I’m a big proponent of the home-cooked meal. Not only do I like having control over the ingredients I use (yay organic and local!), but cooking helps me decompress at the end of the day, so I can leave all the workday stresses and challenges behind.
Now, this doesn't mean that I’m whipping up gourmet dinners night after night. Oh no. Nothing of the sort. I like simple. I like quick. No intricate ingredient lists. No complicated directions or long, drawn-out steps. Most nights, I turn to a simple salad served with a roasted chicken from Whole Foods, tacos that I can eat for a few days, or an easy pasta dish, thrown together with ingredients I already have on hand.
That’s what I love about this recipe. You can whip it together in 30 minutes or less, but it tastes so decadent you’d think you’d been slaving away for hours. The only non-conventional ingredient is crème fraiche, but you can freeze this, so buy a large container and use half for dinner tonight and save the remaining portion for another meal. The rest of the ingredients are pantry staples, so you should be good to go.
And it’s so versatile—sometimes I’ll substitute pasta for the rice or pork for the chicken. If you’re a vegetarian, the creamy mustard sauce would be delicious tossed with veggies and tofu. Whatever ingredients you end up using, I promise this will become one of your go-to recipes as well!
First, turn your oven to 350 degrees. Then, take an ovenproof pan and heat up the olive oil for a few minutes. Salt and pepper both sides of your chicken breasts, then place them in the pan to brown. After a few minutes have passed, flip the chicken and brown the other side. Don’t worry about cooking the chicken fully—you’ll finish cooking it in the oven in a minute.
While the chicken is doing its thing, you can make the sauce. Mix together the crème fraiche, Dijon mustard, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper. If you don’t like things overly mustardy, just use 1 1/2 tablespoons of mustard. Also, don’t worry if you don’t have Dijon mustard on hand—the recipe works beautifully with honey mustard (it will be slightly sweeter), stoneground, or brown mustard as well.
Pour the sauce over the chicken and place the whole pan in the oven. Bake for 10 minutes or so, until the chicken has cooked through.
While the chicken is baking, cook your rice. Bring 2 cups of water to a boil, add the rice, lower the heat so it’s barely simmering, and put a lid on it. The cooking time will vary depending on the type of rice you use, so either use the instructions on the box or use The Kitchn's guide to help.
Once the rice is cooked, you’ll be ready to go—divvy up half of the rice onto each plate, top with a chicken breast, then pour the creamy mustard sauce over everything. Voilà—dinner is served!
This makes a great party dish as well—the recipe above serves two, so just multiply it and make as much as you need for your number of guests. I would serve this alongside a simple green salad and some sautéed mushrooms or zucchini. And, you could make this the night before and just reheat at 300 degrees for about 30-40 minutes before you’re ready to eat. Enjoy!
Photos courtesy of Niki Lowry.