As winter approaches, I can’t help but find comfort in warm meals like this chicken in mustard sauce. This French dish, Poulet à la Moutarde, is an incredible one-pot meal that you can make with ingredients you probably already have on hand.
The Base for Chicken in Mustard Sauce
To create this chicken in mustard sauce recipe, you’ll obviously need chicken. The chicken can be made up of any part: drumstick, thigh, or even breast. However, you should preferably use chicken that still has the skin on so that you can brown the chicken nicely without drying it out.
The mustard in this recipe takes on a very important role in providing fantastic flavor to the meal. That’s why I suggest using the best quality mustard you can get your hands on.
I usually have Maille in my fridge. Maille recently gifted me with their limited edition Black Truffle Cep and Chablis flavor, so for the photographed recipe here, I used a combination of that and the original flavor.
As the mustard-laden chicken browns in your pot, the mustard will stick to the bottom of the pot. This is not a problem, but rather a wonderful component of this meal.
Once you add some white wine and chicken broth, all those glorious mustard bits can be scraped from the pot and become one with the heavenly sauce.
I make most one-pot meals with the intention of not really measuring or fussing with ingredients. If the meal is going to be easy, I can’t be too strict with measurements and ingredients, right?
For example, in this recipe, I typically use thyme and a bay leaf as part of my bouquet garni. This is a preferred combination, but when I’ve run out of thyme before, I’ve used a small sprig of tarragon instead.
There is also a dose of milk in this recipe to mellow out the sauce. You can use cream for a richer sauce, or even creme fraiche, but whole milk has always done just fine for me.
In addition, I love using crispy onions in many of my stews and sauces. I use a premium brand of crispy onions because the onions are coated in a flour mixture that help thicken the sauce.
If you’re using a regular onion, you can simply add a tablespoon of flour to thicken the sauce, or just use heavy cream or creme fraiche rather than milk later in the recipe. I’ve made all these notes in the recipe card for your convenience.
My favorite way to eat this chicken with mustard sauce is to serve it with a big chunk of crusty French bread and a simple kale salad. The chicken has rich flavor, so there’s no sense in creating any side dishes that will compete with that. Another side that would work well is classic mashed potatoes, as its comforting nature compliments the chicken beautifully.
Chicken in Mustard Sauce
- 4 pieces to 5 of chicken preferably drumsticks and thighs with skin on
- 1/3 cup to 1/2 top quality dijon mustard
- salt for the chicken
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup crispy onions or one small onion thinly sliced*
- 1 oz can low-sodium chicken broth 14.5
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 1/4 cup whole milk ** or creme fraiche, or heavy cream
- 4 sprigs thyme
- 1 bay leaf
Season both sides of the chicken with a generous pinch of salt. Then spoon the mustard over the chicken, using your fingers to rub the mustard all over the chicken (front and back).
Melt the butter in a large, heavy bottom pot (a dutch oven is good too) over medium-high heat. Once the pot is hot, add in the chicken. Cook each side until beautifully browned; approximately 5 minutes each side. Remove the chicken from the pot and place the pieces on a plate to rest temporarily.
Lower the temperature to medium. To the pot, add the crispy onions and give them a quick sauté for a minute. (If you're using regular onion, add a tablespoon of flour to the pot first, and stir for a minute until a paste-like mixture forms. Then add the regular onion slices and sauté until softened and translucent; about 5 minutes.)
Pour in the chicken stock and wine, and bring the mixture to a boil. Cook until the aroma of alcohol is gone; about 4 to 5 minutes. The liquid should have reduced a bit as well. Pour in the milk and give it a stir.
Reduce the temperature to medium-low, and transfer the chicken back into the pot, pouring any residual juices in with it. Tie the bay leaf and thyme together with kitchen string, then add to the pot.
Put the lid on the pot and cook for 45 to 50 minutes. The chicken should be tender and the liquid in the pot should have significantly reduced and be thick. Remove the herb bouquet before serving.
Recipe Notes*If you're using a regular onion, you can add a tablespoon of flour to help thicken the sauce the way the crispy onions would have.
**This recipe does perfectly well with milk, but if you're looking for extra richness, go for the creme fraiche or heavy cream.