christmas together, Lane gave me Dorie Greenspan’s Around My French Table which I pored over from cover to cover. Then I put it on the shelf and vowed that soon, I would make the chicken that’s on the cover of that cookbook. That chicken picture still taunts me, I haven’t had a chance to make it yet (soon though!) but I did make a recipe from that cookbook recently and now, I want to make them all. The chicken diable in the cookbook is possibly the easiest recipe in the book, but I have no doubt it’s one of the most delicious as well. Simple chicken breasts in a creamy mustard sauce made for an amazing dinner. This is fancy enough to impress company yet quick enough for a simple weeknight dinner with your favorite gift giver. My only regret is that I didn’t make some crusty bread to soak up the sauce from the plate. I used roasted potatoes to do that instead.
- 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (4 pieces, cut to size if needed)
- 1 Tbsp. butter
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 medium shallot, finely chopped
- 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
- 1/3 C. dry white wine
- 1/2 C. heavy cream
- 3 Tbsp. Dijon or grainy mustard (possibly more, to taste)
- 2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
Place an oven rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 200 degrees.
Pat the chicken breasts dry with paper towels.
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the butter and olive oil.
When the butter melts, place the chicken breasts into the pan (do this in batches if your pan isn’t large enough to hold all four pieces).
Turn down the heat if needed to keep the butter from burning, and cook the chicken for 4 minutes until the underside browns.
Turn the chicken pieces over and cook until they are cooked through (when a meat thermometer reads 160 degrees, or cut into a piece to check) about 10-15 minutes depending on the thickness of the chicken. Add more oil to the pan if necessary to keep the pan from becoming dry.
Remove the chicken from the skillet and place into an oven safe dish that has a rim to catch the juices.
Place the chicken into the oven while you make the sauce.
Turn the burner down to medium heat and add the shallots and garlic to the pan.
Season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes just until they start to soften.
Add the wine to the skillet and when it starts to bubble, stir it around the skillet to pick up any browned bits.
Boil the wine for a few seconds and then pour in the heavy cream.
As soon as the mixture starts to boil, stir in the mustard and Worcestershire sauce. Check for taste and add more salt, pepper, mustard, or Worcestershire sauce if desired.
Remove the chicken from the oven, and add any juices to the skillet and stir.
To serve, pour the sauce over the chicken (this dish doesn’t reheat well, so plan on serving immediately).
Makes 4 servings.
Source: Dorie Greenspan, Around My French Table