The Accidental Locavore was lucky enough to get an advance copy of David Lebovitz’s new book My Paris Kitchen, which I’ll tell you all about on April 7th. The recipes look great and the first one I put to the test was this one for poulet à la moutarde. It was one of those “what’s not to like?” recipes, with bacon and so much mustard I actually ran out of Dijon – something I wouldn’t have thought possible! This serves 4.
- ½ cup plus 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- ¼ teaspoon sweet or smoked paprika
- Black pepper
- ¾ teaspoon salt (Kosher or sea salt)
- 4 chicken legs and 4 thighs
- 1 cup bacon, thick cut and diced
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme or ½ teaspoon dried
- Olive oil (optional)
- 1 cup white wine
- 1 tablespoon whole mustard seeds or grainy mustard
- 2-3 tablespoons crème fraîche or heavy cream
- Chopped parsley or chives for garnish
In a bowl big enough to hold the chicken, mix ½ cup of the Dijon with the paprika, salt and pepper. Toss the chicken in the mustard, coating the pieces well, and rubbing some of it under the skin.
Heat a big skillet or Dutch oven over medium heat and add the bacon. Cook until the bacon is just starting to brown. Remove the bacon and drain on paper towels. Leave about 1 tablespoon of the bacon fat in the pan and discard the rest.
Add the onion and cook about 5 minutes until soft and translucent. Add the thyme, cook for another few minutes and scrape everything into a medium-sized bowl.
Increase the heat to medium-high, add a little olive oil if needed and the chicken pieces in one layer. Don’t crowd them and cook in two batches if necessary. Brown them well on one side and then flip them over and brown the other side. Give it time as you want the chicken to be really browned as this is where the flavor comes from.
Remove the chicken from the pan and put it in the bowl with the onions. Add the wine to the pan and scrape off the bits that have stuck to the pan. Add the chicken, onions and bacon back to the pan. Cover and cook over medium heat until the chicken is cooked through, about 15 minutes (165° on an instant-read thermometer). While the chicken is cooking, stir it a couple of times, to coat with the sauce.
Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the mustard seeds or grainy mustard and the crème fraîche into the sauce. Sprinkle the parsley over the top, serve and enjoy!
My verdict: Wonderful! An important lesson I learned from Gabriel Rucker and again, making this recipe, is that you really have to have some patience (something I have in terribly short supply) and let the meat really brown – it makes a world of difference! This is a pretty classic recipe and I’ve done a variation of it with rabbit – also delicious! Since Frank isn’t fond of chicken legs, I just used thighs and that worked fine. As you read in the intro, I ran out of smooth Dijon, so added in about 3-4 tablespoons of grainy Dijon, which was fine. If you used a good, strong Dijon, it will give you more of a pronounced mustard taste (which is a good thing – right?). He suggests serving it with some fresh pasta, but rice or mashed potatoes would soak up the sauce nicely too. Definitely give it a try, it’s probably under an hour, start to finish.