Versatility and Mustard-Maple Chicken
Every few years when I watch the Olympics, a single word resonates in my ears from coaches and commentators alike… versatility.
You would think a world-class athlete competing in the Olympic Games, would have to dedicate their lives to a single sport or element. To eat, sleep and breath one goal–shoving all else aside. Yet during the “bio” portion of the Olympic broadcasts, what I continually hear from those who know the competitors best, is that many of them are extremely versatile. Well-rounded individuals, capable of greatness in many areas of life. Champions in multiple sports, business moguls, master musicians, published photographers, brilliant parents… amazing.
I can remember, as a child, having such a strong desire to achieve greatness in just one area of life. ANY area, for that matter! I was decent at a few things, but had little natural talent. Because of this, I unknowingly trained myself to work hard–in ALL areas. Over time I developed a work-ethic that, now, I wouldn’t give up for any amount of raw talent. I’ve always had to grind away to achieve my goals, to gain skill, to get what I want.
I’m thankful for this, and believe it to be a blessing in disguise. I’ve learned to be versatile–maybe not to the extent of an Olympian, mind you, but enough to lead a fulfilling life. Personal versatility (or skillful adaptability) gives you confidence and makes you comfortable in your own skin. Versatility enables you to be open to trying new things. You may have heard the old saying, “Become all things to all people that in the end, you may win some.” Versatility gives you the ability to see another person’s point of view; to relate to others on more than one level, to win people over. Versatility goes a long way.
As for versatility on the dinner table, I present Mustard-Maple Chicken. The mustard-maple glaze cleverly crosses traditional culinary boundaries. It’s sweet, spicy, bold and savory–and it can boost the flavor of almost anything! It complements bone-in chicken and breasts, pork loin and chops, ham, fatty fish such as salmon or trout, and even beef (although I would reduce the amount of maple syrup if using it with beef).
I usually prefer to grill bone-in chicken because it makes the skin crispy, leaves the meat very moist, and produces lovely grill marks. Yet another versatile aspect of this dish is that it’s just as good BAKED.
Simply slather with the glaze first and pop in the oven for 45 minutes.
Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
1 whole chicken, boned (or griller's pack of bone-in chicken)
3 Tb. olive oil
2 Tb. Dijon mustard
2 Tb. whole-grain mustard
3 Tb. pure maple syrup
1 Tb. chopped parsley
Salt and Pepper
Preheat the grill to medium heat. Pat the chicken pieces dry with a paper towel, then oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Mix the 2 Tb. oil, both mustards, maple syrup, parsley, ½ tsp. salt, and ¼ tsp. pepper together in a small bowl.
Grill the chicken over indirect-medium heat for 15-20 minutes, then flip and brush with mustard glaze. Grill another 15-20 minutes and repeat--40 minutes total.
If roasting in the oven, preheat to 375 degrees F. Brush with glaze and roast for 45 minutes.
Making this recipe? Why not take a quick shot and share it on Instagram! Make sure to tag it #ASpicyPerspective so we can see what you're cooking!
I served this with a simple quinoa salad with cucumbers, dill, and feta cheese.
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