If I’ve said it before, I’ll still say it 100 times more, simple pan sauces are life! 🙌They’re the fastest, easiest way to create a flavorful meal from a simple cut of meat. This 20 Minute Honey Mustard Chicken is the perfect example. With only a handful of ingredients that you probably already have in your pantry, you can make this sweet and tangy chicken on even the busiest weeknight. Promise.
Pictured with Parsley Salad with Almonds and Apricots.
What is a Pan Sauce?
Pan sauces are the magic that happens when you build a sauce on the leftover juices and browned bits (called “fond’) in the pan after you cook a piece of meat. There is so much flavor in those little bits that are left behind, so don’t let them go to waste!
First you have to “deglaze” or dissolve those bits off the pan using a liquid (usually broth or wine), then add some herbs or spices, butter for a creamy finish, and whatever else you’d like. For the pan sauce in this 20 Minute Honey Mustard Chicken I’ve added a simple mix of stone ground mustard and honey, which also give the sauce a little more body. It’s simple, but fool proof, and you’re going to love it.
Other Recipes with Easy Pan Sauces:
- Herb Butter Chicken Thighs
- Apple Spice Pork Chops
- Chicken Piccata
- Blackberry Sage Pork Chops
- Balsamic Chicken Skillet
What Kind of Chicken Can I Use for Honey Mustard Chicken?
I used boneless, skinless chicken thighs here because they are always juicy and tender, cook very quickly, and require the least amount of prep. You can also use boneless, skinless chicken breast, but you will want to pound them out to an even 1/2-inch thickness before browning in the skillet, which will add about 5 minutes to your prep time. Bone-in and skin-on cuts make excellent pan sauces, but they do require a much longer cook time, so they’re not ideal for this quick method.
20 Minute Honey Mustard Chicken
- 1.5 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken thighs* ($4.50)
- 1 tsp smoked paprika ($0.10)
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder ($0.02)
- 1/4 tsp salt ($0.02)
- 1 Tbsp cooking oil ($0.04)
- 1/2 cup chicken broth ($0.07)
- 2 Tbsp stone ground or whole grain mustard ($0.16)
- 2 Tbsp honey ($0.24)
- 1 Tbsp butter ($0.13)
- Heat a large skillet over medium flame. While the skillet is preheating, combine the smoked paprika, garlic powder, and salt in a small dish. Sprinkle the spice mixture over both sides of your chicken pieces.
- Once the skillet is nice and hot, add the cooking oil and swirl to coat the surface. Add the chicken pieces and cook on each side until well browned and cooked through (about 5 minutes each side, this can vary with your cookware and size of your chicken pieces). Transfer the cooked chicken to a clean plate.
- Add the chicken broth to the skillet and stir to dissolve the browned bits from the bottom of the skillet. Allow the broth to simmer in the skillet for about 5 minutes, or until it has reduced by half.
- Finally, add the mustard, honey, and butter to the skillet. Stir to melt and dissolve the ingredients together. Add the chicken and juices back to the skillet, and allow the sauce to come back up to a simmer. Spoon the honey mustard sauce over top, then serve.
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How to Make Honey Mustard Chicken – Step by Step Photos
Begin to preheat a large skillet over medium. While waiting for the skillet to heat, combine 1 tsp smoked paprika, 1/4 tsp garlic powder, and 1/4 tsp salt in a small dish. Sprinkle the spices over both sides of your chicken (1.5 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken thighs).
Once the skillet is nice and hot, add 1 Tbsp cooking oil to the skillet, and swirl to make sure it has coated the entire surface. Add the chicken pieces and cook them on both sides until well browned and cooked through (about 5 minutes each side). Cooking chicken like this can take some practice. You can see from my photos how one side of my skillet gets hotter (chicken is more browned) than the other side. So keep an eye on it, turn the heat up or down if it’s going to fast or too slow, and kind of play it by ear. This is why cooking is a learned skill. It’s never exact! :)
Remove the cooked chicken to a clean plate, then add 1/2 cup chicken broth to the skillet (or white wine, if you happen to have an open bottle!). Stir to dissolve the browned bits from the bottom of the skillet, then let the broth simmer for about 5 minutes, or until it has reduced by half.
Finally, add 2 Tbsp stone ground mustard, 2 Tbsp honey, and 1 Tbsp butter. Stir to melt and dissolve these ingredients into the sauce.
Return the cooked chicken to the skillet, spoon the honey mustard sauce over top, let it come back up to a simmer briefly, then serve!
That honey mustard pan sauce is so good and perfect for drizzling over whatever you’re serving your 20 Minute Honey Mustard Chicken with. I served mine with my Parsley Salad with Almonds and Apricots, but it would be great with just about any salad, vegetable, or even just rice.