Honey Mustard Chicken with Spring Risotto

Monday, May 30, 2011

I had this amazing risotto that my sister, Emily, made for us one evening a few weeks ago.  It was her first risotto ever and it was a smashing success!  We ate it simply with crusty bread and olive oil as the girls, her daughters, my nieces, nicely played on the deck.  Spring evening perfection.  

Inspiration photo from our wonderful evening. 

Ever since, I have been craving this dish.  Em did send me home with over two servings for lunch left overs...still didn't tide me over.

I made a little modifications from the original recipe and Emily's as well.  Probably one of my favorite texts ever from Emily came when she was in the grocery store shopping for dinner, "do we eat leeks?"  I replied with a "YES ABSOLUTELY THEY ARE WONDERFUL!" But, she didn't get it in time.  She went with onion in place of Ina's leeks and dill in place of the fennel.  I did mine mostly the same except I did keep the leeks.

Here's the breakdown:

Musical Selection: Proud to be an American. I had to, it's Memorial Day!  "From the Lakes of Minnesota...."

I'll start with the chicken since it is best to let it marinate as long as possible.  I found this recipe online and modified it a little bit as usual.  
Mix the whole grain mustard, yellow mustard, honey, lemon juice, garlic, paprika, red pepper flakes and brown sugar.  Reserve about a 1/2 cup for serving once cooked.  Pour remaining sauce over chicken.
Make sure you coat the chicken on all sides for even delivery of honey mustard goodness. Let the chicken marinade in the mixture for at least 45 minutes.  The longer this sits the better...over night would be awesome. Pop it in the fridge. 

When you are about 45 minutes away from when you would like to eat...start with the risotto.  Although making this (and any) risotto takes a while, it is quite easy. 

Start by thinly slicing the leeks.  Put them into your kitchen sink that is full of cold water.  Leeks are dirty, dirty little veggies and need a good cleaning.  No one likes a mouth full of sand. 
Preheat your skillet with the olive oil and butter.  Pop the leeks (after you squeeze them to get the water out) into the hot pan.  Saute for about 5 minutes along with the onion. 
While the leeks and onion saute, work on the asparagus.  To determine where they start to get "woody," snap one like this.  Where the first few snaps will let you know where to cut them as a bunch.  And no, I'm not, and will not be a hand model.  Yikes.

After you cut the aspragus, cook them quickly.  I popped mine in the microwave for about a minute.  You don't want to cook them all the way--I like a little texture in the risotto. 
 Then add the Aborio rice to the pan.  I toasted mine for about two minutes before adding the wine.  Add 1/2 cup of a dry white wine.  I had Pinot Grigio on hand so that is what I used.  Drink the remainder of the bottle...just kidding? 
Bring 5 cups of chicken stock to a boil in a separate pan.   Once the majority of the wine is absorbed, add the stock ladles at a time to the rice.  
After the chicken stock has been added....
Once the stock has bubbled away and soaked into the rice. Continue this process until there is no remaining chicken stock and the rice is tender. 

Back to the chicken....
You can either grill on an outdoor grill or on a grill pan like I did.  Preheat your grill/grill pan of choice and cook the chicken 6-7 minutes on each side. 

While your chicken grills, mix the Mascarpone and parmesan cheese, lemon zest and juice together in a small bowl. 
Add the frozen peas, asparagus and dill to the rice.  Let cook for about 2 minutes.  Test the peas to ensure they are cooked. 
Add the cheese mixture.  Sir together.
Plate risotto and chicken.  Take reserved honey mustard sauce and pour over chicken.  
After making this risotto I told Mr. Schwartz that I want to open a restaurant and serve only this risotto.  It really is that good. 
The chicken is also amazing--will be a summer grilling staple in our house! 

Enjoy!  And Happy Memorial Day!!! 

Spring Risotto 


  • 1 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 cups chopped leeks, white and light green parts
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
  • 2/3 cup dry white wine
  • 5 cups simmering chicken stock
  • 1 pound asparagus
  • 1 1/2 cups shelled fresh or frozen peas
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup mascarpone cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon dill (dried is fine)
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan, plus extra for serving
  • Dash of parsley--for serving 


Heat the olive oil and butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the leeks and onion and saute for 5 to 7 minutes, until tender. Add the rice and stir for about two minutes to coat with the vegetables, oil, and butter. Add the white wine and simmer over low heat, stirring constantly, until most of the wine has been absorbed. Add the chicken stock, 2 ladles at a time, stirring almost constantly and waiting for the stock to be absorbed before adding more. This process should take 25 to 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, cut the asparagus diagonally in 1 1/2-inch lengths and discard the tough ends. Cook in the microwave for about 1 minutes
Continue cooking and adding stock, stirring almost constantly, until the rice is tender but still firm.

Add the asparagus, peas and dill to the rice.  Cook for about two minutes. 
Whisk the lemon juice and mascarpone together in a small bowl. When the risotto is done, turn off the heat and stir in the mascarpone mixture plus the Parmesan cheese and chives. Set aside, off the heat, for a few minutes, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and serve hot with a sprinkling of parsley and more Parmesan cheese.
Adapted from here 

Honey Mustard Chicken

1/4 cup of Whole Grain Mustard
1/4 cup Yellow Mustard 
1/2 cup of Honey
Juice of 1/2 a Lemon
1 Garlic Clove, smashed and minced or about 1 teaspoon 
1/2 teaspoon  Salt
1/4 teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
1/4 cup brown sugar 
3-4 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts


Whisk all ingredients in a small bowl. Reserve 4 tablespoons of sauce and then pour the remaining honey mustard mixture over the chicken, toss and cover with plastic wrap and let it sit for at least 30-45 minutes, preferably over night in the refrigerator. Preheat the grill on medium- medium high heat, grill chicken for about 6 to 7 minutes per side or until chicken is done. Pour the reserved honey-mustard sauce over chicken and let rest under foil for about 5 minutes. Enjoy! 

Adapted from here

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