Juicy chicken smothered in a creamy honey mustard sauce – made even better with bacon! Honey Mustard Chicken is elegant enough for company, but easy enough to make for dinner any night of the week!
Honey Mustard Chicken is such a classic! Well, maybe not a classic classic. But you know, everyone has their own way of making it.
One issue I often have with recipes using chicken breast? They often turn out so dry. Unless you coat them in endless amounts of butter and cream, and even then you sometimes get a dry, almost-impossible-to-chew dinner.
But hey, guess what! I have two super easy tips for you to make the best, juiciest honey mustard coated chicken: A quick browning and cooking the chicken with the lid on. It’s really that simple 😉
I have tried this recipe many ways:
- Fully cooking the chicken, then just adding it to the finished sauce. Dryyyy chicken.
- Adding the raw chicken to the sauce and essentially poaching it in there. Boring, takes way too long.
- Cutting the chicken into bite-sized pieces, browning them, then cooking them in the sauce. Better, pretty good if you don’t feel like cutting your kid’s dinner. But still on the dry side.
But the definite winner was browning the whole chicken breasts in a pretty hot pan WITHOUT actually cooking them through.
My TIP #1 is a really fast sear, to get the outside of the chicken nicely golden brown. This adds so much additional flavour to the sauce, but the chicken doesn’t dry out.
Just set the browned chicken breasts aside on a plate and cover them with foil until you’ve got the sauce ready. And please, do not wipe or clean that pan at all!! Those nice browned bits on the bottom of the pan? They’re what make this sauce so good.
And as for TIP #2? Well… I actually discovered this years ago, when I made some orange chicken recipe I had found in the deep, dark Interwebs. I think it was some Jillian Michaels or Biggest Loser recipe actually (I know I know, don’t judge. Hey, I see that raised eyebrow!).
Either way, the seared chicken breasts get added back into the finished sauce, then you cook them with the lid on. The flavours of the sauce kind of infuse the chicken that way, it’s more a poaching and the meat doesn’t even stand a chance of drying out.
I will say that it can take up to 15 minutes for the chicken to reach a safe internal temperature IF you have very thick, large chicken breasts. I would still not recommend you cut them in half, because the thicker the chicken, the juicier it stays.
All you have left to do once the chicken is cooked? You remove it from the pan once more and reduce the sauce by simmering it for a couple of minutes. That way it will get nice and creamy and luscious – without ever even adding any cream. I mean, you could, but it really doesn’t need it.
We love this with mashed potatoes and a salad or steamed greens on the side, but it also tastes amazing over noodles – just anything that helps you mop up all that delicious sauce!
P.S: For even more flavour on a special occasion, deglaze the pan with about 1/4 cup of dry white wine before adding the chicken stock – so good!!
Get the printable Honey Mustard Chicken recipe:
I first shared this recipe on FoodFanatic as Honey Mustard Chicken with Bacon Recipe.