On Your Table: An evolving Chicken Dijon with White Wine

By Cathy BranciaroliFood Correspondent, The Times

Recipes evolve.  That’s the beauty and creativity of cooking, resulting in a treat for all of us.  Sometimes the adaptation represents a great deal of change, sometimes  it’s just a little tweak.  Each cook adds his or her own particular twist, even to classic recipes. The recipe featured in this post has quite a heritage, yet I couldn’t help adding my own adaptation.

So here’s the history…..This recipe for Dijon Chicken originally was adapted by TV food personality Andrew Zimmern from a recipe presented on Martha Stewart’s website.  It was then discovered by New York Times food writer Sam Sifton who added his own twists.  He included it in a Times Sunday Food supplement of 24 recipes that require only one pot, pan or skillet. As he says, “Here are 24 brilliant recipes for everyone who hates doing the dishes”.  I can attest that it’s a beautiful collection that can be found in the Times archives from the paper’s Sunday, February 16th edition.

My twist was replacing the white wine with chicken stock and adding garlic, a pungent ingredient I add to almost every savory dish.  Although Sam doesn’t mention it, the dish is awesome accompanied by white or other varieties of rice.  Make sure to have a crusty bread on hand to mop up the sauce, which everyone who tasted this dish raved about.

Do try this because who needs to clean up a messy kitchen on a weeknight anyway?

Dijon Chicken with Shallots and White Wine
8 bone-in skinless chicken thighs
2 tbs flour
1 tbs kosher salt
1 tbs ground pepper
1 tbs ground garlic
2 tbs unsalted butter
12-15 whole medium shallots, peeled, about 3 cups
2 cups white wine or chicken broth (or enough to cover the thighs in the pot)
2 tbs Dijon mustard
2-4 tarragon branches
2 cups cherry tomatoes

Pat the chicken thighs very dry with paper towels.  Combine flour, salt, pepper and garlic then sprinkle the mixture generously on both sides of the thighs.

Melt the butter in a large, heavy bottom pot set over medium-high heat.  When the butter foams, saute the chicken, in batches, until well browned and crisp on all sides.  Continue to add butter as necessary to insure a good saute.  Set aside.

Add the shallots to the pot and more butter as needed for a good saute.  If quite large, cut them in halves.  Saute them until they begin to soften and caramelize, about 10-12 minutes.  Add wine or the chicken broth, stirring to deglaze.  Then add the mustard and tarragon, finally return the chicken thighs to the pot.  Cover the pot and reduce heat to low.  Simmer for 30 minutes.

Remove the pot’s lid and allow the sauce to reduce and thicken, about 15-20 more minutes.

Add the cherry tomatoes just before serving.  Stir lightly to combine.  Serve immediately over rice or pasta.

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