Here’s another blast from the past recipe for your consideration. Allen’s Dijon-Tuscan Chicken Breasts was my second ever blogging post, with no pictures or much in the way of detail. I was such a novice back then (at blogging, although the first time I made this yummy chicken dish, I was just as wet behind the ears when it came to “fancy” cooking). I’ve had the chicken on my menu for a while now, with the intention of cooking it up one weekend for the family, snapping a few photos along the way and sharing it once again with all of you. Life, death and the holidays simply got in the way. (As did the play-off games, when Hubby will not even consider anything other than Green Bay tailgate food). Oh sure, there was another game today. I thank God, my lucky stars and the NFL – it was an early game. We had Bratwurst in Beer for brunch, leaving plenty of time for dinner. And what a dinner indeed!
For the longest time, I referred to this simply as “Allen’s chicken” since the recipe came from a dear co-worker at the time, Allen. Yet whenever I put it on the menu, Hubby would ask “What is that again?” My standard reply was “You know, that foo-foo Dijon Italian thing.” Eventually, I realized this to-die-for yummy chicken needed a proper name. Although I named the dish Allen’s Dijon-Tuscan Chicken Breasts, I haven’t a clue if any part of the recipe originated in Tuscany. What I do know is that this wonderful chicken represents a beautiful blend of Italian and French influences.
You will notice as you scroll through the photos that I’m not using 6 chicken breasts – the recipe is designed to serve 6 people. I’ve shared the recipe in its original state, but I’ve cooked it for Hubby, Kiddo and I – hence 3 breasts. The beauty of this recipe is that it is easily adapted to feed more, or less. When Brother Dear was with us, I made it for four. I’ve served it for company, (always a hit) adjusting the ingredients both on a per-person and appetite of my guests. I’m of that old-school approach to entertaining, better to send guests home with dogie-bags than to have them leave hungry.
This chicken is so moist, so incredibly tender and delicious – perfect for company. The chicken will hold well in the casserole dish for about 20 minutes. Simply cover, and place in a warm oven. This should give you plenty of time for any final touches before guests arrive. If you are concerned about the over powering flavor of Dijon Mustard, don’t be – simply brush the breasts lightly with the mustard, enough for a kiss of added flavor. There are so many other things going on – the seasoning, the wonderful earthy mushrooms, the rich yet delicate sauce – that the mustard is really a minor character.
In keeping with the whole Tuscan theme, my side for the evening was another favorite – Tuscan Roasted Asparagus with Tomatoes and Parmesan
And for dessert – surprise! Apple Pie. Hubby picked one up at the bakery yesterday to have with our steaks, and there’s still half a pie left. (On a side note, sometimes Kiddo just likes to make me cringe – he stuffed M&Ms into his slice of warm apple pie).
One final note before getting into the recipe – you will notice from the photos that I didn’t really slice up the mushrooms. The Portobello mushrooms that I got at the produce market were so big and beautiful that I really didn’t have the heart to do much slicing – so they are more “draped” than sliced over the chicken. It’s a personal thing. The point is, add mushrooms however you’d like to arrange them.
Okay – another final note; whenever a recipe calls for chicken to be “brushed” with anything, I always place whatever it is I am brushing onto the chicken into a tin cup. (I’ve got a huge stack of them). That way, if I fall short, I’m not handling too many things – it’s a chicken goober-cross contamination worry. I’ll get a fresh little cup, and add more of whatever I need. When it comes to raw foods – especially chicken and seafood – I am very careful that the raw food does not come into contact with anything else. Better safe than sorry, right?
Allen’s Dijon-Tuscan Chicken Breasts
6 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts
6 Pats of butter
3 Tablespoons Dijon Mustard (approximately)
3 Tablespoons Mrs. Dash Seasoning (approximately)
½ Cup Bernstein Italian Herb Salad Dressing
½ Cup Chardonnay Wine
½ Cup Parmesan Cheese
1 Cup Portobello Mushrooms, sliced
¼ Cup Heavy Cream (Approximately)
Preheat oven to 350-degrees.
Brush each breast with Dijon mustard, season with Mrs. Dash seasoning. Place a pat of butter on each breast. Place breasts in a large casserole dish.
Mix Italian dressing and wine together. Pour into casserole dish. Top chicken breasts with sliced mushrooms. Cover and bake for 30 minutes.
Remove chicken from casserole dish, set aside and keep warm. Add heavy cream to sauce in the casserole dish in small amounts — just until sauce thickens. Place chicken back into casserole dish, top with Parmesan Cheese. Bake 10 minutes longer or until cheese melts and bubbles up slightly.