Monday, March 30, 2009

napa mustard madness? roasted rosemary-mustard chicken with potatoes anyone?

i had the best weekend. my two sisters and two lifelong girlfriends came to visit from southern california...this has become an annual event...the girls weekend in napa. when i say "lifelong" i mean it literally. the girlfriends are sisters and grew up 2 houses from my childhood home. their parents and mine were best friends...still are...and when we moved into our house one of the girls was a few months old...the other was born a few years later...they seem more like sisters than friends...and when the five of us get together it is magic....lots of laughing, giggling, story telling, memory sharing...coupled with eating, shopping being napa after all...massive quantities of wine consumed.we had a blast...i love driving around napa...showing off our beautiful terrain...and this past weekend really cooperated...the weather was perfect. it is the mustard is still in bloom...and i made sure there were plenty of opportunities for picture taking...
if you have visited napa at this time of year, you have seen the amazing sight of mustard blanketing the hillsides...and the vineyards. i thought i would share a bit of history regarding the mustard. i pulled this from the internet...the exact words were listed a number of times under many resources, so not sure where to give credit...but the story is worth telling...
"A bit of history behind the mustard flower that blankets the Napa valley in a rich yellow carpet is worth mentioning. Father Junipero Serra had come from Spain to Mexico in the 1800's to spread his faith. He was told of a beautiful land to the north full of wildlife, grand trees and verdant valleys. Serra decided he must see this land and with the aid of some Native American guides, set out to explore the country to the north. Father Serra had brought with him Spanish Mustard seeds and scattered them all along the path of his travels. The following year they returned south and followed a golden ribbon of bright mustard flowers that had sprung from the northern trek."

how cool is that? of course, i am always thinking about blog story topics...and mustard has been playing a big role in my life lately (what an odd thing to say...only in napa, right?). the napa annual mustard festival is just drawing to a close, there is mustard growing wherever i look, i started making an organic mustard bath for my bath and body collection that immediately became a best seller (caught me a bit off guard) and i am experimenting with making prepared mustard...that warrants a story of its own,recipe and all..but it takes 6-8 weeks to cure and i want to ensure it tastes good before i please give me a couple more weeks...then mustard making we come...

in the interim, i thought i would post an easy and delicious recipe for roasted chicken and potatoes...this one features mustard and of my favorite combinations. the ingredients (sans chicken and potatoes) actually started as a salad dressing...and i thought the flavors would be amazing prepared this way. my friends and family love of course i want to share it with all of you. as always, i recommend using the best quality, locally grown organic or sustainably grown if you can, ingredients possible...better for you..and just tastes better....

rosemary mustard chicken with roasted potatoes
2 packs chicken legs (10-12 legs)
2 tbsp honey-dijon mustard
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil plus more for drizzling
1 tbsp minced fresh rosemary, divided in half
1 tsp minced lemon zest
1/2 tsp red chili flakes
2 cloves garlic, minced and divided in half
4 baking potatoes, cut into bite sized pieces
1 yellow onion, cut into bite sized pieces
grey salt
freshly ground black pepper

preheat oven to 425 degrees. line a large rimmed baking sheet with foil. add potatoes, onions, half of the rosemary and half of the garlic to baking sheet. drizzle with olive oil, season well with salt and pepper and stir to combine. (note, i just use my hands for this ensure potatoes are completely covered in oil). place in hot oven.

meanwhile, combine mustard, balsamic vinegar, 2 tbsp olive oil, remaining rosemary, lemon zest, chili flakes and second half of the garlic in a small bowl. rinse chicken legs, pat dry and brush one side with half the mustard mixture. season legs with salt and pepper and place coated side down in large skillet over med heat. cook for 2-3 minutes. brush non-coated side of legs with remaining mustard mixture, turn legs and cook another 2-3 minutes until both sides are golden brown.
remove baking sheet from oven..the potatoes should have been cooking about 20 minutes and have turned light brown..if not, let them cook a bit longer, about 20 minutes total...when ready, stir the potatoes and push them back to about 1/4 of the sheet.
this is what the chicken should look like before roasting in the oven
place the chicken legs on the open part of the sheet and put back in oven. roast 15-20 minutes. chicken is ready when clear juices run when pricked with a knife...and potatoes are dark golden brown...
serve immediately

so here's to sisters...and old friends...may you never take either for granted! (and mustard is pretty good too)
have a good week everyone....
diane padoven
napa farmhouse 1885™
"live a green life of style"™

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Jill said...

The mustard photos are beautiful. I have never been to Napa, now I am not sure what season to visit. I had always thought I should come in Summer. What do you think?
Thank you,

PS The chicken looks really good too.

Mary said...

The history of the mustard in California was very interesting. Thank you for sharing this.

Barbara said...

O.K. Now I want some of your chicken! It looks so good.

Napa Farmhouse 1885 said...

hi jill..tough call on when to visit...i adore warm weather so i would visit in summer or early fall..which is harvest...but winter is cool because there are not a lot of no crowds..and jan-mar is mustard really depends on your favorite type of weather...

Napa Farmhouse 1885 said...

hi mary..i thought the history was interesting too...thank you for your comments


Napa Farmhouse 1885 said...

hi barbara..the nice thing about the chicken recipe addition to the is really easy...

try it..and let me know what you think..


Tree said...

Now I'm a little misty....

Anonymous said...

Looks like a terrific recipe. Thank you! I think I'll use it tomorrow night for a dinner party. Any suggestions for a good wine to pair with this?