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Chicken with Mustard-Fennel Crust

Scott Phillips

Servings: 4

A coating of Dijon mustard and breadcrumbs spiked with fennel seeds flavor this quick take on a bistro-style dish.


  • 8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs or drumsticks (or a  mix)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbs. fennel seeds
  • 1 cup coarse fresh breadcrumbs
  • 2 Tbs. Dijon mustard
  • 2 Tbs. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Nutritional Information

  • Nutritional Sample Size using thighs (4 oz. with bone)
  • Calories (kcal) : 440
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 270
  • Fat (g): 30
  • Saturated Fat (g): 7
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 5
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 16
  • Cholesterol (mg): 115
  • Sodium (mg): 750
  • Carbohydrates (g): 7
  • Fiber (g): 1
  • Protein (g): 32


  • Set a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 400°F. Rinse the chicken parts and pat them dry; season generously with salt and pepper. Heat 1 Tbs. of the oil in a 10-inch sauté pan over medium-high heat until very hot. Working in two batches, brown the chicken well on both sides, 3 to 4 min. per side. Transfer the chicken, skin side up, to an 11×14-inch or similar roasting pan and bake until cooked through, about 15 min.
  • Meanwhile, over medium heat, toast the fennel seeds in a small dry skillet, stirring frequently, until golden and fragrant, 2 to 3 min. Transfer to a small bowl and add the remaining 2 Tbs. olive oil, the breadcrumbs, 1/2  tsp. salt, and 1/8 tsp. pepper.
  • Remove the chicken from the oven and raise the oven temperature to 500°F. Turn the chicken pieces over and, with a pastry brush, lightly dab the mustard on top. With your hands, press the breadcrumb mixture on top of the mustard. Bake until the crumb crust turns golden, about another 10 min. Transfer the chicken to a serving platter, sprinkle with the parsley, and serve.

Serve with Romaine, Bacon & Tomato Salad with Croutons & Tarragon Vinaigrette.


Rate or Review


  • Sandyatthebeach | 02/05/2013

    This has been a regular recipe for us for years. The toasted fennel seeds add a slight sweetness and licorice taste to the chicken. I ground the seeds once toasted. I always serve it with sweet potatoes and honey mustard.

  • lindiboggle | 11/28/2011

    Incredible taste! Husband rated it a 5 so it's a keeper!

  • m2violin | 09/06/2010

    A good weeknight recipe-quick, inexpensive and flavorful. I used chicken thighs exclusively, mainly because I like them better. I used panko crumbs instead of fresh bread crumbs and it turned out well.

  • Christine73 | 05/24/2010

    I made this because I had everything on hand, a desperation dinner, so I wasn't really expecting much. This is a great recipe and will be in regular rotation at our house. My husband really loved it! Delicious and easy too, can't beat that.

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