Chicken a la Diable

Today’s very special guest poster is none other than my husband, Shane!Β  I took the photos of the finished dish for this post, but otherwise he did all the heavy lifting.Β  I may be a bit biased, but I think he did a great job πŸ™‚Β  I’ll be back tomorrow, but hope you all enjoy the change of pace today!

As you may know from Tracey’s recent blog posts, for the past few weeks she’s been working full-time at a law firm in Boston. She’s been working hard to keep up with her blog at night though, and since the law job is only temporary there should hopefully be little interruption around here. She asked if I’d be willing to do a guest post for her to keep things moving along, and I was more than happy to oblige!

I completed the fall marathon I was heavily training for right before Tracey started the law job, and as such I no longer have lengthy workouts to complete after work each day (until training for Ironman Mont Tremblant 2012 begins!). Since the Boston commute means Tracey gets home close to two hours after me, the tables have turned as far as getting dinner on the table! This chicken dish was one of the first I wanted to tackle; I’m a fan of dishes that are relatively straightforward and have a little kick, so I set in with the goal of having dinner ready for Tracey when she got home.

I can handle myself pretty well in the kitchen, but I’ve found that since I don’t actually cook “fancy recipes” that often it takes me a lot longer than I expect (and certainly longer than it would take Tracey) to get things together. I made sure to take care of my mise en place first (I pay attention during Food Network shows!).

Process photos

I wanted to show off my mad skills to Tracey, so I took some progress photos with my phone. I didn’t know at the time that I would be writing this up for a guest post – if I did I absolutely would have set up some of my Transformers in action poses with the ingredients. Next time!

Once I had all my ingredients together, the pace picked up quite a bit. I realized that the bowl I originally got out for the egg/dijon mixture was going to be too small, so I transferred it before getting started on any of the dredging. I didn’t have a great frame of reference for how hot to get the oil – I thought it was acceptably hot over medium heat, but Tracey tells me that I probably could have gotten it a little hotter before putting the chicken in. Other than that, everything went together exactly as planned!

Chicken a la Diable

As for the final result: this recipe 100% lived up to my expectations, I thought it was incredibly tasty! Definitely right up my alley flavor-wise. We found when cutting it up that the breading didn’t want to stay on the chicken and was sliding off – not sure if that’s typical with this recipe or maybe due to my not heating the oil enough. I’ll have to make it again soon and experiment! I had a leftover piece of chicken reheated for lunch the next day and didn’t seem to have the same issue.

Chicken a la Diable
from Bon Appetit, October 2011

1 cup all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 large eggs
6 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 cup bread crumbs
4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, pounded to 1/2″ thickness
3 tablespoons olive oil

Preheat oven to 375 F.

Gather three wide, shallow bowls. In the first whisk the flour, 2 teaspoons of salt and the black pepper together. In the second, use a fork to beat the eggs with the Dijon and cayenne pepper. Mix the bread-crumbs and the remaining teaspoon of salt in the third dish.

Working with one piece of chicken at a time, start by dredging it in the flour mixture, shaking off any excess. Dip it the egg mixture then coat with the breadcrumbs. Transfer to a wire rack and repeat with the remaining pieces of chicken.

Set a large ovenproof skillet over medium heat and add the oil. When it’s hot, add the chicken and cook until golden brown on the first side, about 2-3 minutes. Flip the chicken and transfer the pan to the oven. Bake until cooked through, about 12 minutes.

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