There are so many good jams, jellies, and preserved fruit spreads in this world, it can be easy to accumulate quite a collection. (At any given time, I have three to five Bonne Maman jars in my fridge.)
Though these fruity beauties are perfect on nothing more than good bread, they can also be used to make a bomb (bonne?) glaze for roasted meats.
Usually, when I think of blueberries, I think of muffins, pie and Blueberry Morning - a cereal I was obsessed with from ages nine through 12. These are all good things, but I urge you to reconsider the blueberry, and smother steaks, chops and wild game with this juicy, surprisingly balanced pan sauce.
Besides the jam, all you need is some mustard. What flavour of jam should you use? Any flavour of jam. What mustard should you choose? Any kind of mustard. I’m a big fan of peach with stone ground, and blackberry with classic yellow, but I actually cannot think of a bad combination.
(I’m very excited to try a spicy mustard next.)
The mustard provides a slightly bitter tang to help reel in the sugar in the fruit, reducing to sticky-sweet glaze on whatever meat you happen to pour it. A ratio of one part mustard to two parts fruit preserves is pretty perfect, but you can always add a little more of one or the other to your liking.
Exactly when you apply the glaze is up to you. If you’re working with a boneless, skinless chicken breast, and aren’t too concerned about browning, it makes an excellent marinade. If you don’t want to sacrifice crispy skin, apply it later in the cooking process.
My favourite thing to pour this glaze on is the humble chicken thigh. Pan-fry the skin to give it some colour and texture, then spoon on some glaze and let it finish in the oven. You get a tangy, almost candy-like coating on a juicy piece of bone-in meat, all with barely five ingredients. To make it yourself, you will need:
4 skin-on, bone in chicken thighs
2 tablespoons of vegetable oil, schmaltz, duck fat, or lard
1/2 cup of your favourite fruit preserves
1/4 cup mustard
Liberally season the thighs on both sides with salt and set aside. (If you can, let them hang out uncovered in the fridge overnight to help the skin-crisping process, but this isn’t mandatory.) Preheat your oven to 200C, and heat your cooking fat in an oven-safe skillet over high heat on the stove. Once the oil is hot and shimmering, sear the chicken, skin-side down, until the skin is browned and crispy (about five minutes).
Mix the preserves and mustard, flip the chicken over, and cover each thigh with a spoonful of the glaze. Pop the whole thing in the oven, and cook until the thickest part of the thickest thigh reads 75C.
Remove from the oven, let rest for five minutes, then dig in, ideally by grasping the thigh in your hands and ripping the meat from the bone, all feral like.