I’ve cooked many a boneless chicken breast in my day. If I’m being honest, I’ve ruined more than I’ve gotten right. It all started in college, in a tiny campus housing apartment with an electric stovetop. Neither UMBC nor the Office of Residential Life trusted us enough to put ovens in the apartments. And for whatever reason, it never occurred to me to cook the chicken in the toaster oven before it eventually went up in flames.
Ok, maybe I can understand why the Hillside, West Hill, and Terrace apartments were ovenless. But it looks like things changed when they put up the new Walker Avenue apartments. Not only do the kids today get apartments with ovens, they also get a volleyball pitch. Those lucky bastards.
Note to the folks at UMBC: It’s 2010 and I’m still paying off my student loans so don’t even think about sending me a donation request. If you want to give the kids a full size oven for their frozen pizza, bagel bites, and chicken breasts, some other alum is going to have to foot the bill.
Asparagus Chicken with Creamy Dijon Sauce
Adapted from Bonnie Moore’s recipe on Washingtonpost.com
BAH Tip: After countless attempts at trying to make this type of creamy pan sauce ended in failure of the curdled, broken variety, it occurred to me that maybe I should try and temper the sour cream and mustard before I added it to the hot pan. Tempering works with custard when I make ice cream so maybe it would work for my pan sauce. You know what? It worked beautifully. A spoonful at a time, I stirred in about 1/4 cup of the reduced chicken broth to my sour cream and mustard mixture. Then I added the mixture back to my skillet and whisked until it was smooth and creamy without a curdle or break to be seen.
- 1 pound asparagus, trimmed and cut into 2 inch lengths
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast cutlets (or breast halves, cut in half lengthwise)
- Salt and pepper
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 1/2 cup sour cream (regular or low fat, not non-fat)
Place asparagus and water in a microwave safe bowl, cover loosely with plastic wrap, and microwave for 2 minutes. Carefully remove bowl from the microwave, drain water, and set aside.
Heat the olive in a large, nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and add to pan. Cook for approximately 7 minutes on each side until browned and cooked through. Transfer chicken to a plate and cover to keep warm.
Add wine to the pan, stir to scrape up any browned bits, and cook until it is almost completely evaporated. Add the chicken broth and cook for approximately 10 minutes until it reduces by half.
While the chicken broth is reducing, combine the sour cream and mustard in a small bowl.
Once the broth has reduced, temper the sour cream and mustard by slowly stirring in some of the broth a tablespoon at a time. Add the tempered mixture to the remaining broth in the skillet and whisk until smooth. Cook until the sauce thickens slightly, approximately 2 minutes, remove from the heat and taste for seasoning. Add salt and pepper as desired.
Add the chicken and asparagus to the sauce and stir to combine. Serve over rice.