I love warm Spring weather. I love it for all the typical reasons; the sunny blue skies, waking to the sound of chirping birds, saying good-bye to heavy coats and sweaters and being able to spend time outside relaxing, puttering and enjoying Mother Nature in all her emerging glory. But I think what I truly love the most about warm Spring days is the ability to share the responsibility of dinner preparation with my husband. “Welcome home dear, how was your day? Great good to know, now please go start the grill…” Suddenly the pressure to whip up an applause worthy dinner on a random week night is no longer solely my own.
One such Wednesday night just recently came to pass. My chicken was happily marinating in the fridge, the broccoli was ready for a quick steam and potatoes were quartered and ready to go into the oven. All that was missing was my dear husband and his grill tongs. And then it happened… The skies darkened, the thunder rumbled and the clouds opened up. And it rained. Not just a light rain or a “get the umbrella you’re not made of sugar” rain, but a cats and dogs, soaking, pouring, drenching rain. Uggggh, so now what? Since grilling the chicken no longer seemed like an option I decided to throw it in the oven and take my chances with how it would turn out.
It was delicious! I knew the marinade was a good and flavorful one, but I didn’t realize just how moist the chicken would stay by cooking it in the oven. And once thickened up a bit the pan juices make a lovely sauce to drizzle on top.
It’s great to have a fall-back recipe for the next rainy night, time we forget to refill the propane tank or evening we decide we’re just to tired to bother lighting the grill. Actually, it turned out so good that I think my dear husband and I will have to find some other dinner to collaborate on. (Sorry babe, but you don’t get off the hook that easy!)
Baked Chicken with Lemon-Mustard Sauce
This is a super easy dinner to make. If you don’t have lemon juice, use lime. If you don’t feel like turning the oven on, turn on the grill. And if you don’t have chicken, turkey breast would be great too!
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup dijon mustard
1 tbsp. olive oil
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. pepper
4 skinless boneless chicken breasts
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Place all the marinade ingredients in a ziplock bag and stir together well.
- Add the chicken breasts to the bag, refrigerate and allow to marinate for at least an hour (longer if you plan to grill it).
- Put chicken and marinade into an 8×8 baking dish. Squish the chicken down so it’s as covered with marinade as possible and bake uncovered for 45 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F.
- Transfer the chicken to a plate and pour the remaining pan juices into a small pot. Bring the juices to a boil and let cook until slightly thickened. Slice the chicken and serve with the sauce spooned on top.
*adapted from bon appetit