Roasted Split Chicken with Mustard Crust

Cooking Time 35 minutes; Serves 4

Part of the joy of food and cooking is watching TV cooking shows.  Like everything else, some are really good.  Some are not so good.  Some inspire me to cook something new, try different techniques or experience different flavor combinations. This is a wonderful Jacque Pepin recipe we saw while watching TV at my Dad’s house one Sunday afternoon.  It looked so good we simply had to try it. We have shared this recipe with several of our friends who have raved about it, too.  Not only is this lick the plate delicious but it’s easy and quick for weeknight meals.

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  • 1 chicken (about 3 1/2 pounds)

For the Mustard Crust

  • 2 tablespoons chopped garlic
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard (I prefer country style stone ground)
  • 2 tablespoons dry white wine
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon Tabasco hot pepper sauce
  • 1 teaspoon herbes de Provence
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Mix all the ingredients in a small bowl.

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Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Using kitchen shears or a sharp knife, cut alongside the backbone of the chicken to split it open. Spread and press on the chicken with your hands to flatten it. Using a sharp paring knife, cut halfway through both sides of the joints connecting the thighs and drumsticks and cut through the joints of the shoulder under the wings as well. (This will help the heat penetrate these joints and accelerate the cooking process.)

Put the chicken skin side down on a cutting board and spread it with about half the mustard mixture. Place the chicken flat in a large skillet, mustard side down. Spread the remaining mustard on the skin side of the chicken.

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Cook over high heat for about 5 minutes, then place the skillet in the oven and cook the chicken for about 30 minutes.

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It should be well browned and dark on top.


Let the chicken rest in the skillet at room temperature for a few minutes, then cut it into 8 pieces. Deglaze the cooking pan with chicken stock and red wine.

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Mound some mashed potatoes on each of four warm dinner plates and place 2 pieces of chicken on each plate. Pour some juice on the mashed potatoes and chicken and serve.

This is what the final product looks like when served.  It’s wonderfully delicious.

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