Crew Mess: by Capt. John Wampler
The color of springtime is in the flowers; the color of winter is in the imagination. For me, the palate seems to enjoy the unique flavors of the seasons. When it comes to winter, my taste buds seem to take a holiday. Spicy summer sriracha tacos and cool guacamole turns to a hearty, boreal beef stew to warm the body’s core. But once in a while, I like to kick it up a notch in the winter with this sweet-spicy glazed chicken creation.
4 chicken breast halves with skin and bones
1/2 cup ground Dijon mustard
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1 stick unsalted butter, cut into 6 pieces
1 tablespoon curry powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
Salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 350 F. Using a 9×13-inch Pyrex or ceramic baking dish, combine the maple syrup, mustard, curry powder, cayenne and butter. Bake on the middle rack for about 5 minutes, or until the butter is melted. Remove from oven and whisk ingredients together in the baking dish to make the sauce.
Next, season the chicken with salt and pepper and then roll breasts in the sauce. Be sure to spoon some sauce underneath the skin while basting. With the breast side up, bake for about 45 minutes, basting every 10 minutes, until chicken has a nice glaze and a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the breast reaches 165 F.
Remove from oven. Transfer chicken breasts to a clean cutting surface and let rest for 10 minutes. Cut breasts from the bone. Place the breasts on a bed of greens and grapes. Whisk pan sauce again and drizzle over chicken breasts. Enjoy.
Capt. John Wampler (www.yachtaide.com) has worked on yachts for more than 30 years. His recipes are casual enough for anyone to prepare. Comments are welcome below.