This old recipe with a funny name is like a grownup version of honey mustard chicken, no mayo required. The quick-prep meal is a friend on a busy night and the leftovers can be enjoyed in so many ways.
“Wicked Good Chicken” was first published on my blog in March of 2012 － truly the early days of the Fountain Avenue Kitchen!
Over the years, the family favorite became buried in the archives. Nonetheless, this easy weeknight meal has earned itself an enthusiastic group of devotees. There are certain people I see on my daily travels that never fail to mention this meal.
I am updating this post in their honor. At the time, I thought the original photos were pretty good. As time went by, however, I decided they were pretty terrible－perhaps enough to scare some people away!
Of course, I’m not deleting those old pictures, because they’re good for a laugh. ⇩⇩
Wondering about the silly name? Years ago, I polled my family for a good name, as a mere mention of the key ingredients (i.e., honey mustard chicken) seemed boring. This recipe deserved more.
With an ode to our time spent in Maine, the descriptive “wicked good” was suggested and seemed to sum it up. (For those who may not know, “wicked” is Maine vernacular for “very,” with added emphasis. For example, Ellen DeGeneres is wicked funny!)
The recipe isn’t gourmet, but it is incredibly easy to prepare and satisfies with its punchy flavor. The utter ease makes it especially appealing on a busy weeknight.
For a fabulous round-two dinner that’s light yet satisfying and brimming with flavor, I like to slice the leftover chicken and place it atop a plateful of Apple Pecan Spring Greens with Honey Dijon Vinaigrette.
Lately, I’ve been serving Wicked Good Chicken with Fall Slaw or Broccoli Slaw and forbidden rice. (Also known as black rice, it’s a new favorite; brown or wild rice complement nicely, too.) The mixers among us cut the chicken into pieces and eat it all together, bowl style.
Looking for an easy meal to bring to someone who’s sick, recently had a baby or is recovering from surgery?
I’ve delivered the chicken, above-mentioned rice and Fall Slaw ⇩⇩ combination several times recently. It’s a nice variation from the pasta dishes that are often received, and ideal when someone is trying to eat healthy without sacrificing flavor.
The meal is easy to double or cut in half, too.
- 6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 1/2 cup Dijon mustard
- 1/4 cup pure maple syrup (could substitute honey)
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- Kosher or sea salt and freshly ground pepper
- Dried or fresh rosemary (optional)
Mix Dijon, maple syrup, and vinegar together in a medium-size bowl. (Prep-ahead tip: Dijon mixture may be made a day or two in advance, covered and refrigerated.) Place chicken in a 9×13 baking dish (I don’t grease, but it wouldn’t hurt) and pour the mustard mixture over the top. Flip chicken so that it’s fully coated with sauce. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper, as well as a little rosemary, if using.
Bake in oven preheated to 450℉ for about 17 to 20 minutes, depending on size of chicken breasts, or until chicken is just cooked through and the internal temperature when taken with a quick-read thermometer reads 165℉. Half way through cooking time, spoon some of the sauce from the baking dish over chicken. Allow chicken to rest for five minutes before serving.
•The mustard mixture is bright and tangy; those who prefer a sweeter dish may add an extra tablespoon or so of honey or maple syrup.
•A little rosemary goes a long way. When using dried rosemary, I use about a teaspoon, lightly crushed. When using fresh, I add 1/2 teaspoon, minced, and garnish with an extra sprig or two.
Instant Pot Option: I have not made this in my Instant Pot, but a reader who cooks regularly with hers told me that she made the recipe using 4 pieces of boneless, skinless chicken breast and the same amount of the sauce ingredients. She used the poultry button and said the chicken cooked perfectly in 12 minutes. (She added that the flavor was terrific but that the chicken did not look as pretty as mine. To which I replied that she should look at my original photos.😂)
Case in point: