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By the forkful or sopped on crusted bread, Chicken Dijon stew is deliciously hearty

Make Chicken Dijon stew with all drumsticks to simplify the cooking time. Garnish with a sprig of fresh tarragon.

Ileana Morales | Special to the Times

Make Chicken Dijon stew with all drumsticks to simplify the cooking time. Garnish with a sprig of fresh tarragon.

My fellow mustard lovers, this one's for you.

This week's recipe is Chicken Dijon, a stew with crispy, browned chicken enveloped in a rich sauce of cream, coarse mustard and herbs. Stews have become our go-to dinner around here, and this one is our current favorite.

We fell hard for stews because few other dinners are so forgiving and delicious. Anyone can make a stew, and they are perfect for the fickle weather these days. You know, the 80-degree afternoon followed by a night in the 50s.

So what's the difference between stew and soup? Lynne Rossetto Kasper of The Splendid Table podcast said it simply: A stew requires a fork. A soup calls for a spoon.

This recipe comes from the hardest-working Food & Wine issue we own. Melissa Clark, a cookbook author who also writes a cooking column for the New York Times, shares a half-dozen recipes in a feature on French weeknight stews. Clark led us to a fantastic way to make ratatouille, a quick version topped with goat cheese. There was a cozy stew of lentils with kielbasa, and then this chicken stew, which we've made many times since.

Truly a weeknight stew, this chicken comes together in less than an hour. Using only drumsticks makes the cooking time for the chicken straightforward and easy.

Sour cream, tarragon, coriander, and a generous amount of coarse ground mustard make the sauce pretty irresistible. I am not the biggest fan of foods with an anise or licorice flavor, but the tarragon is mellow and wonderful in this stew.

Each serving is a couple of drumsticks in a pool of sauce. Crusty bread, not rice, is just the thing to make the best use of the sauce. Sometimes I serve myself an extra drumstick just so I can have a bit more sauce.

This is a humble-looking dish that tastes considerably better than it looks. It's such a delicious treat to make yourself on a cool Wednesday night or to share with someone you love. Trust me.

Ileana Morales is a freelance writer who cooks in a small apartment kitchen in Tampa with her boyfriend, Danny Valentine, an education reporter for the Tampa Bay Times. For more of their kitchen adventures, visit Ileana's blog, She can be contacted at


Chicken Dijon

This chicken is all about the sauce — mustardy, aromatic and alluring. The aniselike flavor of tarragon, that ubiquitous French herb, is mellow and irresistible in this dish. Make sure to have plenty of good bread around so no sauce goes to waste.

1 teaspoon coriander seeds

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

8 medium chicken drumsticks (about 3 pounds)


Black pepper

1/4 cup finely chopped onion

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth

2 tablespoons whole-grain or coarse-ground Dijon mustard

3 tablespoons sour cream or creme fraiche

2 teaspoons chopped tarragon, plus a few sprigs for garnish

Crusty bread, for serving

Toast the coriander seeds in a large skillet over moderately high heat until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Transfer the seeds to a mortar and let cool before crushing coarsely with a pestle.

Use the same skillet to heat the olive oil. Season the chicken drumsticks with salt and pepper, add them to the skillet and cook over moderately high heat until golden brown all over, about 10 minutes. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the broth and crushed coriander and bring to a boil. Cover and cook over moderately low heat until the chicken is cooked through, about 15 minutes.

Place the chicken drumsticks on a platter and cover to keep warm.

In a small bowl, whisk the mustard, sour cream, and tarragon. Whisk the mixture into the skillet and simmer over moderate heat until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Return the chicken to the skillet and coat in the sauce.

Serve a couple of drumsticks per person with plenty of sauce and crusty bread to scoop it up. Garnish each plate with a sprig of tarragon.

Serves 4.

Source: Food & Wine

By the forkful or sopped on crusted bread, Chicken Dijon stew is deliciously hearty 02/05/13 [Last modified: Monday, February 4, 2013 4:23pm]
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