Cider mustard chicken

One-pan easy chicken with a tangy, creamy sauce.

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This is the kind of home cooking I adore: almost effortless prep, an ingredient list that largely leans on what’s already in the kitchen, and simple, undemanding cooking. That it’s packed with flavour, works easily on a weeknight and manages to be both comfort food and something out of the ordinary are all bonuses.

It all happens in one pan on the stovetop and in under 30 minutes, which is more than enough time to get together either some plain new potatoes, steamed, or rice, either of which will soak up the delicious sauce perfectly. For minimum fuss, just pile up some soft lettuce or baby spinach leaves alongside, let the sauce become a dressing as as you eat and use them to wipe up your plate.

I’ve specified creme fraiche and have found a little tub of it at the supermarket which is perfect here, though I know it’s not always the easiest ingredient to find. To keep the tang factor of creme fraiche, which is much of its point playing with the cider and mustard in this dish, sour cream would be the most obvious substitute, though you’ll need to add it right at the end and off the heat, otherwise it will split. Alternatively, use some regular cream.


Cider mustard chicken

 

Serves 2.

1 tablespoon olive oil
500g (1 pound) chicken thigh fillets, skin off
1 onion, diced
1 clove garlic
250ml (1 cup) dry apple cider
100g (½ cup) creme fraiche
2 tablespoons wholegrain mustard
¼ cup parsley leaves, roughly chopped

Warm the oil over medium-high heat in a frying pan or other broad, shallow pan (one for which there’s a lid). Slice the chicken into chunks (about 6 from each fillet) and brown them for 3 minutes a side. Transfer to a plate.

Turn the heat down to medium and cook the onion until soft and translucent. Grate in the clove of garlic and cook for a further minute, just until its fragrance rises.

Pour in the cider and return the chicken to pan. Let it come up to a lively bubble before reducing the heat to a gentle simmer. Cover and leave it, unattended, to cook for 10 minutes.

Stir in the creme fraiche, mustard and parsley. Cook for a further 5 minutes, uncovered, letting the sauce thicken slightly. Taste, seasoning with salt and pepper, and serve.