Saturday, March 13, 2010

Mustard Chicken with Potatoes & Leeks

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Wow. I love simple dishes that are full of flavor. I also like that this effortless dish is so visually appealing. By steaming the veggies in the parchment packets they come out vibrant in color and deliciously crisp-tender. This dish was so simple to put together. While it baked I was able to make a salad and dessert. The mustard kept the chicken tender and moist. I can’t wait to make this again.

Mustard Chicken with Potatoes & Leeks
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Serves 2

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 teaspoons coarse-grained mustard (I use Maille Old Style Whole Grain mustard)
1 leek, trimmed, cleaned and cut into 2 inch long julienne strips
5 oz julienned carrots (about 2 inches long) (about 1 ½ c)
Fresh or dried thyme, to taste
Drizzle olive oil
3 red skinned potatoes (about 12 oz), cut into bite sized pieces
1 tsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 tsp fresh lemon zest
Salt & freshly ground pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 375F. Prepare 2 pieces of parchment paper or foil for papillotes*

Open the papillotes and place a chicken breast in the center on one half of each opened paper heart.

Spread 1 tsp mustard over each chicken breast. Distribute leeks and carrots evenly over the chicken. Season with salt, pepper, and thyme; drizzle with olive oil. I didn’t completely seal my papillotes, I simply folded them up and flipped them over, seam side down, into an 8x8 inch baking dish.

Put potato cubes into a foil packet. Season with salt, pepper, thyme, 1 tsp mustard (if desired) and drizzle with about a Tbsp of olive oil. Place on baking sheet in oven along with the chicken papillotes.

Bake until the packages are puffed, about 30 minutes. Since my packets were not tightly sealed they didn’t puff up, but nothing leaked out into the baking dish. Open one package to check that the chicken is done (open the packet and stick a meat thermometer in the chicken, it should be at least 165F). Next, check the potato packet. My potatoes were not quite fork tender, so I put them back in the oven to bake another 15 minutes. Open the packets and combine the chicken and veggies in the baking dish, add the lemon juice and zest,tossing to coat. Serve and enjoy the compliments you will receive.

*To prepare a papillote: Cut a piece of parchment paper or foil about 12x16 inches. Fold in half an 8x12-inch rectangle, then cut into a half-heart shape as you would a Valentine.
For step-by-step, detailed instructions on making papillotes click here

Source: adapted from Eating Well

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