This is a delicious quick and easy dish of chicken breasts enhanced by a cream sauced lightly spiked with mustard. Mustard is a byproduct of many wine growing regions. This winter crop is planted between the vines to provide a living mulch and enrich the soil with much needed nitrogen.
4 boneless chicken breasts
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons butter
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 shallot, minced
2 tablespoons Sweet and Hot Brown Mustard
½ cup chicken stock or broth
½ cup cream
¼ cup inexpensive cream Sherry
1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon
Salt and fresh coarse ground pepper
Wipe the chicken breast dry. Remove the skin if it is a health issue, if not leave it on. Season each breast lightly on all sides with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a heavy skillet and sauté the chicken breasts over a moderate heat until golden brown on all sides. Reduce the heat and continue cooking to desired degree of doneness. To test for doneness, cut into the thickest part with the tip of a small sharp knife. The meat should be white and opaque, not pink and translucent. Any juice should run clear, not pink. Set aside and keep warm.
Melt the butter in the skillet and sauté the garlic and shallot until pinkish but not yet beginning to brown. Add the mustard and chicken broth and stir to thoroughly incorporate. As you stir, scrape up any bits stuck to the bottom of the pan. These are wonderful little flavor nuggets. Simmer, stirring for a minute or two. Add the cream and sherry and continue to stir over a moderate heat for 2 or 3 minutes. Add the chives and season to taste with salt and pepper. Use as is or strain. If you strain it, add the shallots after it has been strained. Return the chicken breasts to the skilled and cook for about a minute more to heat. Serve with boiled new potatoes of Fluffy Herbed Rice.