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Monday, September 13, 2010

Honey Dijon Chicken :: Dinner Plate

This weekend, a friend and I were discussing how hard it is to cook quick meals on a daily basis when life gets busy. That's when you turn to the crummy fast food, which leaves less money and room for the really good stuff in Toronto! I told him the secret is to mass-cook and that the freezer is your friend.

To save time and money, I often buy chicken in bulk and marinate them before popping in the freezer. That way, when I'm too busy to buy fresh chicken breasts I have a quick & easy backup plan!

Reaching for a plum, he spotted chicken defrosting in my fridge. 
"Erin, can you post a picture of your dinner?"
"But it's nothing special - I think people will find it boring"
"I won't."

This post is for you.

For those who didn't immediately yawn and scroll past this non-restaurant review, here's a tasty yet boring recipe. So, this may be the start of Dinner Plates - I'm already cooking & posting pictures and jotting down ingredients takes very little time. I love to share all things food-related, especially if there's an interest. Midnight Snacks has been a surprising hit and really fun to share!

I usually marinate 2-4 chicken breasts or thighs at once with whatever is lying around. 2 if it's an experiment, and more if I know I really like it so I'll be happily fed for the week. Then I label them with the date and stack them in my freezer. Fresh chicken keeps for several months when it's frozen solid.

For some, I play it safe with typical marinades (BBQ, Jerk, Kalbi, etc.) and but for the rest I often play with whatever's in my fridge and pantry to see if they're any good. This one is pretty typical & unplanned for the blog. Nevertheless, here's what I made last night:

Too much marinade?
Honey Dijon Chicken
- Honey
- Dijon mustard
- Red wine vinegar
- Garlic
    I baked it with some garlic cloves and roasted red pepper seasoning at 350F for 25 minutes (quick because I use the toaster oven). Served with a side of rice, and veggies I'd say that this was a pretty balanced meal followed by my usual post-dinner fruit (Ontario plums! The season is almost over, so hurry!)

    The top of chicken was a bit dry, I should have turned it over or added some olive/sesame seed oil. However, the gravy-like sauce was great! The mustard mingled with chicken fat, honey, and garlic had reduced in the oven and spread over the chicken very well. I'm glad that I accidentally put too much marinade for these breasts, and it'll be awesome in a sandwich for lunch. Yum.

    I think that I'll repeat this in the future, but without the red wine vinegar - it didn't add anything. Next time, I might add red wine or balsamic but I really enjoyed the honey + Dijon combination and I think it could be enhanced with some chopped onion.

    Steamed baby carrots,  mushrooms, & lima beans

    Wild & brown rice with beans, Brussels sprouts,  raw kale & tomatoes with some sesame seeds

    I'm not a fancy cook - everything will be quick, somewhat lazy, but always tasty, tasty, tasty. So there you go - that's what I had for dinner =)

    Coming up next...
    Insomnia Cafe
    Verdict:  Go! Yummy weekend brunch
    Meal: Brunch

    Price: ~$12 + tax & tip


    Kirill said...


    Mindy said...

    Wow, for someone who thought their dinner wouldn't be that interesting, I'm impressed. If you do this again, try sprinkling toasted sesame seeds over top before eating. And if you want a different marinade, soy sauce, honey and pineapple juice make an awesome mix.

    Looking forward to more Dinner Plates!

    Erin said...

    haha oh man, if only you knew how much sesame I've been eating lately. I have 3 full jars of toasted seeds because my mom keeps giving them to me. I don't have the heart to refuse as she gets put out when I say no, however small it may be! It's also why I have 3 boxes of Cheerios waiting to be eaten.

    I have a couple similar batches in my freezer waiting - one is orange juice & pepper paste and another is soy, honey, & lemon. Given how busy I am these days, one will pop up sooner or later in this blog, depending on my mood. I'll keep that in mind for my next marinating blitz!

    Kirill said...


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