Verdict: my most cooked recipe, three years running! It taste like a master chef prepared meal but is incredibly easy and oh so tasty.
I found this recipe on Serious Eats ‘Eat for $8 column’ four years ago. It was love at first bite and remains my favourite ‘go to’ recipe. The flavours and textures are incredible! The Dijon mustard keeps the chicken moist and provides a slight bite while the panko bread crumbs contrasts with crispiness and savoury flavour.
This dish is a modern twist on a classic French dish where chicken pieces are coated with Dijon mustard and bread crumbs, then baked to perfection. Instead of plain bread crumbs, this recipe uses Panko, a Japanese bread crumb that has a very subtle soya flavour and gets incredibly crispy when baked.
We make this all the time! Simple, delicious and affordable. Does anyone else wonder why chicken thighs can be so inexpensive? It’s one of the first recipes I taught Andrew (his sleeve is pictured below).
This chicken is great paired with brown rice because they cook at about the same time, 50 minutes in total. What I love about this recipe is after you have cooked your brown rice and put the chicken in the oven, there’s nothing more you need to do. You can take a long shower, chill out on the couch, or if you’re good, you can wash the dishes. After your break, a lovely dinner is ready for you!
Dijon and Panko Chicken
Adapted from Serious Eats
Serves: 4 | Prep: 10 minutes | Cook: 35 minutes
Note 1: you can replace the panko with regular bread crumbs or for a gluten-free option, try crushed Corn Flakes cereal.
Note 2: don’t forget to drizzle with melted butter or olive oil before baking, this step is key for a delicious crispy crust. The butter is so delicious and rich but when I’m too lazy to microwave butter, the olive oil is just as delicious!
Note 3: experiment with different types of mustard. We’ve tried honey mustard but our favourite is President Choice’s Sweet with Heat mustard. Great amount of spiciness with a bit of sweetness to round it off.
6 chicken drumsticks or thighs (I love drumsticks!)
½ tsp kosher salt
½ tsp pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne
1/4 tsp dried thyme or Herb de Provence
6 tbs Dijon (or try President’s Choice ‘Sweet with Heat’ mustard for sweet and spicy)
½ cup Panko bread crumbs or regular bread crumbs
4 tbs melted butter or olive oil
1. Preheat the oven to 400°F (205C for UK ovens).
2. Season the chicken with salt, pepper, cayenne and thyme or Herbe De Provence over each leg. Using a spoon, coat each leg with about a tablespoon of mustard.
3. Bread chicken by placing seasoned and mustard coated drumstick into shallow dish of Panko bread crumbs. (Or, you could put the drumsticks into a medium Ziploc bag of Panko, bread one piece at a time; Shake & Bake Style!)
4. Place breaded chicken onto greased baking sheet and bake at 400F for 20 minutes. Flip chicken, sprinkle with more breadcrumbs, if needed, and drizzle with butter. Bake for additional 15 minutes.
Linh’s note (Nov 2, 2012): I was feeling lazy one night so cooked the chicken 35 – 40 minutes straight, no flipping and it was still great! The top got extra crispy, the bottom not quite as crispy but it’s easier so that’s how I cook it now!
Bake until internal temperature 170F with instant read thermometer. Or, slice up the biggest piece of chicken and check that no red blood remains on the bones and juices run clear.
Serve with white rice and steamed veggies (like broccoli or green beans).