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Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Baby-Pleasing Chicken

This recipe originally caught Paul's eye because it was labeled as "Man-Pleasing Chicken." It calls for just five ingredients and practically no work to throw together. He clipped the recipe and kept shoving it in my face for a few days before we decided to make it. After enjoying it for dinner last night, I have decided to rename the recipe "Baby-Pleasing Chicken."


You see, our son refuses to eat meat. Other than pepperoni, he scowls at the thought of consuming chicken, pork, or beef of any type. He went through a phase where he would eat chicken tenders but has since decided that he would rather just eat the ketchup they are served with. Otherwise, he has tasted quite a few of our meals, only to spit out the barely chewed pieces of meat. He must be adverse to the texture or something. I think the last time he ate some chicken was when we were visiting Paul's parents in Montana. So....in January.

He does, however, eat fruit like it's going out of style. Here he is chowing down on his pre-walk snack. Sitting in a stroller for a couple of miles takes a lot of energy.


In case you're wondering why we have him dressed up like an astronaut, it was pretty chilly that day.

However, when this chicken came out of the oven, he seemed determined to eat it. Maybe it is something about the maple syrup in the sauce, but as soon as he took a bite...he was hooked. He ate the meat off two drumsticks. However, he refused to eat the sweet potato mash that I served alongside. Normally, he loves sweet potatoes. Must have been "backwards day" for him.

This chicken was absolutely delicious. I love recipes like this that are easy to prepare and use pantry staples. We served steamed broccoli with the sweet potatoes and chicken and it was perfect for soaking up some of the extra sauce. Honey could definitely be substituted for the maple syrup. I would not omit the fresh rosemary (unless, of course, you are morally opposed). It really was a lovely accent.


Maple-Mustard Chicken (aka "Baby-Pleasing Chicken")
adapted slightly from the Trader Joe's Cookbook

1 1/2 pounds chicken thighs or drumsticks, skinned
1/2 cup Dijon mustard
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary (do NOT use dried)

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Place chicken in a 8x8 glass baking dish. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper.

Whisk together the mustard, syrup, and vinegar. Pour over the chicken, turning the pieces once to coat completely. Bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees, basting once after 15 minutes. After removing the chicken from the oven, sprinkle with fresh rosemary. Let stand 5 minutes before serving. 

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