Chicken Dijon

My fellow mustard lovers, this one’s for you. This recipe is another one from the French weeknight stew feature in the October 2011 issue of Food & Wine. In this feature, Melissa Clark led us to a fantastic way to make ratatouille, a cozy dinner of lentils with garlic sausage, and now this chicken dijon, which we’ve made several times since. Truly a weeknight stew, this chicken comes together in less than an hour.

After you crush the toasted coriander seeds, stop and smell them. To us, they smelled undeniably like Fruity Pebbles. I haven’t eaten that cereal in many years, but I recognized the smell like I’d just shared a bowl that morning with Lila. Tell me if it’s the same for you.

Sour cream, tarragon, coriander, and a generous amount of coarse ground mustard make this sauce pretty irresistible. Sometimes I eat an extra drumstick just so I can have a bit more sauce. It’s creamy, rich, and I need to serve the chicken in a pool of this mustard sauce. Crusty bread, not rice, is just the thing to go with this. It’s not the prettiest dinner, I know, but it will be such a delicious treat to make yourself on a cool Wednesday night. Trust me.

chicken dijon

This chicken is all about the sauce — mustardy, aromatic, and alluring. The anise-like flavor of tarragon, that ubiquitous French herb, is mellow and irresistible in this dish.

1 teaspoon coriander seeds
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
8 medium chicken drumsticks (about 3 pounds)
salt
black pepper
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons whole-grain or coarse-ground Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons sour cream or crème fraîche
2 teaspoons chopped tarragon, plus a few sprigs for garnish
crusty bread for serving

Toast the coriander seeds in a large skillet over moderately high heat until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Transfer the seeds to a mortar and let cool before crushing coarsely with a pestle.

Use the same skillet to heat the olive oil. Season the chicken drumsticks with salt and pepper, and add them to the skillet and cook over moderately high heat until golden brown all over, about 10 minutes. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the broth and crushed coriander and bring to a boil. Cover and cook over moderately low heat until the chicken is cooked through, about 15 minutes.

Place the chicken drumsticks on a platter and cover to keep warm. In a small bowl, whisk the mustard, sour cream, and tarragon. Whisk the mixture into the skillet and simmer the sauce over moderate heat until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Return the chicken to the skillet and coat in the sauce. Serve a couple drumsticks per person with plenty of sauce and crusty bread to scoop it up. Garnish each plate with a sprig of tarragon.

Serves 4. Recipe from Food & Wine.

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