October 13, 2005

Experimental cooking: Dijon Dill Chicken Bake

I had a little fresh dill lurking in the fridge, and I knew it could't lurk much longer. I like dill, but outside of pickles, Cooking Light's Orzo & Chickpea Salad, and the odd veggie-dip, I don't have a lot of uses for it. I made the salad last week for an office potluck - Mediterranean theme - and still had a half-bunch of fresh dill to use up.

I had seen a recipe once in the low-fat cookbook Looneyspoons for a dill-and-sour cream chicken dish, but I didn't write it down because it seemed a little bland to me. However, armed with the experience of making Pörkölt, I thought I'd take the idea and run with it. It was pretty tasty - I have some minor tweaks to make it better, but it is definitely worth making again. Like the Pörkölt, it's low-effort cooking, but very rewarding.

Next time, I might roast some asparagus and dice it up to add at the last minute.

Dijon-Dill Chicken Bake

serves 3

10 chicken tenders or slices of chicken breast
1 1/2 cups light sour cream
2 - 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard - or to taste
1/4 cup finely minced fresh dill
1 clove of garlic, crushed
1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
zest of one lemon
pinch of salt
black pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 F. Spritz an 8" Pyrex baking dish with canola oil.
Mix sauce ingredients (everything but the chicken) briskly with a whisk. Taste, and add more Dijon if necessary, or adjust for salt. This, minus the cornstarch, would make a fabulous veggie or chip dip, by the way. I'm just sayin'.

Place a couple of spoonfuls of sauce in the baking dish, and smooth to cover. Lay the chicken tenders in a single layer over the sauce. Pour the rest of the sauce on top, and smooth over the chicken so that it is completely covered. Place in preheated oven and bake uncovered for 35 - 40 minutes. Remove from oven and stir gently to even the sauce texture. Serve over rice, preferably with a bright green vegetable. There's lots of sauce, which is perfect for rice, pasta, mashed potatoes, or some other sauce-loving starch.

What would I do differently next time? I might add a shot of tobasco sauce. I would definitely increase the garlic to 2 cloves, because I love garlic, and I think that adding a pinch of dry mustard powder in the sauce would be a good way to round out the depth of the mustard flavour without it getting too mustardy. And I'm definitely considering the asparagus.


Ana said...

This sounds excellent and very easy to do. I'll have to give it a try, but I might use chicken legs. I really am not that fond of white meat

Dawna said...

I generally prefer dark meat, too - you could certainly use boneless-skinless thighs for this dish. It would be a little less elegant, but very tasty. The nice thing about using chicken tenders in this is that, because they are essentially braised in the sauce, they don't get dry at all. Thighs have more flavour, though.

courtney said...

I'm a first-time *lurker* on your blog ~ I like the name of this category! I'm just sayin'. :)

Dawna said...

Thanks for stopping by, Courtney.