Thursday, October 21, 2010

Honey Dijon Chicken Stew

This tastes even better than it looks. It was inspired by a Lean Cuisine meal that I fell in love with.

Only instead of the green beans, cranberries and almonds, I worked with what I had, which was carrots and broccoli. The sauce was a bit too spicy for my liking, probably because of the dijon mustard mixed with too much montreal chicken seasoning, but the flavor was amazing so I dealt with it. That's what I love about stews, you can just use whatever and it comes out great. If I remake this, I'll be sure to use less spices and more honey. There's nothing more dangerous than having damaged taste buds and a sensitive stomach. I want to add the green beans, cranberries and sliced almonds next time too. Gawd, that's delicious. If you haven't tried this Lean Cuisine meal yet, I suggest you do, then you'll see what I mean.

Somebody remind me, I have a recipe for chicken salad which I want to post up here. I cloned it from the Starbucks Tarragon chicken sandwich that I love so much; it's also made with cranberries and I think it would be a good post for around Thanksgiving. Using leftover roasted turkey meat instead of the chicken would make it ten times better.

But I digress! Back to the honey dijon stew.

This is almost as easy to make as my Doy Sauce. (patent pending) The garlic pepper was sent to me from my good friend in the UK, wenchie. Most of it was raped because Tammy absolutely LOVES it and uses it in everything she makes. You can use just about anything in it, and I think next time I will try it with fresh garlic, chopped cilantro, ground ginger and cumin.

The rest is easy. Just chop things into bite sized pieces and sauté until done. Yes, I use the little leaves that come off the stalks of fresh broccoli. If you can see towards the lower left-hand side of the pan, I started with the onions, allowed them to caramelize and scraped up all that lovely brown stuff off the pan using chicken stock. That makes the bedrock of my gravy, adding dimensions to the flavor, even if it's cream-based. I just love using that trick and it's never steered me wrong.

Normally I would add herbs and spices directly onto the stew as it cooks so they have a chance to infuse, but this time I let the flavors marry in a separate bowl with the honey dijon sauce.

Once the broth reduced enough, I drizzled the sauce over everything and stirred it well. It looked a little thin at first but when I cut the heat and let it sit for a few minutes, it thickened up. If it doesn't do the same for you, there's no harm in stirring in a little corn starch or flour/water mixture to help things along.

I served this stew over jasmine rice, which I figured would add to the sweetness of the meal, and I was right. Though it would be awesome over just about anything, really.

Try it, and maybe that slammin' Lean Cuisine meal and let me know what you think.

Honey Dijon Chicken Stew


2 Large boneless chicken breasts, cut into cubes
1 large head of broccoli, chopped
3 carrot sticks, shaved and chopped
1/2 large spanish onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, diced
1 Cup honey
1 Cup Dijon mustard
2 Tbspns lemon juice shopping list
1/3 Cup white wine (generous rim shot)
1/2 Cup chicken broth
Montreal chicken seasoning and garlic pepper to taste
1 Tbspn vegetable oil, for caramelizing the onions and garlic

How to make it:
Sauté' the onions and garlic in the vegetable oil and allow to caramelize for 2-3 minutes until edges are brown.
Add chicken and chicken stock (Stand back- it will sizzle!) Let it simmer and marry for a few minutes before adding the veggies. Or, you can just dump everything in there at once, see if I care.
As it's cooking, add the wine, lemon juice and mix thoroughly.
Let it simmer over a medium flame and allow the chicken to cook through, about 15-20 minutes.
In the meantime, prepare the Dijon sauce in a separate bowl by combining the mustard, honey and spice blends, mixing well.
When the stock has reduced, drizzle sauce over the stew, mixing well. If by a few minutes it doesn't thicken naturally, you may add a thickening agent if desired. Serve over rice, pasta, potatoes, whatever you like.

Most importantly, enjoy!

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