Somehow or other, I’d not exactly forgotten about, but hadn’t made these wonderful chicken thighs for quite a while until I was reminded of them earlier this week.
I saw the package of thighs beckoning me and thought, as Mark Trail would say, “What th’ ?” How had I misplaced this old standby?
I fished out the frayed yellow recipe that inspired this dish when I got home, and was amused to note that it was Mark Bittman’s adaptation of a Gary Danko recipe and it was published in his Minimalist column in the New York Times on July 14, 2004. That was long before I’d even known about Gary Danko and his eponimous restaurant, a visit to which completely rocked my world on my trip to San Francisco almost two years later. Unbeknownst to me, I was already a fan even before I walked through his door, I now realize.
Now my recipe is a further adaptation from Gary/Mark’s, however, I do remember the proverbial scales falling from my eyes when I first read it and had the earth shattering realization that Dijon mustard is perfect culinary glue! Yes, just think about it and you’ll have the same life-changing revelation. Ever since I first read this recipe I’ve used mustard in all sorts of useful ways whenever I have to stick savory things together in the kitchen.
Filling puff pastry with lamb sausage and gluing it together? Dijon mustard. The lamb loin recipe I posted here before Easter? Dijon mustard. Beef roast with a crumbly bread crumb topping? Dijon mustard. The uses are endless as you’ll soon find for yourself.
Anyway, back to the chicken thighs. My main changes are using thighs which I really like instead of the entire leg and really upping the amount of tarragon making it über herby. It’s a breeze and really crunchy and delicious and I highly recommend this recipe the next time you see a package of thighs on sale.
As for the mustard glue idea, that’s just the langniappe of the day!
Tarragon Chicken Thighs
8 chicken thighs, skin and extra fat removed
1 1/2 cups coarse bread crumbs
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 tablespoons chopped Italian flat leaf parsley
1 bunch tarragon, stems removed and leaves chopped
salt and pepper to taste
6 tablespoons (or more) Dijon mustard
Heat oven to 400 degrees.
combine bread crumbs, garlic, parsley, tarragon and salt and pepper on a plate. Use a pastry brush to paint mustard lightly on the chicken thighs. Carefully coat the chicken thighs with the bread crumb mixture.
Gently place the chicken on a baking sheet or roasting pan and bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until completely cooked. Serve hot or cold.