Ina Garten's Mustard-Roasted Chicken | Alexandra's Kitchen (2024)

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4.6 from 22 reviews

//By Alexandra Stafford onOctober 24, 2013 (updated October 19, 2022) Jump To Recipe

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Ina Garten's Mustard-Roasted Chicken | Alexandra's Kitchen (1)

I rarely make bread crumb chicken recipes — the flour-egg-coating assembly line always deters me — but this dijon mustard roasted chicken thigh recipe, from the Barefoot Contessa’s Foolproof is simple. A quick dip in a dijon mustard-buttermilk bath provides enough glue for the bread crumbs to adhere, and roasting versus pan-frying makes the hands-on time minimal.

This bread crumb chicken has become a favorite around here, both piping hot right out of the oven for dinner and cold straight from the fridge for lunch. I made a few changes to the original recipe to make it work better for me: I used fresh bread crumbs in place of panko and roasted at a slightly higher temperature for the entire time.

After 40 minutes, the chicken emerges beautifully golden with a coating begging to be devoured. With just a gentle prod of the knife, the meat, steaming hot, falls off the bone, salty, herbed bread crumbs spilling all around. The chicken is incredibly moist, and the flavors of thyme, garlic and lemon permeate the meat. Heaven.

PS: How to Cut up a Whole Chicken

PPS:How to Roast a Chicken (and Make the Most of It)

How to Make Mustard-Roasted Chicken

First: make the seasoned bread crumbs by pulsing garlic, lemon zest, salt, pepper and thyme in a food processor. (I love my 14-cup Cuisinart)

Ina Garten's Mustard-Roasted Chicken | Alexandra's Kitchen (2)
Ina Garten's Mustard-Roasted Chicken | Alexandra's Kitchen (3)

Add day-old bread, and pulse to combine.

Ina Garten's Mustard-Roasted Chicken | Alexandra's Kitchen (4)

Meanwhile, soak chicken legs in a mix of buttermilk and mustard.

Ina Garten's Mustard-Roasted Chicken | Alexandra's Kitchen (5)

Transfer the chicken legs to a parchment-lined sheet pan, and coat with the seasoned bread crumbs.

Ina Garten's Mustard-Roasted Chicken | Alexandra's Kitchen (6)

Roast until the crumbs are evenly golden, and the chicken is cooked, roughly 40 minutes.

Ina Garten's Mustard-Roasted Chicken | Alexandra's Kitchen (7)

Transfer chicken to a board to rest.

Ina Garten's Mustard-Roasted Chicken | Alexandra's Kitchen (8)

Let rest briefly before cutting and serving.

Ina Garten's Mustard-Roasted Chicken | Alexandra's Kitchen (9)
Ina Garten's Mustard-Roasted Chicken | Alexandra's Kitchen (10)


Ina Garten's Mustard-Roasted Chicken | Alexandra's Kitchen (11)

Ina Garten’s Mustard-Roasted Chicken

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

4.6 from 22 reviews

  • Author: Alexandra Stafford
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 4 to 6
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Adapted from the Barefoot Contessa’s Foolproof

If you feel like getting ahead, you can marinate the chicken in the mustard and buttermilk overnight or for a few hours; if you don’t have time, don’t worry. I made this for my in-laws without marinating the chicken at all, and they raved. If you marinate the chicken, too, the buttermilk definitely acts as a tenderizer.

You can use any combination of bone-in, skin-on thighs or drumsticks. I love using thighs with this recipe.

A few changes from the original recipe:

You can find the original recipe online in various places, but these are the basic changes I’ve made: fresh bread crumbs versus panko; 4 tablespoons olive oil versus 2 tablespoons olive oil + 2 tablespoons butter; buttermilk versus white wine (because the buttermilk is thicker than wine, I find the breadcrumbs stick to it better); 4 thighs and 4 drumsticks versus 1 chicken cut into 8 pieces; oven temp at 400ºF the entire time.

If you are up for a little adventure…

… this is what I suggest: Buy two chickens. Cut them up (video guidance here). Use the 4 thighs and 4 drumsticks here. Remove the breasts from the bones and make thesetarragon chicken breasts on a subsequent evening. With the wings, necks, backbones, and breast bones, make stock. After two hours of gentle simmering, pull the meat from the stock bones, and make a simple chicken salad: mayonnaise + relish + a squeeze of lemon. Return the bones to the pot and gently simmer for another hour.


  • 4 bone-in, skin-on thighs and 4 bone-in, skin-on drumsticks
  • ½ cup Dijon mustard
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled
  • a small handful fresh thyme leaves (if the strands are soft, no need to strip the leaves)
  • zest of one lemon
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups fresh breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup olive oil


  1. Preheat the oven to 400ºF and place oven rack in the middle of the oven. In a small bowl, whisk together the mustard and buttermilk. Place the chicken in a large bowl and pour the mustard-buttermilk mixture overtop. Toss to coat.
  2. Place the garlic, thyme strands (stems, if they are soft, and all), lemon zest, 1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons kosher salt (use 1.5 tsp if you are sensitive to salt), and 1 teaspoon pepper (or a few large cracks on the grinder) in a food processor fitted with the steel blade and process until the garlic is finely minced. Add the breadcrumbs and olive oil, and pulse a few times to moisten the breadcrumbs. Pour the mixture into a wide, shallow bowl or onto a large plate — something with sides is best.
  3. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper (for easy clean-up — this is not necessary, but I like using parchment.) Dip each piece of chicken skin-side down only into the crumb mixture, pressing gently to make the crumbs adhere. Place the chicken on the sheet pan crumb-side up. After one or two pieces have been dipped, the crumb mixture might not adhere to the chicken as well. Just use your hands to press the remaining crumbs onto the chicken pieces.
  4. Bake the chicken for 40 minutes. Check on the chicken. If necessary cook another five minutes or until the crumbs are browned. Let rest 5 to 10 minutes before serving. Serve hot, warm, or at room temperature.
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American

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    120 Comments on “Ina Garten’s Mustard-Roasted Chicken”

  1. Wendy DReply

    Amazing! Made it for dinner tonight. Very moist and flavourful.

  2. Gail WarrenReply

    I’m not a fan of dark meat chicken. How would I adjust the cooking time if I used bone-in breast and wings? Thank you.

    • alexandraReply

      I’m thinking you should check the meat after 30 minutes. If the meat is done but the crumbs are not golden enough, you can stick the pan under the broiler to brown it up … watch it closely!

  3. DianeReply

    This is a wonderful recipe, but could it be made just as easily with skinless, boneless chicken breasts? What about cooking time in that case? Thanks so much!!

  4. Marianne WardReply

    Made this chicken for dinner this evening. Recipe is definitely a keeper. Followed your suggestion to use fresh bread crumbs rather than panko and the results were crispy and delicious. I used the convection feature on my oven so that may have helped to brown the coating. The only other change I made was to use fresh parsley instead of thyme because that’s what I had on hand. I smacked on a piece of chicken later in the evening at room temperature and it was as good as the one a had hot from the oven. I made a similar recipe years ago from Bon Apetit magazine using skin on, bone in chicken breasts with excellent results. Forgot about it till tonight.

  5. ShaReply

    I would like to thank you for sharing this recipe, I followed everything except that I used salmon instead of chicken and parsley instead of thyme.

    It was excellent and I’m seeing this dish to be made again for our dinner in the future.

  6. SusannaReply

    Alexandra, this recipe looks like a winner and I would like to try it for a gluten free client. I often use ground oats in place of GF bread crumbs (I don’t like the cornstarch, cake-y consistency of many GF crumbs). Do you think they would work here? I should make breadcrumbs from GF bread, and I will, but I like the simplicity and healthy aspect of ground oats.

    • alexandraReply

      Susanna, you probably know better than I!! Truly, given your experience with clients and their needs, I thin you would have a better sense of what will work. I’ve never purchased gf bread crumbs! If you prefer ground oats, then I’m with you 🙂 🙂 🙂 I say give it a go!

      • SusannaReply

        Alexandra, you’re way too modest and kind! But for anyone out there with a gluten allergy interested in making this recipe GF, I tested it tonight with a mix of GF bread crumbs I forgot I had and liked (rice flour based) and coarsely ground oats. It was fantastic! Nice and crunchy coating yet moist at the same time. Hubby is already thinking of the leftovers and I’ll definitely make it for my GF clients, it will be loved by kids and adult alike! Thanks for another great recipe!

        • alexandraReply

          So wonderful to hear this, Susanna! So many people ask me about substitutes for panko, and I never really know what to say. Now I do! Thank you. xoxo

  7. KimReply

    So there is an amazing version to this and I created it myself long before it ever got tv commercials, just trying to find something yummy for my kids. I think the basic thick-ish coating of something just inherently keeps it moist.
    I use a mixture of crushed French fried onions, Parmesan, pepper, and garlic powder to coat a Miracle whip & honey mustard layer. Salt & pepper bare chicken first.
    Bake on a sheet on the oven. Yum!!!!

  8. Kim McMillanReply

    So there is an amazing version to this and I created it myself long before it ever got tv commercials, just trying to find something yummy for my kids. I think the basic thick-ish coating of something just inherently keeps it moist.
    I use a mixture of crushed French fried onions, Parmesan, pepper, and garlic powder to coat a Miracle whip & honey mustard layer. Salt & pepper bare chicken first.
    Bake on a sheet on the oven. Yum!!!!

  9. Barb GibsonReply

    Could you use pork chops instead of chicken?

    • alexandraReply

      I don’t think so — I think the time would have to be cut way back to prevent the pork chops from drying out, and with the time cut way back, I don’t think the topping would brown properly.

  10. Hallel BelishaReply

    Beautiful recapie , turned out delicious and it disappeared so fast. Surprised how easy it was to make, love it.

    • alexandraReply

      Wonderful to hear this!

  11. Suzy QReply

    Wow, so delicious!! I made as shown but cut the recipe in half for 4 thighs. I baked at 400 for 40 minutes then turned the oven off for 5 then removed and let rest for 10 (they were big thighs). These were so good – the fresh bread crumbs really made a difference. Thank you!

  12. ‘TrinaReply

    I used this recipe for a community lunch, .73 drumsticks! It was a great success. Is there anyway you could use the marinade that was left? Would have to be really cooked to a high temperature being it was coating raw chicken. Just asking

    • alexandraReply

      Hi Trina, So happy to hear this! I think you could use the marinade to coat boneless skinless breasts, and then bread and fry them? I can’t think of any clever way to use it other than marinating something else … let me know what you do!

  13. RobburReply

    I sprinkled a little lemon juice over the crumbed chicken as i had no lemon zest. There was quite a bi of juice after the chicken was done, so I cooked it down until it coloured nicely, added some more buttermilk and water and a little chicken stock to make a sauce. The lemon juice made it piquant and the loose breadcrumbs thicked it. It was so very good, I’m looking forward to the leftovers tomorrow. Thank for the great recipe!

    • alexandraReply

      Yum! Wonderful to hear this, Robbur!

  14. LaurieReply

    I made with gluten-free panko crumbs. Will certainly make again. It was a nice change to my restricted diet.

    • alexandraReply

      Wonderful to hear this, Laurie!

  15. BevReply

    Delicious every time!!!

    • alexandraReply

      Yay 😍😍😍😍

  16. BetsyReply

    The flavors were great! Is the skin meant to crisp up? Mine didn’t.

    • alexandraReply

      Hi Betsy! The skin should get a little bit crispy. Did the bread crumb layer crisp up for you?

  17. DoloresReply

    This was awesome! Better than any true fried chicken.

    • alexandraReply

      Wonderful to hear this, Dolores!

  18. Lisa SReply

    Can you make with boneless skinless? If so, what would be the cooking time?

    • alexandraReply

      Haven’t tried, but sure! I would just keep an eye on it …. start checking after 15 minutes.

  19. JustineReply

    This was an amazing dinner, everyone raved and wanted/needed seconds. This will be made again, and I’m sure again. The house also smelt so good.

    I used a few boneless/skinless thighs mixed in with the bone-in/skin-on, I liked them both but always prefer boneless and skinless – just as good! Also used a left over loaf of bread with black olives – such a nice extra note with the lemon and thyme. Served with roasted green beans and mushroom. Heaven.

    Thanks for sharing your take.

    • alexandraReply

      So great to hear this, Justine! Thanks so much for writing. I think my children would prefer boneless skinless meat here, as well… need to give this a try with that cut. And the olive bread sounds amazing!!

  20. Ann LaceyReply

    I loved the coating, but am I the only one completely turned off by the uncooked, white, chewy chicken skin? Even though the crumb fell right off the skin when cut, I couldn’t get past the skin and did not finish the dish.
    I would make it again, but skinless!

    • MCMReply

      I really like the breadcrumb flavor but also am not a fan of the skin texture. I will try this again using boneless/skinless and see what the result is.
      There is also no mention of how long to keep the chicken in the buttermilk & Dijon.
      I read it can be up to 24 hrs

      • Alexandra StaffordReply

        I understand that. I will be curious to hear how it turns out with boneless/skinless meat. I have been meaning to revisit the recipe using skinless, bone-in thighs since other people have similarly disliked the texture of the skin.

  21. Mimi BranhamReply

    I’ve made a lot of chicken in my day and I never leave reviews. This is probably the best chicken I’ve ever made. Followed the recipe except put in more garlic and cooked it about 20 minutes longer to be extra crispy. Fantastic!

    • Alexandra StaffordReply

      So great to hear this, Mimi 🙂 🙂 🙂 Thanks so much for writing.

  22. tootsReply

    Pretty good. Little salty for my taste. I really hoped the skin would crisp up

  23. ShawneReply

    Truly delicious. I followed Ina’s suggestions with Wine as marinade and panko as breading – but substituted boneless skinless chicken thighs. Just packed the breading on top. No change in cooking time/temperature. Received rave reviews from guests. Definitely a keeper!

    • Alexandra StaffordReply

      Woohoo! Great to hear, Shawne. I’m going to try the boneless skinless version soon… I think my kids would be into it.

  24. DianeReply

    Love this recipe. It’s easy to make a crowd pleaser.

    • Alexandra StaffordReply

      Great to hear, Diane!

  25. GloriaReply

    I made this delicious dish today, exactly like the posted recipe and will definitely make it again! The family loved it!

    • Alexandra StaffordReply

      Great to hear, Gloria 🙂 🙂 🙂

  26. ShawnReply

    Hi! Love your blog – many of your recipes are staples around here! Probably a silly question, but when you make your own fresh breadcrumbs (using your linked recipe above), should you toast them before adding to this chicken recipe? Not sure if I’m adding just the pulsed bread crumbs or if they should be toasted before. Thank you!

    • Alexandra StaffordReply

      Hi and thank you 🙂 And apologies for the delay here. I do not toast them… just pulse them and use them untoasted. Happy New Year!

  27. Chris LundyReply

    I made this for a Super Bowl party and it was oh so delicious! Everyone loved! I used chicken breast tenders… yummy!

    • Alexandra StaffordReply

      Great to hear! Thanks for writing and sharing 🙂

  28. NancyReply

    Loved the flavor of this, but under the crispy breading was NOT crispy chicken skin- any tips?

    • Alexandra StaffordReply

      Hi! Was there a lot of skin? As in, do you think you could have trimmed some of the overhanging trim or was it a modest amount? My only thought would be to use convection roast if you aren’t doing that already. The skin doesn’t get crisp like fried chicken but there should be some crispness.

Ina Garten's Mustard-Roasted Chicken | Alexandra's Kitchen (2024)


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