September 17, 2014

Baked Honey Mustard Chicken

Well, yesterday was awfully exciting around here!! I told you about a month ago that we have a family of raccoons living in our chimney. So weird. We assumed that they'd eventually leave, but it became pretty clear they weren't going anywhere. We figured we could just get animal control to come remove them, but it turns out you have to hire a private company, and they're ridiculously expensive. So we started trying "home remedies" for this critter problem of ours. We scared the mom away with a blacklight in the chimney, but the two babies wouldn't budge. We've been working on them for the past week or so, and of COURSE, the day the Geologist leaves me on my own, they come down into the fireplace. I tried making them a food trail to the door, but they weren't interested. They explored the basement for a while before I got them barricaded into one room. Tried bright lights, Bracken, and loud music, but they wouldn't budge. Bracken would get nose to nose with them but they just stared her down. Or pretended they were invisible. Finally, some friends came to my rescue and we got them out with a laundry hamper a a piece of rope through a pipe. No harm done! Only took five hours of my day... But we are now raccoon free! Hooray!

Baked Honey Mustard Chicken (inspired by Good Life Eats)
Printable Recipe

2 1/2-3 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts, tenderloins, or thighs (if using breasts, I like to cut them in half to make smaller pieces)
4 tsp olive oil
1/3 cup of grainy, course mustard
1/3 cup smooth dijion mustard
1/3 cup honey plus 2 Tb
1/2 of a small red onion, diced or sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
salt and pepper
a few sprigs of fresh rosemary or thyme (optional)

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. In a small bowl, combine the mustards, honey, and 2 teaspoons of the olive oil.
Heat the remaining 2 tsp of oil in a pan or dutch oven/braiser. Add the onion and a pinch of salt and cook over medium heat until softened and translucent. Add the garlic and cook for an additional 1 - 2 minutes, until golden and fragrant.

If you are using a dutch oven/braiser, remove from heat. If not, transfer softened onions and garlic to a casserole dish. Spread the onions and garlic over the bottom of the dish, as evenly as possible. Lay the chicken on top of the onions and garlic, making sure to leave about an inch of space around each piece. Don't overcrowd these! Salt and pepper the tops of the chicken pieces, then spoon the honey mustard mixture over the top of the chicken. Arrange herbs around chicken, if using.
Cover with foil/lid and bake for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven, uncover, and baste the chicken with the sauce. Return to the oven uncovered and cook for about 20-25 more minutes, until chicken is cooked through. Let rest 5-10 minutes before serving. 
 So I'm totally picky about honey mustard. It has to be the perfect balance of sweetness and bite, and it's oddly hard to find! This, my friends, is honey mustard perfection. And I made it three times to make absolutely sure. Stephen, my crazy mustard boy, was absolutely over the moon about it, but Joe, who hates mustard, loved it too!! I was convinced he would hate it, but it is now one of our family's favorite chicken meals. And it's so easy!!
 You can skip the onions and garlic if you want, and make it even easier, but I think they add extra depth to the sauce. The sauce, oh my heavens, is sooooo good! I wanted to dip everything in it, the chicken, potatoes, green beans, it was fabulous on everything!!Just enough bite from the mustard, the perfect amount of sweetness from the honey, I kept trying to think of other things to add, but honestly? It doesn't need anything else!
My favorite part would have to be the sauce that gets baked on top. Almost sticky, extra rich, it's seriously amazing! Absolutely craveable. My family is going to get sick of this before I'm through... gotta be careful about that...


  1. Ugh, about the raccoons. It could have been worse I suppose, but not much! Glad you were able to safely get rid. That chicken looks just wonderful. I may have to make this myself! xxoo


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