Mustard Cheddar Chicken

Years ago, when I lived in the UK, I saw a recipe for Mustard Cheddar Chicken in a magazine. Because this was such a simple recipe to convert for one serving, it was perfect (not to mention a delicious way to use up the dregs of a bar of cheddar). Also, it incorporated the flavours of cheese with mustard, which is a classic British combination I came to highly appreciate.

Mustard happens to be one of my favourite condiments. I love the classic tangy yellow mustard on sandwiches. I add Dijon mustard to salad dressings and serve it with meat. I could eat it by the spoonful. Mustard has been cultivated for nearly four thousand years, and is used as a condiment in cultures across the world, from France to India. Ancient Romans mixed unfermented grape must with ground mustard seeds. In medieval England, mustard seeds were rolled into balls with flour and spices. In the fifteenth century Italian cookbook, Libro de Arte Coquinaria, by Maestro Martino (c. 1465), the author provides several recipes for the condiment, including one that combines mustard seeds with ground almonds, and another with raisins and cinnamon.

Sinapis (Mustard) in the Tacuinum Sanitatis, a late medieval health treatise (BNF NAL 1673, fol. 23, first half of fifteenth century).

In the depths of January, I was searching for something to make for a weeknight supper, and remembered this recipe. However, we also had the remains of holiday and charcuterie boards lurking in the fridge. So I adapted the recipe to use up ingredients. Instead of bacon, I used pancetta, which crisped up wonderfully in the oven. I also added some caramelized onion chutney to round out the flavours. The swaps made the chicken just as good—maybe even better—than the original! You could easily switch up the type of cheese used, and potentially the type of mustard.

This is not a very photogenic dish, but it is tasty. And a clever way to use up bits leftover from a holiday or dinner party! The sticky bits left behind in the pan are particularly addictive.

Mustard Cheddar Chicken

Makes 4 servings.

150g grated cheese (i.e. a strong cheddar)
2 tbsp herb cream cheese, such as Boursin
1 tbsp wholegrain mustard
Dash of Worcestershire sauce
3 tbsp caramelized onion jam
4 skinless boneless chicken breasts
8 slices of prosciutto or bacon

1. Preheat oven to 380F.

2. Mix the cheeses, seasonings, and mustard together. It will be fairly stiff. Divide the mixture into quarters, and form log shapes.

3. Cut a slit into the side of each chicken breast, then stuff with the cheese logs.

4. Divide the onion jam between the chicken breasts, stuffing it alongside the cheese mixture.

5. Wrap each stuffed chicken breast with 2 bacon strips or pancetta slices – not too tightly, but enough to hold the chicken together.

6. Season, place on a baking sheet and roast for 20-25 mins, or until the juices in the centre of the chicken breast run clear.

Cheese Ball


Every family has holiday foods that they like to make each year to celebrate. They aren’t always glamourous. They aren’t always fancy or beautiful. But they are traditions that you simply must have, or the holiday does not feel right.

One of our favourite holiday foods is a cheeseball. We snack on it from Christmas Eve to New Year’s. We eat it at home, and we bring it to gatherings with extended family. It is tasty on Ritz crackers, sliced baguette, in a sandwich, or snuck from the refrigerator in the middle of the night. It wouldn’t be a Christmas spread for us without our cheeseball.

Originally, the cheeseball recipe came from an ex-girlfriend of my uncle. He appropriated it from her after they split up, and every branch of our family has since adopted it. It is simple to make, and lasts for several weeks. We use old orange cheddar for the colour, though any mature cheddar will do. The green onions add a fresh punch of colour and flavour to the mixture. The recipe is so simple that anyone—even someone who rarely cooks—can mix it up!


3 cups (3/4 lb) old cheddar cheese, shredded
250g package of cream cheese
1/4 to 1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup chopped green onion
Dash of tobacco sauce
Dash of Worcestershire sauce (I use a very liberal dash of this)

1. Using an electric hand mixer, cream together cream cheese and sour cream. Add Worcestershire sauce and tobacco sauce. Cream until everything is smooth.
2. Fold in green onions.
3. Fold in shredded cheese.
4. Line a mould or plastic container with cling-film. Spoon in cheese ball mixture to fill mould. You can make two small cheeseballs if you prefer and divide the mixture between two containers.
5. Allow cheeseball to mellow in the fridge for 6-12 hours before serving.