Today’s recipe, Sara Moulton’s Chicken with Dill-Mustard Sauce, is another where you can change the ingredients to suit your tastes. You can replace the dill with rosemary, thyme, or chives for example. You need an assertive herb to stand up to the mustard. In addition to chicken, pork and salmon are especially good served with this sauce. If the weather is bad or you don’t want to deal with a barbecue, you can also quickly pan-fry the chicken. Remember, because it is so thin it will only take a minute or two to cook! One of the reasons I decided to make it with chicken is that it is a good chance for you to learn a new technique – how to pound meat to create a cutlet! If you’ve never done this, it’s a great way to get rid of some stress or work out any anger you may be harboring!
Sara Moulton is one of my heroes. I was lucky enough to take a class from her and was very impressed with her style and grace. She started her food career after graduating from the University of Michigan when she attended the Culinary Institute of America in New York. She worked with Julia Child on the “Julia Child & More Company” PBS program and from there went on to work behind the scenes and in front of the camera at ABC’s “Good Morning America.” She was one of the first chefs featured on the fledgling Food Network and her show was at the top of their ratings for years. At the same time, she was also the head chef for Gourmet Magazine’s Executive dining room.
Sara is also an accomplished cookbook author and has written several books, including, “Sara Moulton Cooks at Home,” “Sara’s Secrets for Weeknight Meals,” and “Sara Moulton’s Everyday Family Dinners.” These are written so that anyone can create her tasty and healthy meals. You are sure to find many recipes that will become family favorites. I love mine and pull them out often to get ideas for parties and weekly meals. They are sure to become a treasured resource for you too.
Jane’s Tips and Hints:
Keep boneless chicken breasts in the freezer for quick and easy dinners. You can create endless meals, making it one of the most popular ingredients in the American kitchen.
Kitchen Skill: Pounding meats to create Cutlets
Pounding out chicken or other meat until thin creates what is called a cutlet. The purpose is to get all parts of the meat to the same thickness so it will cook evenly. A cutlet is usually lightly breaded and cooked quickly. Served with a sauce, it is a meal that can be done in 15 minutes! A meat pounder or tenderizer usually has two sides, one that is flat and the other with coarse knobs on it. Use the flat side to even the thickness and create cutlets. The knobby side is for tenderizing tough cuts of meat. For chicken, pork, and veal (or other delicate meats) place it inside a plastic storage bag (freezer-style works best) and starting at the thickest part, hit it with a downward and slightly sideways motion like you are conducting an orchestra, so that you are pressing the meat toward its edge. Pound until it is all the same thickness.
Grilled Chicken with Mustard-Dill Sauce
From Sara Moulton
Yield: 4 servings
1/2 cup coarse-grained mustard
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup olive oil
4 tsp sugar
1/2 cup chopped fresh dill
1/4 cup white wine vinegar, Champagne vinegar, or aged Sherry wine vinegar
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2/3 to 3/4 cups extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 shallots, minced
4 (1/4-inch thick) chicken cutlets (1-1/2 lb total) (or breasts pounded thin, see directions above)
1 to 2 tbsp olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Freshly cooked hot rice (cooked in salted water or chicken stock)
Minced fresh dill, chives, or parsley, for garnish
In a bowl, combine all sauce ingredients and season with pepper. Sauce may be made 1 day ahead, covered and kept chilled. Let sauce come to room temperature and whisk before serving. Rewarm and place in a serving container such as a small pitcher or gravy boat.
In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the vinegar, mustard, salt, and pepper. Gradually whisk in enough oil to make a smooth dressing with a balanced taste. Alternately, put ingredients in a jar, cover with lid tightly, and shake well. Stir in garlic and shallots. Place the cutlets in a glass pan, pour the marinade over, cover and refrigerate for 2 to 4 hours.
Remove the chicken from the marinade and pat dry; discard the marinade. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Grill on an oiled rack set over glowing coals for 1 to 2 minutes on each side, or until just cooked through. Set chicken over hot cooked rice, pour sauce over top, and serve.