Tuesday, December 06, 2011


Devil chicken! Except, of course, this zesty, spicy, crispy baked chicken is actually quite divine. I spotted it at Serious Eats and pegged it as an easy weeknight dinner, which it certainly was. I love that I’ve now gone from mustard hating to grudging acceptance to actually perking up whenever I see it in an ingredient list. It’s such a great shortcut to add a lot of zip and savor to food, especially meat; I can’t believe I ever turned up my nose at it. Using it as a coating for chicken is as brilliant as you would expect. Throw on some red pepper flakes, thyme, breadcrumbs, an egg wash to hold it all together, and naturally some butter, and you’ve got tasty Frenchy comfort food. I served it with spinach-apple salad, which was a perfect accompaniment.

2 tablespoons smooth Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon coarse-grain Dijon mustard
½ teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
2 eggs
4 whole chicken legs (bone-in, skin-on)
Salt to taste
2 tablespoons minced fresh thyme
½ cup panko breadcrumbs
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small cubes

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

2. In a small bowl, combine mustards and red pepper and mix well to blend. Season chicken legs with salt, then use a pastry brush to paint the mustard mixture evenly on all the legs.

3. On a plate or in a shallow bowl, combine eggs and whisk lightly with a fork to blend. In another, combine the breadcrumbs with the thyme. Dredge the chicken in the eggs, then in the breadcrumbs, coating them as evenly as possible, and then transfer to a baking dish.

4. Dot the chicken pieces evenly with butter, then bake until the juices run clear, 30 to 40 minutes.

Serves: 4
Time: 1 hour
Leftover potential: OK (although the leftovers won’t be as crispy)

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