Honey mustard chicken is one of those quick and easy meal no-brainers. In its simplest form, it’s just honey mixed with mustard and a teeny touch of oil and salt. Pour it over the chicken, chuck it in the oven and walk away to do other, more important things. Like maybe your nails.

I wanted to jazz it up a bit, so I wrapped the chicken thighs in streaky bacon and added rosemary, loads of thyme, garlic cloves and red onions. And, because I happened to have a few of those gorgeous late, late summer purple figs in my fridge, I plonked in a few of those towards the end of cooking as well. But it’s not essential.

Serve this honey mustard chicken with a simple green salad made of cucumber ribbons and leaves with a bit of bite, like watercress and rocket. If you want a starch, baby potatoes plainly boiled in their skins do nicely. That, or a mix of brown and wild rice (Tastic makes one). Its nuttiness offsets the honey-mustard sauce beautifully.

All you need is…

4 free range chicken thighs
4 strips streaky bacon (simply leave out if you do not eat bacon)
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 red onion, peeled and quartered
6 sprigs fresh thyme
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
3 garlic cloves, unpeeled
3 tbs wholegrain mustard (I only use Maille)
3 tbs runny honey
¼ tsp salt
1 tbs oil
½ tsp red or white wine vinegar
2 tbs water
2 purple figs, cut in half or quartered (optional)

Cover each chicken thigh with a strip of bacon and place in an ovenproof dish. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Add the onions, garlic and herbs. Mix the mustard, honey, ¼ tsp salt, oil, vinegar and water and pour over the chicken. Bake at 175 degrees Celsius until the chicken is cooked through and no longer pink in the middle (40-50 minutes). If you are using the figs, pop them in 5 minutes before the end. If the chicken is not brown and crisp enough for your liking once cooked, turn your grill on for a minute or two. This recipe serves two. To serve a family of four, simply double up.

serves

2

prep

5 min

cook

50 min

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tips, tricks and trivia

Maille mustard

I’m mad for mustard and always have at least three kinds in my kitchen – wholegrain, Dijon and a hot English one. When it comes to wholegrain and Dijon, Maille is by far my fave. Founded in Marseille in France, they’ve been making mustard since 1747. I guess they’ve learnt a thing or two along the way. Sadly we do not get all their products here, but there are a few. Apart from wholegrain and Dijon, treat yourself with gems like white wine mustard with Cognac, mustard with pesto and rocket, or mustard with parmesan and basil. You’ll find Maille at Pick ‘n Pay, Checkers and Woolworths.

enjoy with

My choice with this is a great everyday pocket-friendly wine, Kleine Zalze’s Cellar Selection Chenin Blanc. It has strong litchi, citrus and guava on the nose that translates into lovely pineapple and peach on the palate.

Dry and fruity but fresh, this is a winner at under R50 a bottle.

Kleine Zalze

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