Alice Springs-ish Chicken

My sister-in-law raves about this recipe originally from Outback Steakhouse, that they’ve adapted to make at home. I decided to give it a shot one evening. Most versions call for some time in the oven, but I just did it all on the stove top with a lidded fry pan.

½ cup mustard
½ cup honey
1 tablespoon oil
½ teaspoon lemon juice
4 whole skinless, boneless chicken breasts

In a small bowl, combine the mustard, honey, oil and lemon juice. Pour about half the marinade over the chicken breasts, turning to coat. Reserve the rest of the marinade for later.

4 slices Canadian bacon
1 tablespoon oil
1 (4-ounce) can sliced mushrooms, drained
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon salt
4 slices co-jack cheese
4 slices pepper-jack cheese

Heat the oil in a 10-inch fry pan over medium heat. Add the bacon and cook just until it browns up a bit (2-3 minutes). Remove from pan and reserve.

Put the chicken breasts in the pan and season with the salt and paprika. Cook until one side is golden brown (about 4 minutes).

Flip the breasts and top each with a slice of Canadian bacon, a handful of the mushrooms, and a slice of each of the cheeses. Drizzle with a little of the reserved marinade.

Put the lid on the pan and cook until the chicken is cooked through and  the cheese is all melty and bubbling (about 10 minutes).

Remove from the heat and let rest for 5 minutes. Serve with the extra honey mustard on the side.

The Verdict: ★★★☆☆
Honey-mustard chicken topped with bacon and cheese – what could go wrong? Sadly the end result was not enough and too much, both at the same time. The flavors never really melded. You could taste the individual ingredients but not the “wow” of them all working together.  Any one of the ingredients would be tasty by themselves, but piled together they seemed to diminish each other rather than enhance each other. The cheese and bacon overwhelmed the mushrooms. The honey mustard covered up the chicken. Nobody wanted to play nice with each other.

So in the end, I succeeded in making a boring dinner of strip-mall food. Whoo-hoo! Maybe Outback and my sister-in-law have a secret ingredient – I’ll let one of them make this for me if I want to try it again.

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