Maple Mustard Chicken

08aChickenRicePlatebfLOI had come across a recipe for a maple syrup and mustard barbecue sauce for pork chops, and I was liking what I saw…

Except, I was home alone for the week, and it all looked a bit ‘fussy’ for just dinner for one…

Still, maple and mustard sauce sounded good (except for a few things, which I could easily replace), and I had some chicken breasts and leftover deli meat and still a bit of pimiento cheese in teh fridge…

•1/2 cup Grade B maple syrup
•1/4 cup mustard
•1/4 cup applesauce
•1 small yellow onion, diced
•1 tbsp Cajun seasoning
•1 tsp seasoned salt
•2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pounded thin
•Thin deli-sliced chicken or ham
•Pimiento cheese
02cMapleMustardMarinadebfLO•Butter crackers and/or panko crumbs

First, the sauce: (do this well in advance, or even a day or two ahead, so the sauce has time to cool before you start working with the chicken) stir the maple syrup, apple sauce, mustard, and diced onion together in a medium pot along with the seasonings.

Heat to boiling on medium, stirring often, then simmer until the sauce thickens nicely, about ten minutes.

03ChickenFiletsbfLOSet aside to cool completely.

Wrap your chicken breast halves in a large sheet of plastic wrap on a cutting board – not too tightly, you want roo for the chicken to be flattened out – and give it a good whack! until you have two nicely thinned out paillards.

Combine 1/2 cup of the cooled maple mustard sauce with 1/2 cup of water and pour over the chicken in a zipper bag.

04ChickenMarinadebfLOStash in the fridge for a few hours or overnight – I started my sauce in the morning, popped the chicken into the marinade around noon, and started putting dinner together at 6 or so, and the flavor was pretty darned wonderful.

At this point, you could just take your marinated paillards and toss ’em on the grill, basting with a bit more of the sauce, and be done with it (and I may yet make them this way); but I had an idea of making stuffed, rolled, breaded, then baked chicken.

06aChickenRolledSauceCrumbsbfLOWell, really, I had the stuff for the breading and filling sitting around the pantry and the fridge, and not getting any younger, so I thought this a fine time to use some of it up.

Heat your oven to 350º.

Arrange a paillard on a clean board and spread with some of the pimiento cheese (or, you could use thinly sliced Jarlsberg or provolone), then top with a slice of your deli chicken or ham.

07ChickenRollsBakedbfLORoll the whole thing up into a tube, securing the seam with toothpicks.

I dipped my chicken roll in a bit more of the maple mustard sauce, then in the cracker crumbs to coat, and baked on a rack in a foil-lined pan for 30 to 45 minutes (my oven cooks fast), until the chicken is cooked through and any juices run clear. I also added the rest of the unused maple mustard sauce over the top for the last ten minutes or so, then served it over rice cooked in seasoned chicken broth.

11GarlicPastaSaucebfLONice, but it was just me for dinner, and so I had rice, and a whole chicken roll left over.

What to do?

The next night, I added 4 chopped cloves of garlic to 1/4 cup of hot olive oil in a pot, sautéed until soft and aromatic, then added a heaping 1/4 cup of chopped fresh parsley and continued sautéeing for another two minutes, just until the parsley is nicely wilted but still a lovely, rich green.

12ChickenGarlicSauceCasserolebfLOArrange the leftover rice in a baking dish, then slice the remaining chicken roll into little medallions and arrange over the top.

Drizzle the garlic sauce over all, top with some freshly shredded provolone or Asiago cheese, and bake or ‘wave until heated through and the cheese is nicely melted.

I actually preferred this to the original – and I thought the original version was pretty tasty – but I am a sucker for a good garlic sauce.

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