Labor Day is a bittersweet holiday. Of course we are thrilled to have a long weekend and a chance to get out of town for a few days, but it marks the end of the summer holiday season and back-to-school for most children. If you are lucky enough to be in the northern states, it also begins our most beautiful weather of the year. September and October are spectacular here and the perfect time for outdoor grilling.
The days are warm with sparkling sunshine and the nights have finally started to cool down, so you sleep soundly and wake totally rested. With just a hint of autumn in the air, it is my favorite time of the year.
Today’s recipe is grilled chicken made with a mustard-dill sauce, always a delicious combination of flavors. But if you don’t care for dill, you can change the herbs to suit your tastes. You can replace it with rosemary, thyme, or chives for example. Just remember that you need an assertive herb to stand up to the mustard. This sauce is also fantastic with pork and salmon!
- 1/2 cup coarse-grained mustard
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 4 tsp sugar
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh dill
- 1/4 cup white wine vinegar, Champagne vinegar, or aged Sherry wine vinegar
- 2 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2/3 to 3/4 cups extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 shallots, minced
- 4 (1/4-inch thick) chicken cutlets (1-1/2 lb total) (or breasts pounded thin, see directions above)
- 1 to 2 tbsp olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Freshly cooked hot rice (cooked in salted water or chicken stock)
- Minced fresh dill, chives, or parsley, for garnish
- In a bowl, combine all sauce ingredients and season with pepper. Sauce may be made 1 day ahead, covered and kept chilled.
- Let sauce come to room temperature and whisk before serving.
- Rewarm and place in a serving container such as a small pitcher or gravy boat.
- In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the vinegar, mustard, salt, and pepper.
- Gradually whisk in enough oil to make a smooth dressing with a balanced taste.
- Alternately, put ingredients in a jar, cover with lid tightly, and shake well.
- Stir in garlic and shallots.
- Place the cutlets in a glass pan, pour the marinade over, cover and refrigerate for 2 to 4 hours.
- Remove the chicken from the marinade and pat dry; discard the marinade.
- Season chicken with salt and pepper.
- Grill on an oiled rack set over glowing coals for 1 to 2 minutes on each side, or until just cooked through.
- Set chicken over hot cooked rice, pour sauce over top, and serve