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Dining Tip: Mustard-Braised Chicken

Just right for Chardonnay, this chicken dish is creamy with a mellow kick

Jennifer Fiedler
Posted: June 11, 2012

Note: This recipe originally appeared in the "8 & 20" wine and food pairing column on WineSpectator.com.

• 8 chicken thighs, skin on
• 5 tablespoons Dijon mustard
• 2 shallots, thinly sliced
• 2 garlic cloves, minced
• 1 cup white wine (whatever you're pouring will work best)
• 1/2 cup heavy cream
• 1/2 cup toasted sliced almonds
• 1/4 cup tarragon, minced
• 10 ounces spinach

1. Preheat the oven to 400° F. Cover the chicken thighs in 4 tablespoons of the mustard and season with salt. Heat 2 tablespoons of cooking oil in a heavy-bottomed sauté pan over medium-high heat, then add the chicken thighs, skin side down. After the skins have browned, remove the chicken thighs and reserve.

2. Add the sliced shallots and cook until soft, around 3 to 4 minutes, then add the garlic and cook for an additional 30 seconds. Add the wine and scrape up the browned bits on the pan with a spatula. When the wine comes to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer, then add the chicken thighs back to the pan, skin side up. Add water if necessary so that the liquid level reaches three-quarters of the way up the chicken, then place the pan in the oven for 30 minutes.

3. While the chicken is cooking, bring salted water to a boil in a medium-size pot. Add the spinach and cook until bright green, around 2 to 3 minutes, strain and reserve.

4. When the chicken is done, remove the pan from the oven, and then remove the chicken from the pan and reserve. Strain the sauce, reserving the shallots. Pour the sauce back into the pan and bring to a boil on the stove over high heat. Add the remaining teaspoon of mustard and cook, stirring, until the sauce has reduced by half. Turn off the heat and stir in the heavy cream to finish the sauce. Plate the chicken on a bed of spinach and shallots and top with a few spoonfuls of the sauce and a sprinkle of sliced almonds and minced tarragon. Serve immediately. Serves 4.

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