How to Cook Dijon Chicken with Zucchini

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 17,820
    Chef Amy Riolo demonstrates how to cook dijon chicken with zucchini.

    Amy Riolo: Hi, I am Amy Riolo. I am working in the kitchen at Sur La Table in Arlington, Virginia. Now I am going to show you how to coat and saute our chicken breasts.

    Let's first begin by talking about our chicken breasts. This recipe calls for two chicken breasts that are skinless and boneless, which have been sliced and halved with wise to make them very thin. This is about a quarter cup of all purpose flour. What I am going to do is season it with some kosher salt and some freshly ground black pepper. This is going to make a nice little coating for our chicken breasts. Then we can just dip each one in, very lightly. This is something that we don't need a strong coating on, it's just a little something to help it stick from the bottom of the pan. It's also really going to emulsify our salt along with the Dijon mustard. So it's more than just a broth that it's cooking and it actually comes together and becomes a little bit of a sauce. It's a very nice mixture.

    I love this dish because you've got all of the bases covered in one. You've got your lean protein form the chicken, you've got your carbohydrates from the potatoes and you've got all of your wonderful nutrients that are in the vegetables from your zucchini, like a lot of vitamin C and potassium and many other nutrients.

    So now that we've got our chicken all floured and ready to go, we can start by heating some olive oil in our pan. What I am going to do is turn our heat on to medium. Then I am going to add a tablespoon of olive oil to the bottom of it. We'll just let that heat up for a second. What we're looking for is for this olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan evenly. When it coats and when it first releases aroma, then we'll know that we can go ahead and add our chicken breasts safely.

    So I am starting to smell a little bit of that perfume now. So I am going to go ahead and just put my chicken breasts in a nice single layer. I am working on medium-high heat. This is a dish that I became familiar with in Paris. It's something that is classic Bistro food. You could also do it with other pieces of chicken, if you didn't want to do with just with a chicken breast. So I am going to let these simmer for about 3-5 minutes per side, until they get nice and golden. So now our chicken has finished sauteing on one side. We can tell it's ready to flip because we can see the edges of the chicken, how they've changed color. The center is remaining still pink and these outsides are remaining like a creamy color. That's because the underside is already cooked. So we can just take our tong and gently turn the chicken over. You see how nice and easy that glides. That's because it's really the perfect time to be turning.

    The key to evenly cook chicken breasts is to make sure that you're turning at the right time and only turning once. We don't want to be turning a lot of this at times, as we are making this recipe. We are going to let these cook just for a minute longer. So now that we've finished sauteing on both sides, we can see that our chicken is nice and golden on either sides. I am just removing them from the pan and setting them aside for one second. While we do that, we are going to take our zucchini and add our zucchini in. We are just going to brown our zucchini on either side. The only reason for doing this is to give the zucchini a little bit of flavor. Now if you didn't want to add zucchini in this dish, you could add broccoli, you could add cauliflower, you could do whatever you like.

    These are three zucchinis which we've just added. You could do about three quarters of a pound, if you wanted to go by weight. I like to plan about three quarters of a zucchini per person. This is a great Mediterranean and European trick to eating healthy, its really to bulk up your recipes using vegetables because if you will rely on the majority of your plate bring filled up with vegetables, instead of with meat, or chicken, or fish, you will have a lower fat dish, you will have more fiber. It's really key to healthful living. You also gets the benefits of all of the vitamins and minerals.

    So we can see now our zucchini is starting to get golden brown. Unless all we wanted to do is to give it just a little bit of flavor like this. Once we've done that, I am going to add my chicken right back into the pan and the zucchini will make like a little bed for our chicken. Now I am going to add 2 cups of reduced sodium chicken stock. So what I am going to do is just pour this right over the mixture.

    Now we can see where the sauce is starting to boil here, that's perfect. This is exactly the temperature we want it to be. Now I am turning this down to a simmer and I am going to cover it with a lid. Then when we come back in 20 minutes, we will remove our zucchini and our chicken, which will be cooked through completely. We'll add our Dijon mustard to emulsify our sauce and we'll able to plate our chicken and zucchini.