Mom to the Rescue!

When in a culinary crisis, I can’t call my mother anymore, unless I am at a seance. However, she still helps me when I am in a quandary about menu planning.

How? I have a cookbook I made of her recipes, and I use it all the time.

In today's case, I needed something for guests visiting from the East Coast (Susan from the Provence WineZine and her daughter Alex were here!). We were out all day wine tasting, meeting up with vintners, being consummate wine enthusiasts, and simply enjoying the beautiful Arizona countryside.

We got home late, and I wanted something quick to throw together. For some people, “quick” and “throw together” connote store-bought prepared food or, God forbid, a frozen meal.

But not if you were my mother. She could put an elegant meal together in no time flat, and you would never know it was so simple.

Susan and James after a rigorous day of tasting!
We opened a bottle of 2016 Viognier by Rune Wines, an Arizona winery that is make Rhône-style wines; it was a terrific pairing. James Callahan, the owner and winemaker at Rune Wines, is a genius.

And Mom was a genius in the kitchen. This chicken dish is elegant and so easy; serving it to guests almost feels like cheating.

Prep time? Less than 5 minutes. Cook 20-25 minutes. Voilà! Dinner on the table.

Thanks, Mom!

~ David

Dijon Chicken

4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, about 4-6 ounces each

freshly ground black pepper
5 tablespoons melted butter
¼ cup Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons minced shallots

Preheat oven to 375°F. Place trimmed breasts, skinned-side up, in greased baking dish and season with freshly ground black pepper. 

Mix butter, mustard and shallots and spoon over breasts, spreading evenly. 

Bake for 20-25 minutes, depending on thickness of the chicken. 

Serves 4.

Note: The potatoes featured are from a recipe by my friend Mimi, who writes the Chef Mimi Blog - her Fondant Potatoes.

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