Whole grains are very “now” at the moment. Cool. It. De rigeur. It seems everybody wants a bit of the wholegrain action because they’re full of fibre, they’re filling, and they’re healthy. As you can probably guess from the photo, today’s wholegrain recipe is none of those. Except possibly filling. It is good for you though. Well, better than not-wholegrain. See, the wholegrain refers to mustard, and about the same time as I decided that mustard really was actually quite a good condiment, as long as you were careful what you put it on, I was diagnosed as coeliac and mustard was off the menu, since most commercial mustards contain wheat flour. Why, I’m not entirely sure when it should really just be flour of the mustard variety in there, plus some vinegar and a few other bits and bobs but there you go, another item off the menu for coeliacs. Except wholegrain mustard, which bizarrely is almost always gluten free (always ready the label). And, in my opinion, tastes better anyway.
Not quite as sharp as it’s gluten-containing brethren, wholegrain mustard has a much more interesting texture and little bursts of flavour, as well as generally being less spicy. If I want spice, I’ll add hot sauce; mustard I tend to prefer for its tang. And this recipe has tang in, er, cans? (I’m thinking of the weird orange soft drink they have in Asia). It’s very tangy basically. But because the mustard is cooked it mellows the flavours somewhat, leaving just enough tang and spice to add interest to that most uninteresting of meats, white chicken breast. In fact it adds so much flavour that there’s really no need for the herbs which the original recipe calls for. I like my wholegrain unadulterated thank you very much.
If anyone’s brave enough to try this with a (gluten-free) hot English mustard, do let me know how it turns out.
2 skinless chicken breasts
2 tablespoons wholegrain mustard
4 tablespoons gluten-free breadcrumbs
1 teaspoon butter, chopped into tiny little cubes
1. Preheat the oven to 180 C.
2. Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Spoon a tablespoon of wholegrain mustard onto the top of each breast and spread into a thick even layer.
3. Spread the breadcrumbs onto a plate and taking each chicken breast in turn roll the mustard side into the breadcrumbs firmly, so there is a good thick layer of crumbs stuck to the mustard. Do the same with the other chicken breast, and place the chicken, crumb-side up, into a baking tray. Spoon any leftover crumbs on top of them.
4. Bake the chicken in the oven for about 20-25 minutes, depending on the thickness of the breast, or until the juices run clear. Halfway through cooking remove the chicken and dot the cubes of butter over the top of the breadcrumbs, then return the chicken to the oven to finish cooking.
Serves 2. I personally love to serve this with chips, because it feels like gourmet home-cooked food and junk food at the same time, but it really is good enough to serve with posher food for a dinner party too.