Monday, February 17, 2014

Dijon Pulled Chicken (Recipe 5)

Dijon Pulled Chicken
There's no good reason I was a chicken for so long about trying any sort of braised/pulled/roasted meat, especially now that I can confidently say that I wish I'd done this sooner, so I could have optimal levels of this Dijon Pulled Chicken for my whole life. I love Dijon Chicken, but that's a pretty straightforward yet delicious recipe.  Pondering my options, I began to wonder if I could do a BBQ pulled meat with a totally different flavor profile (I live near a really good BBQ place that I can smell allllll summer long, so I suspect that is where this idea originated). However, pulled anything just seemed so...complicated, what with all the smokers and roasting and rubbing...I never thought it could be pulled off in a Le Creuset! Oh, how wrong I was.

It is shockingly easy, but a definite time commitment. Luckily, this winter is never ending and relentless, so you've got ample time on your hands after the fiftytenth snow/ice storm/cold snap of the season, and probably most of the ingredients on hand already. If you need a really good reason never to leave home again until spring for the afore mentioned reasons, get cooking and get some some of this deliciousness in your belly. Having never cooked BBQ or pulled anything, I consulted several recipes for flavor profile ideas and cooking techniques (The Kitchn's BBQ Shredded Chicken and Braised French Onion Chicken and Pete's Recipes Pulled Chicken were especially helpful). I gobbled mine up with some lightly sauteed brussels sprouts, kale, and garlic and served it over quinoa, but I'd say any of the usual BBQ pairs would go well with this riff on the typical BBQ pulled dish (ie. cornbread, a baked sweet potato, on a roll, rice, cole slaw, etc.).  I drank it with a nice Cote du Rhone (c'est French, mes amis), but I suspect a nice crisp white or beer would be great with this lightly sweet and savory mess of deliciousness.  Warning: this even tastes good cold out of the fridge in the morning.  Trouble.  

By the way - only FOUR more recipes to go before I finally complete my New Years 2011 challenge to cook 52 Le Creuset Recipes in a year! 

Dijon Pulled Chicken in a Le Creuest

Dijon Pulled Chicken
Serves approximately 4-6
Dijon Pulled Chicken

2 lbs chicken (boneless and skinless)
1 Tbsp mustard powder
3 Tbsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp dried rosemary
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp ground pepper
2 onions, sliced
1 large leek, sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 cup white wine
2 cups chicken stock
½ cup dijon mustard
2 Tbsp Apple Cider vinegar
8 oz sliced mushrooms
Olive oil


1) Combine mustard, salt, pepper, brown sugar, rosemary.  Rub the chicken with it, and let rest at least one hour; refrigerate if longer (can be done well in advance).  
2) Preheat oven to 325.
3) In a large Le Creuset or Dutch oven, heat roughly 1 tsp of olive oil over medium heat and add leeks, onions, and garlic to the pot.  Saute roughly ten minutes until lightly golden and soft, and remove from pot.
4) Replacing the pot back on the stove, add roughly 1 more tsp olive oil to the pot and maintain medium temperature.  Add chicken to the pot, pouring any remaining juices to the pot, and brown for roughly five minutes on each side.  
5) Deglaze the pot with wine, then add dijon, stock, vinegar, and onion mixture.  Lightly stir to combine.
6)  Cover and place in the preheated oven for 90 minutes.  At the one hour mark, turn over the chicken and stir the contents a bit to incorporate, before placing the pot back in the oven for the remaining half hour.
7) Remove pot from the stove, placing back on the stovetop.  Remove the chicken from the pot and let rest.
8) Reduce the liquid in the pot into a sauce over medium-low for roughly 20 minutes, uncovered, stirring occasionally.
9) Stir the mushrooms into the pot, cover, and cook for roughly ten minutes, stirring occasionally.
10) Meanwhile, shred the chicken; it should come apart very easily.
11) Turn the heat off and add the chicken back to the pot, stirring to combine all the goodness.
12) Serve! Enjoy! Devour! YUM. 

- I used two gigantic boneless, skinless chicken breasts, but suspect any cut of chicken that is skinless will work. I'm going to try this with pork eventually too!
- I mentioned this above, but this recipe will pair very well with many starches and many BBQ staples.  Pick your own to try and let me know how it turns out for you!
- After you remove the chicken and begin to reduce the sauce, it will look kind of...gross.  Just stir and trust that those greasy looking clumps will cook down and combine.
- As prepared, this is actually a fairly healthy recipe; the chicken is a lean meat and there's not a great deal of fat.  I always try to use as little olive oil as I can; I find that just a good teaspoon sized pour is usually plenty.  Use your judgment and add more if you need it, especially if the pot is browning up too much.  
- Here are a bunch of pictures of the steps of this recipe, since if you're anything like me, sometimes you just want to see the details and get slowed down by a bunch of pictures of sliced onions!  

Dijon Pulled Chicken: the spice rub.
Dijon Pulled Chicken: the spice-rubbed chicken.
Dijon Pulled Chicken: the leeks, onions, and garlic about to be sauteed.
Dijon Pulled Chicken: cook your rubbed chicken for about 5 minutes on each side.
Dijon Pulled Chicken: then dump all the liquids and onion mix back in.  
Dijon Pulled Chicken: a Dutch oven inside an oven...meta? This, incidentally is where the good smells come from as the magic happens and your recipe cooks itself for you. 
Dijon Pulled Chicken: the chicken has finished!
Dijon Pulled Chicken: remove the chicken and let rest a little while before shredding.  It should fall apart pretty easily!
Dijon Pulled Chicken: reduced saucey goodness 
Dijon Pulled Chicken: shredded and ready to add  
Dijon Pulled Chicken: add the mushrooms, stir, and cook roughly 10 minutes until tender.

Dijon Pulled Chicken: stir in your shredded chicken and voila!

Dijon Pulled Chicken: have a glass of wine and relax, chef.

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