Thursday, August 16, 2012

Julia Child Week: Mustard-Herb Baked Chicken

Today's Julia Child tribute is more in keeping with what most people associate with her style, thanks to a generous helping of butter. But really, not that much butter! Most of the flavor in this amazing dish actually comes from a sauce that's brushed onto the chicken, coupled with crisp, toasty bread crumbs.

Poulets Grillés à la Diable [pooh-LAY gree-YAY ah lah dee-AH-bluh] - Chicken Grilled in the Style of the Devil, with a good dose of zest - is a truly fabulous dish!  It smells so amazing while it bakes, and meets every tidbit of anticipation by tasting just as exceptional as you expect it to after you've been tormented by the tempting aroma.

This dish is sublime when it's served hot from the oven; but it's just as delicious served cold, for a light supper or a picnic ... or, in my case, a breakfast of beloved leftovers. Mustard, green onions, and herbs all work together to provide a complex, vibrant flavor while the chicken remains consummate comfort food despite its sophistication.

Gotta love Julia Child, and the French!

Poulets Grilles à la Diable (Mustard-Herb Chicken)
(slightly adapted from Julia Child's recipe in Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Volume I)

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2-1/2 pounds chicken thighs
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • pinch of freshly ground black pepper
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons minced green onion
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh herbs (I used basil and parsley; tarragon would be lovely)
  • 3 cups fresh white bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 450F. Grease a 9"x13" casserole dish.

In a small saucepan, melt together butter and oil; brush onto chicken, then place chicken skin-side down into the prepared dish. Bake for 10 minutes per side, basting every 5 minutes. Sprinkle with salt.

In a small bowl, combine mustard, peppers, green onion, and herbs; mix with 2 tablespoons basting juices to make a sauce with a mayonnaise-like consistency. Schmear the mustard sauce onto the chicken skin.

Place the bread crumbs onto a plate and roll chicken in them. Place chicken back into the baking dish, skin-side up, and bake for 10 more minutes, until juices run clear when chicken is pierced.

Serves 6 ... well, really 2-3 'cause everyone will want seconds.


Unknown said...

I love watching old videos of Julia! They just crack me up! And let's not forget the chicken... Wow, does that look and sound decadent! I'd take some now if you have any leftovers :)

Cranberry Morning said...

My brother from Denver is coming tonight. I think I'll serve this for dinner! And it only took me four attempts to pronounce it, but now I've got it down! Thanks, Mary. ♥

Robin said...

OMG, that looks sincerely divine. Do you think it would be as good with breasts instead of thighs or does it have to be thighs? Of course, my mom is always foisting thighs on me even though I don't much care for them, so this could make them more palatable. I loved the ingredient line-up and the pictures were scrumptious looking. I wanted to lick my screen. That doesn't happen a lot, just so you know.

~~louise~~ said...

Hi Mary!
I'm not really sure how I "landed" here but I'm delighted I did. Not only did I enjoy your Mustard-Herb Baked Chicken recipe, ah Julia, I had to smile to myself at the name of your blog and your profile.

As a teenager, my father, who was very strict, would often tell me I wasn't allowed to wear certain garments else I would look like a "floozie." (purple was a big no no:) And, when ever my sister would instigate an argument, she was not so kindly referred to as a "yenta." I haven't heard either of these terms in such a long time. Ah the days of living on the east side of New York in an Italian neighborhood with lots of loving Jewish friends.

Thanks for dinner and the memories, Louise

P.S. Delighted to have found you on Pinterest too!!!

Cat and DOG Chat With Caren said...


Candace said...

I love that you eat dinner leftovers for breakfast. My favorite! This looks delicious! I can't wait to give it a try.

Debra Hawkins said...

Sometimes I get so intimidated by Mastering the Art of French Cooking. I need to spend more time with it, this looks delicious!

Chris said...

Oh yes, that sounds extra good. Then again, it is Julia so it has to be, right?

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