Since I'm on a quest to fulfill my hubby's dietary needs at dinner, I decided to keep it simple and try to jazz up some chicken for him (really, me. Chicken is something I struggle with as I've lamented about before). I searched my faithful, never-let-me-down Mel and decided to try this maple mustard chicken (I'm calling it that, she called it something different). It was crazy-easy and similar in flavor to a dish my mom made growing up that we all loved and required more work than this. The fresh rosemary on top might seem extravagant or unnecessary, but I promise it makes the dish. You have to do it. Now, I intended to roast and mash some sweet potatoes with this, but I decided to let my 5 year old choose the side (in addition to a salad) and she asked for rice (a newly liked food for her). I suddenly remembered that I've read Mel discuss a way to bake brown rice that is no-fail and decided to try it. If you are like me, your brown rice always sticks to the pan and is never something I'd serve as a side without some sort of sauce to go on it. Well, today is your lucky day, because I am telling you this rice is FANTASTIC. It is not sticky and it is full of flavor. My husband was astonished and queried, "Wow, what did you put in this rice?" Salt and water, my dear. Just salt and water. It's brilliant, I say. Brown rice will never sit atop my stove again.
Maple Mustard Chicken
- 3/4 cup spicy brown mustard
- 1/4 cup pure maple syrup (this is NOT pancake syrup)
- 2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
- 4-6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (1 1/2 to 2 pounds)
- Salt and pepper
- Fresh rosemary for garnish
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Lightly coat a 9X13-inch pan with cooking spray. In small bowl or liquid measuring cup, whisk together the mustard, maple syrup, brown sugar and red wine vinegar. Set aside. Place the chicken breasts in a single layer in the baking dish, make sure they are not touching. This means that if they touch, get a second pan. Salt and pepper both sides of each chicken breast. Pour the sauce mixture over the chicken, lifting the chicken to allow the sauce to spread underneath the chicken. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and carefully spoon some of the sauce from the bottom of the pan onto each chicken breast. Cook for 15 minutes more, or until the chicken is done. (It took much longer for my chicken, just watch it). Remove from the oven and sprinkle with fresh rosemary before serving.
Baked Brown Rice
- 1 1/2 cups brown rice
- 2 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth, vegetable broth, or water (if using water, add 1 teaspoon salt. I just used water)
Spray an 8" square pan with cooking spray. Add rice and water, stir to combine, and cover with a double layer of aluminum foil. Bake for 1 hr to 1 hr 10 minutes, or until water looks absorbed (took just over an hour in my oven). Remove from the oven and let sit for five minutes before removing the aluminum foil and fluffing with a fork. You can double this and use a 9x13 pan.