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Pan-Seared Chicken with Mustard Sauce

Easy and quick, seared chicken breasts are served with a rich pan sauce the first night. The additional chicken can be used for making other delicious meals (see related recipes at left). To store them, let cool to room temperature, then place in a resealable bag or airtight container. The chicken will keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. It is best not to freeze poultry or meat after it has been cooked.

Ingredients:

  • 8 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves,
      about 3 lb. total
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 6 Tbs. (3/4 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp. mustard seeds
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine
  • 1/3 cup chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 Tbs. Dijon mustard

Directions:

Cook the chicken
Place the chicken between 2 sheets of waxed paper. Using a meat pounder or the flat bottom of a heavy pan, lightly pound the chicken until it is about 1/2 inch thick. Season generously with salt and pepper.

In a large fry pan over medium-high heat, melt half of the butter. Add 4 chicken breasts and cook, turning once, until golden on both sides and opaque throughout, 8 to 10 minutes total. Transfer the chicken to a plate and let cool for storage (see note above). In the same pan, melt the remaining butter and cook the remaining chicken. Transfer to a separate plate.

Make the sauce
Return the pan to medium-high heat and stir the mustard seeds into the pan drippings. Cook, stirring, for about 15 seconds. Add the wine and broth and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring, until slightly reduced, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the cream and mustard and cook for 1 minute to blend the flavors.

Finish the dish
Return 4 of the chicken breast halves and any accumulated juices to the pan, reduce the heat to medium and simmer for about 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper. Slice the chicken and divide among dinner plates. Drizzle with the sauce and serve immediately. Serves 4; makes about 8 cups diced or shredded chicken total.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Food Made Fast Series, Simple Suppers, by Melanie Barnard (Oxmoor House, 2007).