Saturday, January 16, 2010

Crisp chicken with mustard sauce...

I usually try to bake Saturday mornings so we have a sweet good to talk about on the weekend, but we had a bunch of errands to run since we were gone most of the week and I just couldn't carve out time today. We do, however, have a savory dish we made a couple weeks ago that I need to talk about!

Have some pent up aggression you need to work out and also have to get dinner on the table in a flash? Then I implore you to think about about making this elegant Panko-Crusted Chicken with Mustard-Maple Pan Sauce!

To make sure the chicken cooks quickly, and more important, evenly, you'll want to flatten the chicken breasts for this. However, don't worry if you are without a meat mallet - smack it with a rolling pin, the bottom of a heavy skillet or even use a hefty bottle of wine if you must. When they have all been pounded out, we took each piece for a swim through a mixture of beaten egg, fresh parsley and Dijon mustard. After the dip in egg, the pieces went into a shallow dish that we filled with crisp panko breadcrumbs.

Once they have been coated, I like to set breaded meats like this onto a wire rack and let air dry for a few minutes - I don't know if it really does anything, but it seems to help the crust stay on the meat and not peel off in the skillet. We often bake breaded dishes like this, but this time we pan-fried the paillards until each side was deeply golden. You don't need gobs of oil for this either, just enough to completely coat the bottom of the skillet so there is some left when you turn the pieces over.

Hurried out of the skillet and onto the plates, in the same pan we whisked in a mixture of broth and pure sweet maple syrup, along with another dollop of coarse-grained and Dijon mustard. After having a chance to simmer and reduce, we stirred in a nob of chilled butter to give the sauce a lovely sheen and hint of richness.

We sliced the crispy chicken before spooning the sauce over, but it is just as nice if you leave them untouched. Because the chicken cooks so quickly, it remains quite tender and moist, which contrasts well to the textural crunch of the light outer breading. If you've never tried using panko before, this would be a fantastic recipe to try it out, showing you just how well the coarse Japanese breadcrumbs work in breading like this. Jeff and I both found the sauce a tad on the sweet side, but using the duo of mustards reinforced the savoriness with a delightful piquant tang. I bet this exact same method would work out well if you replace the chicken with pork!


  1. Omg, the chicken looks soooo delicious Joe!
    Right up my alley, I love chicken, and mustard! And I really enjoy chicken breaded like that, it is so nice! I will make this one soon!
    Your pic looks amazing, it is literally making me drool!

  2. The perfect side...

    Just rocks with your recipe. We did pork chops.

    No grainy mustard, but I used mustard seeds, celery seeds, some juniper berries, and a bit of anise seeds to finish up the sauce.

    Good going for a great idea Joe!

  3. Oh man, that chicken looks awesome. Crispy chicken + great sauce = a happy stomach.

  4. Your dish looks fantastic. I'm big into panko lately. It does such a nice job of staying crispy. Better than bread crumbs I think.

  5. You have provided me with yet another way to serve chicken breast. This one looks yummy!!

  6. Ana - Thanks!

    Anon - Glad to hear it worked out with pork!

    MR - Panko is a staple here!

    Jancd - Great!

  7. This was the most amazing thing to come out of my kitchen in a long time. My husband says he would eat that sauce on anything. Can't wait to make it again...and again...and again!! Thank you!!!

  8. Joe, another winner! Everyone in my family loved this! I'll definitely be making this again. Thanks!

  9. I made this last weekend, but sauteed the chicken instead of pan frying it. The recipe was wonderful! I reduced the sauce a little bit more to make it thicker. It was full of flavor. I look forward to making it again. Thanks for posting!

  10. Donna - Glad to hear!

    Beatle - Sounds like it is quite versatile! Thanks for the feedback.

  11. I found your site when I googled for a chicken and mustard recipe. I made it and it was great, a welcome change to the same old chicken cutlet in Italian bread crumbs.My dinner guests loved it and one made it last week. I enjoy reading your recipes and plan to try more Thanks again

    Brooklyn, NY

  12. Kevin - Fantastic! I'm glad you gave the recipe a try - thanks for coming back with feedback!

  13. this looks delicious and i can't wait to make it this week. perfect for my roommate's birthday dinner!

  14. Hi Joe, I made this last night. My roommate loved it. She has already asked me to make it for her again. It was fantastic!

  15. Barbie - I appreciate the feedback! I'm glad to hear she liked it!