You are probably quite used to having mustard in your hot dogs or sandwiches or burgers. Coming from Malaysia, I was brought up on chilli sauce and ketchup as a condiment. Then, when I got exposed to sushis, wasabi was another favourite of mine that gives that strong flavour that makes you feel like it can cure your flu. Mustard has now become the best substitute to satisfy my chilli sauce craving.
Being in France, mustard have been a handy ingredient to have in our fridge. It’s perfect to have it with your steak (from rare to well-done), your grilled lamb, your roasted pork or all the wonderful different type of saucisses (sausages).
Mustard is made from ground mustard seeds. There are many different mustard recipes with different ingredients that gives it different texture and colour; Dijon mustard has the colour of almost dark gold yellow.
Dijon Mustard – A bit of history
Dijon is a city in eastern France, and is part of the region called Burgundy. During the mid-19th century, a French named Jean Naigeon was trying out some new mustard recipes when one day he decided to substitute ‘verjuice’ (acidic juice from unripe grapes) in place of vinegar, which had now became the infamous Dijon mustard recipe. Since then, this mustard recipe had evolved and uses white wine instead of ‘verjuice’, giving it a distinct flavour.
Mustard – Using it in your cooking
In French cooking, mustard plays many roles. Apart from being a condiment, it is a key ingredient to make vinaigrette as it helps emulsify the oil and the vinegar. Even in the infamous Hollandaise sauce, mustard is used to help emulsify the sauce and prevent any cuddling.
In Burgundy, rabbit with mustard cream is a classic traditional dish. As for me, one of my favourite dish is mustard-cream chicken which my hubby introduced to me. Here, I’ll show you my version of this recipe for you to try.
Mustard-cream Chicken Recipe:
(serves 2 – 20 minutes preparation)
- 2 pieces of chicken breast
- 3 teaspoons of cooking oil
- 2 shallots – chopped
- 6-8 button mushrooms, halved
- 3 tablespoons of Dijon mustard
- 5 tablespoons of crème fraîche (or heavy cream to substitute if you can’t find this easily)
- a pinch of mustard grains
- ½ cup of water
- salt, pepper, dried tarragon (to taste)
- chopped parsley for garnishing
- A tip on how to make your chicken pieces more tender: give them some pounding before cooking. Once pounded, sprinkle the pieces with salt, pepper and tarragon.
- In a large skillet, heat up 2 teaspoons of oil, then add in the chicken pieces and allow them to brown on both side. Once brown, set them aside on a plate.
- Then add 1 teaspoon of oil into the same skillet, and add in the shallots. After 1 minute of sauté-ing, add in the button mushrooms and mustard grains.
- Once the mushrooms are sautéed on all sides, transfer the chicken back into the skillet. Spread the Dijon mustard evenly on the chicken pieces and continue to let it cook by adding some water into the skillet.
- When the water is drying up, turn the fire down to the lowest level and add in the crème fraîche and stir it to let it mix well with the mustard.
- Do not let the cream start boiling as it spoils the taste. Once you see steam starting to rise, you can remove the skillet from the stove.
We like to have this dish with plain rice. So to serve, lay the chicken piece on top of the rice, the mushrooms on the side, and pour the cream over them. Add the chopped parsley to the top middle portion of the chicken before serving.
So voilà, a not so complicated recipe with mustard to try. If you are not a fan of rice, you can serve this dish with either boiled potatoes or french fries or a more healthy option would be boiled french green beans . You can pair it with white wine if you’re preparing it for a dinner party.
Happy trying and cooking!