A week ago I had yet another failed attempt in the kitchen and went on a hiatus. However when I was leaving my dad’s house he gave me food, including a giant frozen chicken breast. I threw it in the freezer and figured I would cook it sometime during the week, after my current supply of chicken* ran low.
As it turns out, taking a hiatus from the kitchen is no easy task. I quickly found myself back in the kitchen, bringing out the slow cooker for a second attempt, after the first turned out less than stellar. I had everything set up, recipe loaded: I was ready to cook! Problem was, the chicken breast was not. It was frozen solid. When you suddenly decide to cook on a whim, it’s not that easy. Enter the microwave. I was worried that I would get chicken-salmonella juice all over the microwave or maybe even something worse. Thankfully it all went well (maybe one day I will actually use the microwave to cook, not just reheat stuff).
The next step involved math. The recipe I had found for slow-cooker maple mustard chicken called for 4-6 chicken breasts. I had what appeared to be one giant piece of chicken breast, but that was probably two stuck together. The recipe was downright simple: mustard powder and maple syrup. Finally I had a use for the bottle of Mrs.Butterworths I bought just because it was on sale. The recipe also called for a teeny tiny amount of quick tapioca- no way. There was no way I was going to have an opened box of tapioca kicking around my already full baking drawer for one recipe. I took the risk and went without.
That was all the recipe called for: dry mustard and maple syrup. It did not smell good when I mixed the two together. I had a sinking feeling that this would be yet another dud. I tossed it the chicken and the sauce in the slow-cooker, crossed my fingers and walked away. After about an hour I got a little curious and opened it up to peek in on it. It made my eyes water- I blame the mustard. But it did smell good. After a couple of hours the smell overwhelmed the house, it was delicious and making me hungry. And it made me keep peeking and more tears came rolling- you would think I had learned after the first or second time.
When I took it out of the slow-cooker, the chicken was the most unappetizing-looking thing ever. It was a very light brown slick hunk of meat- that smelled more delicious than it looked. What is most important here is taste. And what the chicken lacked in aesthetic appeal, it more than made up for in taste.
This recipe is a keeper. It is simple and easy and cheap and delicious.
*I cook up a club pack of chicken breast and throw it in the freezer for easy dinners. Just makes sense.