Creamy Mustard Chicken

11 views 6:29 pm 0 Comments April 4, 2024

Crispy chicken legs smothered in a luxuriously delicious creamy mustard sauce!

This recipe tastes really fancy and is so perfect to serve guests, but in reality, it’s simple enough for a regular weeknight dinner! Follow me…

creamy mustard chicken served in large cast-iron pan garnished with tarragon

Chicken Leg Quarters

Chicken legs (aka chicken leg quarters) are great for dinner and I don’t use them enough. You essentially get a thigh and a drumstick, which when served with a couple of sides makes for the perfect dinner!

There are a few different ways you can cook them; here I start them off in the pan and then finish them in the oven.

Crispy Chicken Legs

The key to getting the skin crispy is rendering out the fat. You can do this by adding them to a cold pan and turning on the heat. This will gradually draw out the fat from the skin and help it crisp up. From there, you can finish cooking them in the oven.

What kind of pan should I use?

Important that the pan is a) oven-proof and b) preferably non-stick/well-seasoned. For those two reasons, I love using a cast-iron pan, which also retains heat really nicely.

When it comes to preparing the chicken, you’ll want to pat it dry with kitchen roll/paper towels. This will remove moisture and help the skin crisp in the pan. From there, a good seasoning of salt and pepper is all you need!

Process shots: pat chicken dry (photo 1), season both sides (photos 2&3), add to pan (photo 4), fry then flip (photo 5), finish in the oven (photo 6).

6 step by step photos showing how to cook chicken legs

Creamy Mustard Sauce

Once the chicken is cooked just remove it from the pan and leave the fat behind. Don’t waste the bonus flavour! It’s also great for frying the shallots and garlic.

White Wine

I love a splash of wine to deglaze the pan, but also to add a gentle background flavour and cut through the richness of the sauce. It’s really important you reduce it right down though, otherwise, it’ll be too pungent, especially alongside the mustard. The alcohol will burn off, but if you can’t use it then just leave it out.

Tarragon

This goes so amazingly with both the chicken and the mustard sauce. It really brings the dish to life do definitely use it if you can! You’ll find it in most supermarkets.

The sauce is created with chicken stock and cream, alongside the obvious addition of some mustard. Dijon mustard to be precise!

Process shots: fry shallots (photo 1), fry garlic (photo 2), reduce wine (photo 3), add stock, cream, mustard and tarragon (photo 4), stir and simmer (photo 5), add chicken (photo 6).

6 step by step photos showing how to make creamy mustard chicken

Creamy Mustard Chicken FAQ

How do I know when the chicken is cooked?

This will be dependent on the size of the chicken legs, but in all cases, the thickest part of the leg should read minimum 74C/165F with the juices running clear.

Can I use chicken thighs?

Yes! If they’re skin-on and bone-in, just follow the recipe as stated (they may cook a little quicker). If using boneless/skinless just pan-fry them without baking. I’ve added some more details in the recipe card notes below.

Can I use chicken breast?

Yes, you’ll just lose out on the bonus flavour from the fat in the chicken skin. I’ve also added more on this in the recipe card notes below.

creamy dijon chicken served in cast-iron pan garnished with tarragon

Serving Creamy Mustard Chicken

I like to add the chicken legs back to the pan and baste them in some of the sauce, just to warm them back through. From there, I love an extra pinch of tarragon to finish, although that’s completely optional (it’s quite a strong herb).

Here I’ve served with Roasted Baby Potatoes and Asparagus, but check out my Side Dishes for more inspo!

Alrighty, let’s tuck into the full recipe for this creamy mustard chicken shall we?!

close up overhead shot of creamy mustard tarragon chicken on small white plate with potatoes and asparagus

How to make Creamy Mustard Chicken (Full Recipe & Video)

creamy mustard chicken served in large cast-iron pan garnished with tarragon

Print

Creamy Mustard Chicken

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Crispy chicken legs smothered in a luxuriously delicious creamy mustard sauce!
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine French, Western
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 716kcal
Cost £2 / $2.50

Equipment

  • Kitchen Roll/Paper Towels for drying chicken
  • Sharp Knife & Chopping Board
  • Large Cast-Iron/Oven Safe Pan & Tongs
  • Wooden Spoon

Ingredients

  • 4x Chicken Legs, brought close to room temp (approx 250-300g/9-10.5oz each)
  • 1 tsp Salt, plus more as needed
  • 1/2 tsp Black Pepper, plus more as needed
  • 1 Echalion Shallot, finely diced (sub 2 normal small shallots)
  • 2 cloves of Garlic, finely diced
  • 60ml / 1/4 cup Dry White Wine
  • 120ml / 1/2 cup Chicken Stock
  • 3/4 cup / 180ml Double/Heavy Cream, at room temp
  • 1 tbsp finely diced Fresh Tarragon (see notes)
  • 1 1/2 tbsp Dijon Mustard

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 200C/400F.
  • Pat the chicken legs dry with kitchen roll then season all over with 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper. Place them skin-side-down in a large cast-iron or heavy-based oven-proof pan with the heat OFF.
  • Turn the heat to medium-high and cook the chicken for 10 minutes. The skin should be golden and relatively crisp at this point, with a fair amount of fat rendered out. If they look like they’re charring, just turn the heat down slightly. Also give them a wiggle towards the start to check they’re not sticking. Flip the chicken then place the pan in the oven for 20-25 minutes, or until the chicken is crisp on top and cooked right through the centre.
  • Remove the pan and place it back on the stove (remember the handle will be hot!). Remove the chicken and place to one side, then turn the heat to medium. Add the shallot to the leftover chicken fat and fry until it starts turning soft & golden, then add the garlic and fry for another 30 seconds or so. Pour in the wine, increase the heat slightly and simmer until it almost completely evaporates, scraping any flavour from the pan as needed.
  • Pour in the stock and cream, then stir in the mustard and tarragon. Keep on a fairly rapid simmer until the sauce begins to thicken, stirring fairly frequently. Stir in any resting juices from the chicken then check for seasoning and adjust if needed. Add the chicken back to the pan and spoon over the sauce.
  • Serve up and enjoy!

Video

Notes

a) Chicken Legs – These are the thighs and drumsticks attached, also known as ‘chicken leg quarters’. You’ll find them in most supermarkets. 

b) How do I know when the chicken is cooked? – This will be dependent on the size of the chicken legs, but if in doubt, use a kitchen thermometer. The thickest part of the leg should read minimum 74C/165F with the juices running clear.

c) Pan/oil – If your cast-iron skillet is well seasoned you don’t need oil. The skin offers more than enough fat to ensure the chicken doesn’t stick (you can peak to check though). I recommend a cast-iron because it retains heat really nicely, but any other oven-safe and preferably heavy-based pan will work. Just don’t use a pan that’s prone to things sticking.

d) Excess fat – There will be a good amount of excess fat/chicken juices in the pan, but it shouldn’t be anything crazy (~2 tbsp). It adds heaps of flavour to the sauce. If there’s a huge amount, which there might be with thighs (see below), then you can tip a little out before frying the shallots.

e) Can I use chicken thighs? – Yes, they’ll just take a little less time in the oven because they’re typically smaller. Apart from that, it’s the same steps, although there might be more excess fat (see note above). You’ll probably get 6 thighs in a large pan. You can also use boneless/skinless, in which case just season and fry them in a little oil for 4-5 mins on each side or until cooked through, then remove and carry on with the recipe (no need to bake).

f) Can I use chicken breast? – You could use 2x 250g/9oz breasts and horizontally slice them in half to create 4 even-sized breasts. From there, coat in half of the seasoning (1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper) and fry in 1 tbsp butter and oil over medium-high heat for 3-4mins each side. They won’t offer as much flavour as the legs because they’re not as fatty, but they’ll still work great!

g) Wine – This is great to deglaze the pan, but it also adds a gentle background flavour and cuts through the richness of the sauce. Very important to reduce it right down otherwise it’ll be too pungent, especially alongside the mustard. The alcohol will burn off, but if you can’t use it then just leave it out.

h) Tarragon – This goes so amazingly with both the chicken and the mustard sauce. You’ll find it in most supermarkets. If you don’t like tarragon or can’t find it I have a very similar recipe where I use 2 tsp finely diced fresh rosemary, which works really nicely. 

i) Serving – Here I’ve served with Roasted Baby Potatoes and Asparagus, but check out my Side Dishes for more inspo!

Nutrition

Calories: 716kcal | Carbohydrates: 5.03g | Protein: 42.55g | Fat: 56.64g | Saturated Fat: 21.222g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 9.066g | Monounsaturated Fat: 21.45g | Trans Fat: 0.151g | Cholesterol: 294mg | Sodium: 875mg | Potassium: 618mg | Fiber: 0.7g | Sugar: 2.24g | Vitamin A: 914IU | Vitamin C: 2.3mg | Calcium: 70mg | Iron: 2.2mg

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