Grilled Chicken with Mustard and Red Pepper
In French cooking, any meat or poultry seasoned with mustard and hot pepper and then coated with breadcrumbs is called à la diable, since the devil, or diable, is associated with anything hot and fiery. Cafés and bistros all over Paris offer versions of this classic. I like to make mine with a combination of sharp Dijon and coarse-grain Dijon mustard, and with a good hit of spice, usually what the French call piments langues d’oiseaux, or bird’s-tongue peppers. This is a great picnic dish as well, and I often make it for our lunch when we take the train to Provence. When we eat at home, I serve this chicken with steamed rice or sautéed potatoes and a green salad.
This simple dish suggests a simple red, either a Saumur-Champigny or a young Côtes-du-Rhône. I love Michel Richaud’s rich reds from the village of Cairanne.
Total Timeunder 1 hour
Make Ahead RecipeYes
OccasionCasual Dinner Party
Recipe Coursemain course
Dietary Considerationmain course
Taste and Texturehot & spicy, meaty, savory
- 2 tablespoons French Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon coarse-grain French Dijon mustard
- ¼ teaspoon finely ground dried hot red pepper
- 2 eggs
- 6 chicken legs, thighs attached
- ½ cup fine homemade breadcrumbs
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
In a small bowl, combine the mustards and red pepper; stir to blend.
Place the eggs in a shallow platter, and whisk lightly with a fork to blend.
Using a pastry brush, brush the mustard mixture all over the chicken legs and thighs. Dip them in the eggs, coating evenly on all sides. Sprinkle with the breadcrumbs, coating as evenly as possible. Place the chicken pieces side by side in a roasting pan. Dot with the butter. Place in the oven and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, basting frequently. The chicken is done when the juices run clear when pierced with a fork. Remove the chicken from the oven and transfer the pieces to a wire rack to help firm up the coating, about 5 minutes.
Serve hot or cold.
2001 Patricia Wells