Another 20-Minute Meal: Balsamic and Mustard Chicken

I am having one horrific time of trying to keep track of things thus far this year!  So, anything I can do to make life easier for myself is a bonus!  I have discovered another quick, very hassle-free recipe, Balsamic Mustard Chicken that takes all of 20 minutes or less to cook.

The recipe itself hails from Erika at Everyday Paleo, a blog I found on Pinterest, of course.  After reviewing the recipe, I decided to NOT try the roasted veggies with bacon, since my beloved may be one of the few people on the planet that does not enjoy bacon.

This is the finished result from today's lunch:

I changed very little, and still ended up with a fairly tasty and very easy recipe: 

Instead of 1/4 cup of olive oil, I probably didn't use more than 1/8 cup and since I am out of spicy brown mustard, I subbed Dijon. The flavor was probably slightly more mustardly than if you use spicy brown mustard, but still it's a great flavor combination!  I did butterfly the chicken boobs, but I just added a pinch of kosher salt and coarse ground pepper to the marinade itself, instead of sprinkling the boobs pre-marinade.  I mean, really, do you think the seasoning is going to stay on the boobs if you rub it around in the sauce?  I think not.  

I did use a bowl with a lid rather than a plastic bag and I decreased marinade time to about 1 hour. 

That's it for recipe changes. 

Instead of the roasted veggies, I just steamed a few broccoli crowns with two cloves of garlic and made some instant baby red mashed potatoes while the chicken cooked, so it was a very low-fat, healthy kind of meal.  

Marinade took a whole 1.5 minutes to stir together, and apart from the marinade time, you have yourself a meal within 15-20 minutes. 

Final thought:  Try it!  


30-Minute Sweet and Spicy Chicken

Happy New Year!  I know I disappeared there for a few weeks, apologies! Life, of the real variety, got in the way. But, here we are on January 2nd, ready to hit that kitchen and hit it hard. Today, I'm sharing a recipe I found of Pinterest:

Being the one who can never follow directions exactly, to the letter, of course I had to tweak this baby not only just out of an incessant need to disobey, but also to eliminate the 6.5 hour wait/cook time. I was in no mood for slow-cooking today.

The recipe is way easy. Sauce + Chicken + Cook. Yeah. And regardless of how you cook it, the prep time is all of about 5 minutes. The original recipe can be found at the above link, therefore, I'm not going to repeat it.... I'll just tell you what I used instead...

1 envelope onion soup
1/2 c Open Pit Brown Sugar Bourbon BBQ sauce
1/4 c Jack Daniels Honey Smokehouse BBQ sauce
1/4 Sriracha (that stinky hot chile sauce that certain Californians don't seem to appreciate)
1/4 water
1 tsp olive oil

Please note that I drastically reduced the amount of Sriracha, as my innards cannot handle that much heat, and believe me, this dish got spicier the longer we ate at it. If, however, you appreciate a fine, painful, gastric burn, by all means, use the entire 3/4 cup from the original recipe. Please read all the way through, however, to find out what I would do different the next time!!

I was trying to think of a way to eliminate all that brown sugar (almost a CUP), since we are trying to eat much healthier. Then I recalled that I had a bottle of Brown Sugar/Bourbon BBQ just sitting in the fridge. Hello! Then, being the adventurer that I am, I decided it couldn't hurt to add some of the Jack Daniels sauce to the mix. Put this all in a bowl, stir or whisk it thoroughly to break up all the clumps from the onion soup mix, and add more water if it's too thick. You want a sauce that will allow the chicken to bathe...not just give it a coating during cooking.

The original write-up requires a crock pot. I say PFFFFT.  Someone, in the comments section of that post, stated that they used chicken tenderloins instead of the chicken thighs and sauteed then simmered them in the sauce for 30 minutes.  BINGO!  My kinda woman!

Since we don't much care for thighs, of the chicken variety, I used chicken breasts, trimmed of 98.2% of the fat and gross bits. Brush the skillet with 1 tsp of olive oil (you might need a touch more if you don't have a non-stick skillet) and heat it to medium. Saute the boobs about 4 minutes per side, til nice and golden.

Top with the sauce, cover, reduce heat to medium-low (about 4 on an oven with numerical settings) and let it simmer for 20-25 minutes, spooning sauce over and flipping the boobs about every 6 minutes for excellent coverage.

This is what I ended up with:

Oh, and I cooked up some Jasmine rice while the chicken was simmering, so yeah, 30 minutes start to finish.

The results:  Meh...(and I HATE that word with a passion, but still that's about how good it was...)

Why?  The sauce.  It's that damnable Brown Sugar Bourbon sauce, I just know it is.  No one should try to duplicate the flavor of bourbon or brown sugar synthetically. Just ewwww.

So, the next time I make it, and possibly the first time YOU make this, you will definitely NOT want to use that sauce. Teach me to NOT play by the rules, eh?  I do believe, when I make this again, I will follow the recipe (except for the amount of Sriracha), use regular brown sugar and a spicy, NON-Bourbon-flavored BBQ sauce. There really is something to be said for simplicity. All these new-fangled, "artisanally flavored" condiments ain't. got. nothin'. on plain bbq. While I did cut back the sugar count, the sacrifice came by way of flavor.

The beloved agrees....it was just "ok".

So there you do have it, my take, and mistakes, on Sweet and Spicy Chicken!