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 FEATURED AUTHOR RECIPE

Kathleen Flinn 's
Poulet à la Moutarde (Chicken with Mustard Sauce)



THE SHARPER YOUR KNIFE, THE LESS YOU CRY


This is the most popular recipe with book clubs in The Sharper Your Knife. It's inexpensive and straightforward enough for a weeknight. In school, we made a version of this with rabbit, but here I've specified bone-in chicken thighs. A white wine such as sauvignon blanc or a chardonnay pairs nicely here, but if you're partial to red, try a soft one such as a pinot noir. Serve with a simple side, such as sauteed green beans, brussel sprouts or swiss chard, and capture extra sauce with hot buttered noodles or wild rice. In cold weather, add cream for a richer dish.

Poulet à la Moutarde (Chicken with Mustard Sauce)

Adapted from The Sharper Your Knife, the Less You Cry by Kathleen Flinn (Penguin, 2007)

3 pounds bone-in chicken thighsPoulet a la Moutarde
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon dried thyme

All-purpose flour
3 tablespoons olive oil
4 tablespoons + 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon butter
3 shallots, finely chopped (about ¼ cup)
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/3 cup brandy
2/3 cup chicken stock
Bay leaf
Five sprigs fresh rosemary or 1 teaspoon dried
2/3 cup heavy cream (optional)

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

  2. Sprinkle the meat with salt, pepper and dried thyme. Dredge lightly in flour, shaking off excess. In a Dutch oven large enough to hold all the ingredients comfortably, heat the oil over medium heat. Brown the meat, in batches if necessary. Remove meat from the pan and drain the oil. Using a pastry brush or the back of a spoon, apply a generous coat of mustard to each; set aside.

  3. Over medium heat in the same pan, melt the butter. Add the shallots and onion and cook until translucent. Stir in garlic. Add the brandy and chicken stock, and simmer until slightly reduced. Add the bay leaf and rosemary. Return chicken to the pan. Cover and cook in the oven for about 45 minutes, or until an instant-read meat thermometer reads 160°F. Remove the meat to a serving platter and cover loosely with foil to keep warm.

  4. Put the pan on medium heat and bring the pan juices to a simmer for about five minutes until slightly reduced, skimming off any fat from the surface. Add the remaining two tablespoons of mustard and the cream (if using) and let simmer for about seven to ten minutes until the sauce thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon.

    For a more refined sauce, pass it through a fine mesh sieve, pressing it through with a spatula to get as much liquid as possible. For a more rustic version, remove the bay leaf, and taste, adding salt and pepper if needed. Spoon the sauce over the chicken pieces and serve.

Yield:  6 to 8 servings