Chicken with Maple Mustard Pan Sauce; blowing out computers

Over the years I have been asked about various foods that people have heard are hard or impossible to find here; peanut butter and sour cream heading the list.

We have many choices for both.

One that I was surprised to find here, but no one has asked about, is maple syrup. It just seemed uniquely American.

And so it is…. North American.

French Canadian, to be more precise.

There are almost always booths at the Christmas markets with all sorts of stuff from Québec, ranging from moccasins to parkas to blankets to maple syrup.

And, of course, it’s in the International Food section in all the supermarkets.

I’m not sure what the French do with it, though.

I’ll ask next week.

Chicken with Maple Mustard Pan Sauce

Total time: 30 minutes


  • 2 chicken breasts, boneless, skinless, cut in half
  • 1 medium red onion, chopped
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp parsley
  • 1 cup (8oz, 240ml) chicken broth
  • 3 tbs maple syrup
  • 2 tbs Dijon-style mustard
  • 1 tbs sherry vinegar
  • 1 tbs cornstarch (maizena, corn flour) dissolved in 2 tbs chicken stock


  • Sauté onion in oil in skillet over medium-high heat, about 5 minutes.
  • When onion starts to brown add chicken breasts, and sauté until lightly browned, about 7 minutes. 
  • Stir in herbs, broth, maple syrup, mustard and vinegar.
  • Cover, reduce heat and simmer until chicken is done, about 15 minutes.
  • Add cornstarch mixture and stir until sauce is thickened.
  • Serve from skillet of spoon onto a small platter.

Print Recipe

Does anyone (besides me) remember the ‘Friends’ episode where Monica was using a tiny vacuum to clean the outside of her big vacuum?

I felt like that today.

I’ve been cleaning.

I debated putting it off until spring but better sense prevailed.

When one heats with wood it gets dusty.

Really dusty.

I can write my name on any surface 2 days after I clean. It just seems like a useless effort.

But I do have my pride and we are having guests over the weekend….

Not everyone considers blowing out computers part of regular cleaning, but we do chez nous.

I don’t do it every time, but I do try to get them both clean every 6 weeks or so in the winter.

It’s easy, actually. I just take the towers, keyboards, router…. anything that has a fan out to the barn. I take the covers off and blow them out with the air compressor.

Air compressors are marvelous tools for dust removal.

I also use it to clean the vacuum filters.

Monica would be jealous.

Last update on January 31, 2018

9 thoughts on “Chicken with Maple Mustard Pan Sauce; blowing out computers”

  1. Wood is romantic, but anyone with a wood heater will tell you that wood is heavy and dirty and ash gets everywhere. Vive les centrales ! (At least, that’s the conclusion our housesitter came to after grappling with our wood stove for 2 months.)

  2. We have a natural fireplace that we use almost 24/7 during the winter. It really cuts down on the heating bills. The only time I have a lot of ash though is when husband cleans the ash out every 10 days or so. Then, it’s everywhere!

    I can say that when I had desktop computers, I regularly vacuumed them. The fans sucked everything in. Now with just the laptop, I don’t nearly as much as I should because I have to take the case apart and the last time I did that, I hit something on the processor, something soldered, and ended up having to buy a new laptop. I don’t want to do that again 🙁

    • I can’t believe you don’t have lots of dust! I like to blame it on the dogs but you have dogs too. Maybe it’s long-hair dogs. I do think it is the open fireplace rather than the stove. We had an insert in MN and we didn’t have this much dust. But, then, our fireplace here is HUGE!

      • Your fireplace is quite a bit bigger than ours! And we have it open, with a screen, but that’s it. No insert, no stove and the only time the glass doors are closed is when we leave it unattended for any length of time like leaving the house or going to bed. I’ve always had a ton of dust with two dogs but for me, there’s a difference between the constant dust battle and the ash. It’s just…different. I have the same amount of dust all year round. Well, a bit of sand in the summer too. But the ash is specific to the winter. Maybe it’s that the fireplace is more energy efficient? I don’t know. It drives me crazy either way though, just so you know you’re not alone 😉

        • The hubs doesn’t like the screen, but it doesn’t cover the fireplace anyway, so why bother. He says it blocks the heat. Sigh… In the summer we have the dust from the farmers plowing. This is why I think cleaning is such a waste of time. Now I have to go dust again. And put another log on….

          • The screen cuts down a bit on the heat, but not much. Not for us anyway. We have a screen that’s shaped like a half round almost with a screen top on it as well so it totally encloses the front of the fireplace. We bought that kind because we set our fireproof rug on fire twice at our previous house with poppers. I bought a beautiful wool area rug for this house and didn’t want to do that again, so we decided on this type of screen. But if we’re sitting in front of the fire, we take the screen off.

            Could you have one custom made?

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