Time for July's Improv Challenge!
The theme for this month is pretzels and mustard. I love this ingredients duo and knew there was a lot of possibilities for an amazing meal. I tend to favor savory entrees over apps and desserts in these challenges and decided to keep with that direction for this challenge.
I decided that I wanted to make a crispy oven baked chicken with a creamy honey mustard sauce. I thought the dish needed something extra and I added a little beer to my sauce. Perfect. I used an amber ale in this recipe, but a lite beer would work as well.
To me, meals like this are great for a weeknight because they are simple, but are unique enough to feel a bit more special than my casserole rotation. Sometimes I find that baked breaded chicken is not crispy enough for me, but not in this case! The chicken breading was crispy and flavorful- the pretzels worked perfectly. The sauce was soooooo good. I made sure not to use too much honey because I didn't want the sauce to become to sweet and loose the mustard and ale flavor. Thankfully, all flavors were strong and accounted for in my sauce.
Kellen, Ron and I loved this dish, and Kellen especially loved dipping his chicken into the sauce. What is with kids and dipping sauce? I suppose probably the same thing that is with adults and dipping sauce, right?
Tonight, my friend Emily daughter is coming to play and I am hoping we can harvest a few things from the garden. I picked two massive zucchinis on Tuesday! Kellen is going to be thrilled because he loves when he has another little to tear around the backyard. I also have a late volleyball game and there is a good chance I am going to be a tired lady tomorrow!
Stay tuned for next month's recipe using tomato and herbs!
4 chicken breasts, trimmed
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp paprika
2 eggs, beaten
8 pretzel rods, finely crushed or ground
1 cup ale (I like to use amber ale)
1 cup heavy cream
3 1/2 Tbl stone ground mustard
1 1/2 Tbl honey
Pre-heat oven to 375. Line a baking sheet with foil and lightly grease with cooking spray. Set to the side.
Set up an assembly line for the chicken. In the first bow, mix flour, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder and paprika. Place a second bowl next to the first bowl and add the beaten eggs. Finally, in the last bowl add the crushed pretzel rods. Dredge chicken breast in flour, next dip it into the eggs and, finally, roll it on the pretzels and ensure it is evenly coated. Place chicken on the baking sheet and bake 35 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.
Half was into the cook time of the chicken, begin the mustard ale sauce. In a sauce pan, oven medium-low temperature, heat cream and ale till steaming. Whisk in the mustard and honey till smooth. Increase heat to medium and bring the sauce to a gentle simmer. Simmer 10-15 minutes whisking often to prevent scorching or separating. When sauce has thickened and reduced by half turn heat to low, and wait till the chicken has finished cooking.
To serve, slice chicken and top with honey mustard ale sauce.