Oh my readers what a treat I have for you this evening.
My 4 moms came to Baltimore this weekend (1 biological mother + 3 adopted mothers= 4 soul mothers) mainly to celebrate my sister and my new niece or nephew who will be here in about 6 weeks! That’s right, I’m becoming an aunt.
It was a pretty rainy weekend so we mostly just hunkered down in my sister and brother-in-law’s new house (they also moved… has it been a while since I updated you on their lives?)
Last night we all had the honor of attending the Nicky Wadach Academy of Fine Cuisine. I’ve talked about Nicky before because she’s provided me with so many great recipes in the past, but this was the first time I got to see her in action.
She moves around the kitchen with such grace and purpose, especially considering we weren’t even in HER kitchen. She accepts help from no one which I fully respect as someone who prefers not to delegate while I’m cooking, either. We were all taking notes, some of us mental notes and others literal pen-and-paper notes. Riveting stuff.
My original plan was to have Nicky guest blog this but she’s quite humble (didn’t even want to be in any of the pictures!) so instead I made the recipe again tonight; the GS didn’t get to experience the beauty as it was a girls weekend only.
She doesn’t really measure anything (#respect) so I tried to approximate her quantities and then measure for the sake of being able to share it with you.
It’s a simple recipe that I feel VERY confident anyone hoping to jump start a New Year’s resolution of cooking at home more often can pull off. And it was an obvious crowd pleaser. So without further ado…
Nicky’s Baked Chicken & Rice
(serves 4, easily multiplied DON’T DIVIDE IT I promise you will want leftovers)
for the chicken
4 chicken breasts, cut in half
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 small sweet onion, diced
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup Dijon mustard
1/2 cup honey
1 tsp curry powder
for the rice
1 cup jasmine rice (or really whatever rice you want to use)
1 small sweet onion, diced
2 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 cups chicken stock
Melt the half stick of butter in a large skillet. Add the onion and garlic, season with salt and pepper, and cook until translucent- about 5 minutes. Add the honey and stir, allowing it to melt down a bit. Add the Dijon mustard and stir to incorporate it, then the curry powder.
Let it simmer on medium-low heat until it starts to get thick and a nice caramel-y brown color. Remove from heat and allow it to cool for at least 10 minutes. It will thicken up more as it cools.
Season the chicken on both sides with salt and pepper. Dip in the sauce, making sure it completely coat it. Place on a baking sheet lined with heavy duty foil. Pour the remaining sauce over the chicken, making sure you get every last drop on the pan.
Stick it in the oven at 400 degrees for 1 hour.
When it’s been in there for about 20-25 minutes, start the rice. In an oven-safe pot (I use my Dutch oven) melt 2 tablespoons butter. Add the chopped onion and garlic, season with salt and pepper, and cook until translucent. Add the rice and let it start to get a little bit toasted, then add the chicken stock.
Note: you should always use twice the amount of liquid as you have rice so 1 cup rice, 2 cups liquid. If you don’t have stock you can of course use water but this is a way to add a bit more flavor.
Give it a quick stir then cover it and stick it in the oven below the chicken for the remaining baking time, about 30 minutes. Serve!
Last night we had it with roasted broccoli and carrots and I could have eaten 3 platefuls but, unlike my sister, do not have the excuse of eating for two. The chicken has SO much flavor and is nice and sticky and caramelized on the outside but juicy on the inside, and you’ll want to mix everything on your plate in to get the last drops of that sauce.
Nicky’s hosting us in two weeks or so for our annual Hilton Head party. I may just show up that morning so I can continue my lessons. She didn’t confide in us the menu for that evening but whatever she’s making I’m excited about it.
So thanks to all my moms (and my pseudo cousin Kiersten) for a wonderful weekend full of laughs! Kelly and Baby T and I are lucky to have such wonderful visitors!