If you want a little escape from the mundane, make this chicken in wine and mustard sauce! Chicken thighs and legs browned, then braised in white wine and Dijon mustard sauce with a bit of cream.
Serve this delicious chicken with these creamy Herb and Garlic Mashed Potatoes.
If you like this recipe, make sure to check out another French classic Cod with Mustard Sauce.
The inspiration for this Mustard Chicken came from a French restaurant we visited in Prague and I immediately knew I had to recreate it at home.
Chicken pieces are seared till a golden and crispy skin forms, then slowly braised in a Dijon mustard sauce in the oven. Just at the end of the cooking time, I add a touch of cream to tame the mustard and to give the sauce creamy texture.
This method creates delicious and tender chicken with the sauce you want to pour on everything. Keep that crusty bread ready!
Mustard Sauce for Chicken
You might want to ask how the sauce with no cheese could be so addictive and delicious. And the answer is good quality mustard.
I am no stranger to cream-based sauces, flavoured with wine and mustard. However, by that point I never made a sauce, which flavour rested solely on a mustard.
Mustard is a heady ingredients and is the key ingredient here! When I first set out to create this recipe I was not sure whether I’d like that much mustard in my sauce.
What mustard should I use?
Here is what I learned. If you don’t like the taste of a certain mustard, chances are you won’t like it in a sauce, so choose the mustard you enjoy and the best quality you can afford.
Start with milder tasting ones, then go for bolder flavours if that’s your preference. I used French Dijon mustard but a good quality wholegrain mustard will also work here.
Mustard to avoid
Just don’t use American yellow mustard, that will surely kill this delicate sauce.
White Wine and Mustard Sauce
Wine has got to be my favourite cooking ingredient, so much flavour with so little effort. It adds acidity, which balances out the cream sauce. Overall, wine brings complexity and layers to the taste of this mustard sauce.
If you would rather not use it, replace with the same amount of apple juice plus 1 tablespoon of white wine vinegar.
In the end, I had the sauce that was creamy in texture but not bland. It was actually quite vibrant and exciting.
I would gladly choose this mustard sauce as one of the top 5 things to eat for the rest of my life if I am stuck on a desert island.
Can I use chicken breasts?
I prefer using chicken thighs and legs in most of my recipe because they are 1) more affordable and 2)more flavourful. My daughter is with me on it but my son and my husband are firmly in the chicken breast camp. Men.
I often get asked if chicken breasts could be substituted in my recipes, and the answer is always yes BUT…
Reduce cooking time by good 20 minutes if using skinless and boneless chicken breasts to prevent them from drying out.
If you decide to go with the chicken thighs and legs option, make sure you brown those pieces until golden brown because pale and soggy chicken skin has got to be one of the worst cooking sins!
Below are the stages of the Chicken in Wine and Mustard Sauce recipe before the final step of putting it in the oven.
That is where your sauce will thicken and the chicken will crisp up on the outside and turn deliciously tender inside.
And this is what your chicken in wine and mustard sauce will look like when it comes out of the oven. Beauty!!
The sauce is not going to be very thick as classic French sauces never are. However, if you like your sauces thicker, add 1 tbsp of flour in step 3 right before you add wine, mustard and chicken stock.
More French chicken recipes:
This recipe was originally published in 03/2017. Updated and republished in 05/2020.
Chicken in Wine and Mustard Sauce
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 lbs chicken legs and thighs
- salt and pepper
- 2 shallots diced
- 2 garlic cloves
- 3-4 thyme sprigs
- 3 tbsp dijon mustard
- ½ cup/125ml white wine
- 1 cup/250ml chicken stock
- ½ cup/125ml light cream/single cream 18% fat content
- Preheat the oven to 350F/180C
- In a large frying pan heat one tablespoon of olive oil and brown chicken parts seasoned with salt and pepper on each side until golden but not cooked all the way through. Remove to a plate.
- To the same pan add shallots, garlic and thyme leaves and cook over low heat for 5 minutes without getting any colour on them.
- Add wine, dijon mustard and chicken stock, stir to combine and bring to a boil, then return chicken to the pan, spoon the sauce all over chicken pieces.
- Put in the oven uncovered and cook for 45 minutes.
- Take out of the oven add light/single cream to the sauce, once again baste the chicken in the sauce, put back in the oven and cook for 10 minutes longer.
- Serve with rice, potatoes or roasted vegetables.