One of my pantry staples for adding flavor, but not fat and calories, is Dijon mustard. I’m never without it. Dijon mustard is a kitchen workhorse.
Having a bottle or jar on hand is a quick route to an easy meal. You can use Dijon to make a sauce, dip or spread. Dijon also works great as a glaze for poultry and pork and some fish. Because Dijon is thick, it also acts as an emulsifier so you can replace some high-fat ingredients such as butter and heavy whipping cream in sauces, or even omit them, if it fits with what you’re making.
A slew of brands are on the market and Grey Poupon is perhaps the most well-known. But you will find that some Dijon mustards are stronger than others.
Today’s dish uses Dijon to amp up the flavor of boneless, skinless chicken breasts.
The Dijon makes a flavorful sauce for the chicken and also helps the Panko crumbs adhere. What’s impressive with this dish, is how the chicken breasts are cut so they look and cook evenly. As an added bonus, cutting them this way helps you keep an eye on portion control.
Here are a few of my other favorite ways to use Dijon:
▪ Mix Dijon with reduced-fat mayonnaise and use as dip with pretzels. Start out with a 1/4 cup mayonnaise and add 1 tablespoon Dijon. Taste and adjust.
▪ Heat Dijon with orange marmalade or apricot preserves to make a glaze for chicken or pork tenderloin.
▪ Make a vinaigrette: Whisk 1 tablespoon Dijon with 1 tablespoon red or white wine vinegar. Add fresh chopped herbs if desired. Slowly drizzle in several tablespoons of olive oil (not extra-virgin) or a neutral oil a little at a time. Season with a pinch of sugar, salt and pepper. Use as a vinaigrette or toss with quartered red-skin potatoes and roast.
Many recipes call for pounding the chicken breast thin to make a cutlet. Most recipes instruct you to place the chicken breast between plastic wrap and use a meat mallet. This can be problematic because you can tear the chicken if you pound too hard. And some chicken breasts are huge and will take awhile to get as thin as the recipe calls for.
For years, I’ve always used this technique: Slice the chicken breast horizontally into two even cuts.
Start out with well-chilled chicken breasts. If you need to, freeze them on a plate for 20 minutes to ensure they’re cold enough.
Working with one at a time, place a cold chicken breast on a clean work surface and hold it in place with the palm of your hand. Starting at the thickest end, slice the breast in half horizontally, working away from you and toward the thinner end. You will end up with two even chicken breasts. You can slice them all the way through or slice enough to open the chicken breast like a book. At this point, you can pound the chicken thinner if you like.
Panko-crusted chicken cutlets with tangy mustard sauce
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Total time: 30 minutes
Instead of pounding the chicken breasts, use a boning knife to cut them in half horizontally to make two even pieces.
2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts (1 pound total and 1-inch thick)
1 large egg
1 heaping tablespoon finely chopped fresh Italian parsley
2 teaspoons plus 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard, divided
1 cup regular or whole wheat panko bread crumbs
2 tablespoons canola or olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
1 to 2 tablespoons coarse-grained mustard
1 tablespoon chilled unsalted butter
Place the chicken flat on a clean work surface. Carefully cut each breast in half horizontally so you have 4 pieces, each about 1/2-inch thick at the thickest point.
In a medium bowl, whisk the egg, parsley and 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard in large bowl. Place the panko crumbs on a plate. Place chicken in egg mixture; turn to coat and set aside for 5 minutes.
In a large nonstick skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat.
Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Dip each chicken piece in panko; turn to coat. Press the crumbs onto the chicken pieces so they stick.
Add chicken to the skillet and cook until brown and cooked through, about 3-4 minutes per side.
In a glass measuring cup, whisk together the broth, syrup, coarse-grained mustard and remaining 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard.
Transfer chicken pieces to plates. Add broth mixture to skillet, bring to a boil and boil until slightly reduced, stirring occasionally, about 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter. Spoon sauce alongside chicken and serve.
Per serving: 390 calories (35 percent from fat), 15 g fat (4 g saturated fat), 21 g carbohydrates, 39 g protein, 637 mg sodium, 158 mg cholesterol, 0.5 g fiber.