You guys, I am the worst. I am the worst because I have been making this for years and not sharing it with you. I’m so sorry. I have no excuse. I am deeply shamed.
This chicken dish is one of the first smitten kitchen recipes I ever made, and it sealed my allegiance to the culinary church of Deb Perelman forever and ever amen. It’s not just perfectly delicious; it’s a beautiful example of how technique, carefully executed, is as important as ingredients. Sure, the combination of chicken and mustard and shallots is a beautiful winner, but if you don’t really take the time to brown the chicken well at the beginning, you miss a crucial aspect of the dish and the addition of a whole textural dimension. And to brown the chicken well, you need to make sure the oil is hot enough before you add your pieces. It’s simple stuff, but I’ve screwed it up enough times to know that it makes a huge difference in the final dish.
The other great thing about this dish is how easy it is. Once the chicken’s in the oven, you walk away, and then you’re basically done. The sauce comes together in minutes, provided you remember to chop your shallots at the beginning. I serve it with mashed potatoes and something green, either green beans or peas. It even reheats nice for lunch.
Notes: I don’t serve this with chives because I’m lazy, but I bet it’s lovely. I also have never once had the chicken in the oven done in 15 – 20 minutes. Usually it’s more like 25 – 30 minutes. Your mileage and oven may vary.
Verdict: Basically perfect. Make it immediately. A+