Day 4 of #LoveWeek brings you: My love and happiness: Tyler. And Fancy Chicken. But we’ll go back to that in just a minute.
I met Tyler when I was barely 18. I was a freshman in college and I was enamored with my new life. (Just as a disclaimer, I went to a religious university, so my “party” life consisted of a lot of ice cream and movies. 🙂 ) When I met Tyler, he was already 21 and a world traveler. He thought I was cute, but that’s about it. (That’s my nice way of saying I was a little immature.) When we met again a year later, I had two semesters of college and a humanitarian summer in Ecuador under my belt. I was much changed, and he took notice.
We got married when I was twenty (I’d turned 20 a week before). Tyler is my best friend. He makes me laugh. He listens to me and makes me feel important. He’s my biggest supporter in any avenue of my life. I rely on him for everything.
As I read through these words, they feel almost empty to me because you can’t see the images that are swirling around my brain. You don’t see how he texts me before a photography session and reminds me to check my white balance. You don’t see him winking at me after he says something flirtatious. You don’t see the way he held me after we lost our baby boy. You don’t see how he dug the kids’ bikes out of the shed and jimmy-rigged the training wheels off our son’s bike to fit on our daughter’s. All because the weather was too nice to pass up.
He’s selfless and caring and helps me to be the best person I can be. And he loves me even when I’m not that person.
So, how is a chicken recipe inspired by my husband?
Tyler loves food. He came from a meat and potatoes kind of family. I came from a spicy Mexican family. Over the years, he’s learned to love my food, and I’ve learned to cook what he loves. We’ve balanced each other out perfectly. This is a great example of blended cooking.
This recipe has a few of Tyler’s favorite elements all put together. Chicken? Check. Bacon? Check. Mushrooms? Check. Cheese? Well, it has cheese. Tyler isn’t a deep lover of cheese like I am, but he doesn’t mind it, so I’m going to go ahead and check that one off too. And I love honey mustard, which is the sauce that gives this chicken such a unique flavor.
This is a great meal for date-night in.
- 4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves - pounded to 1/2 inch thickness
- 2 teaspoons seasoning salt
- 6 slices bacon, cut in half
- 1/2 cup prepared yellow mustard
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon dried onion flakes
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
- 2 cups shredded Colby-Monterey Jack
- Rub the chicken breasts with the seasoning salt, cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Place bacon in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium high heat until crisp. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, combine the mustard, honey, mayonnaise and dried onion flakes. Remove half of sauce, cover and refrigerate to serve later.
- Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Place the breasts in the skillet and saute for 3 to 5 minutes per side, or until browned. (Try frying chicken in leftover bacon grease.) Remove from skillet and place the breasts into a 9x13 inch baking dish. Apply the honey mustard sauce to each breast, then layer each breast with mushrooms and bacon. Sprinkle top with shredded cheese.
- Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes, or until cheese is melted and chicken juices run clear. Serve with the reserved honey mustard sauce.
Want to know what I did with my chicken? I took two chicken breasts and cut them in half lengthwise. So, instead of pounding 4 chicken breasts, I just took two breasts and cut them into thinner pieces. Also, I fried them in my bacon grease. When I told Tyler, his eyebrows went right up in surprise and excitement. It did add a little somethin’ somethin’ to the flavor. I liked it.
This recipe is very versatile. Add fresh tomatoes. Use cheddar instead of Colby- Monterey. Garnish with parsley if you have it. Don’t have bacon to fry up? Use real bacon pieces, the kind that you buy in a bag.
I hope you’ll decide you love this chicken as much as my husband and I do. My kids had mini-melt downs when I made this. (“I don’t like mushrooms!!” “I don’t like honey mustard!!”) Tyler and I just smiled at each other across the table as we savored another bite.
Have you already decided what you’re having for Valentine’s Day dinner?