Go for the Gold

If the eyes ever foretold what was in store for the taste buds, it would happen with this week’s entry, a double billing featuring both Deviled Chicken Drumsticks and Roasted Potatoes Poupon.  Both are coated with Dijon mustard before baking, giving them a golden tone that also signifies the highest savor.

After the mustard coats the bird, each drumstick is dredged in a mixture of freshly-grated Parmesan cheese, bread crumbs and cayenne.  What emerges from the oven is golden-brown, crispy and succulently juicy beneath, the Dijon and Parmesan combining to yield a briny, savory tang.

Gourmet spotlighted Deviled Chicken Drumsticks in its August 2008 issue.  Deviling is an English cooking technique of coating meat with bread crumbs and mustard before baking.  The various upgrades to this recipe, including Dijon mustard, cayenne pepper and Parmesan cheese, promise something amazing.  It doesn’t disappoint.

By the way, the chicken is extraordinary when it’s still hot from the oven, and it also excels when taken cold, making it perfect the next day when pulled from the fridge for a quick lunch.   Or that night, a snack to accompany a favorite movie.  If anything, the cold unifies the flavors and makes them even more mutually complimentary.  Speaking from personal experience, on both when and how the leftovers are enjoyed.

The idea for the potatoes comes from a different source entirely, namely, a recipe collection Grey Poupon included with its mustard years ago.  Unsurprisingly, the mustard coating enhances a similar taste profile in the chicken, while chopped shallots and freshly-ground pepper take the potatoes in a distinctive direction.  Choosing to use Yukon Gold potatoes worked well with the meal’s “color scheme” too, though the variety’s texture is what suggested it originally.

Aesthetics do much to enhance a food’s appeal, though normally they’re a bit of an afterthought, merely a happy coincidence.  In today’s case, however, we struck gold, and the taste is even better than the colors.  Far better, even beyond the gold jackets.

*****

Roasted Potatoes Poupon

  • 1/3 cup Dijon mustard (*1)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 and 1/2 pounds baking potatoes, cut into 1 and 1/2-inch cubes (*2)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped (*3)
  • salt and freshly-ground pepper, to taste
  • chopped parsley, for garnish (*4)

In a small bowl, combine the mustard and the oil.  In a large bowl, combine the potatoes, onion and mustard mixture.  Spread evenly on a baking sheet and cook at 400 degrees for 50 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper and garnish with parsley.

NOTES:

1 – Grey Poupon suggests either its standard brand (which I used) or its honey variety.  As excellent as the results were with “plain” Dijon, they probably would’ve been extraordinary with honey Dijon.  The next time…

2 – Any strain of baking potato, including Idaho or Russet, is well-suited for the task.  However, Yukon Gold has the requisite structure as well as the perfect shading.

3 – Those familiar with this journal know I replaced the medium onion with a large shallot.  “If you had read any of the memos my department sent you, 007…”  From that reference, you can guess what “favorite movie” went with a couple of the leftover drumsticks.  With tonight’s apparent theme in mind, of course it was Goldfinger.

4 – I prefer cilantro, as it features a better, subtler taste.

*****

Deviled Chicken Drumsticks

  • 12 chicken drumsticks
  • 1/2 cup Dijon mustard
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and freshly-ground pepper
  •  3 tablespoons butter, melted

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Toss chicken with mustard. (*5)

In a large bowl, stir together the breadcrumbs, cheese, salt, pepper and cayenne.  Drizzle with the melted butter and toss.

Dredge each drumstick in the crumb mixture to coat thoroughly, shaking off any excess.  Place drumsticks in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet, without crowding.  Roast for about 30 minutes, until golden-brown.

NOTES:

5 – I used a little more than the prescribed amount of Dijon, as I “painted” it on each drumstick.  It was neater this way, and the taste was, I think, even better than it would’ve been otherwise.

55 thoughts on “Go for the Gold

    1. As will I, Tamara! What was in the photo was dinner, and the rest didn’t survive the Bond marathon (hey, I’m a guy – what did you expect me to watch, the Lifetime Movie of the Week?).

      Anyway, the recipe was good, it freezes well, and it’s easy to make. Factors galore for an encore, and soon!

      Is your address still “4?” I’ll mail you some.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks much, Kate!

      I imagine those chefs express their gratitude in quite delicious ways for all your volunteer work! Especially as they have access to the green bounty Australia seems to produce year-round. No half-year in the deep freeze for you guys!

      Oh, completely unrelated, but what’s your opinion of Vegemite? My friend (also a Yank) who lived in Brisbane didn’t care for it, but she said most of her Australian friends love it.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I thrive on it but only ever found one none Aussie who liked it … most foreigners can’t even stand the smell! It’s yeast based and black … for many years that’s all I’d eat on my school sandwiches 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Sounds…different. Perhaps the kind of thing that rewards patience.

        The first hurried, skeptical taste confirms the worst fears. Most casual tasters are gone forever.

        More thoughtful samplers, though, see revulsion mellow to disdain, to tolerance, and finally, to appreciation. I gather that was your evolution, Kate. The naysayers never really gave Vegemite a chance, did they?

        Liked by 2 people

  1. I will definitely be making this. I used to make a similar chicken recipe where chicken breast was cut into strips then coated in a mustard mixture then bread crumbs and baked. The family loved it – I’d make it with mac and cheese. The potatoes here sound delicious too!

    Liked by 2 people

      1. A promising approach, Eliza, particularly as corn flakes out-crunch panko. Especially when they’re crushed only lightly.

        Another possibility is saltines – they go into really good crab cakes, by the way. Anyway, you’ll have to tell me how your efforts fare!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. We don’t mix milk and meat, otherwise yes. Supposedly the oil softens it. I’ll have to try making it… when I make things they never seem to live up to what the original was 😦

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Sure, that makes sense. Oil is pretty sticky and probably will attract the corn flakes, panko, saltines, whatever.

        Want more advice? (“Oh yeah, right, that’d be a frikkin’ dream come true.”) After you dredge the chicken, place it in the bowl of flakes and “bury” it. When you extract the piece, you’ll find an even thicker, more persistent, coating.

        I hope this helps. As there was nothing doing on my first idea, I have to be doubly-energetic in reclaiming my honor!

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Good deal, Monica!

      As with the preparation you describe, the breading is surprisingly crunchy and lively for something that’s not deep-fried. Pretty scrumptious the day after, too, taken straight from the fridge.

      The potatoes are a nice compliment, though liking Dijon definitely is a prerequisite. I love it, in fact, and was quite happy, though you might want to omit the mustard on the potatoes. At least, that is, if you’re cooking for others who don’t share our…uh…affliction.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I’ll be making it for myself this weekend and am especially looking forward to the potatoes. I once made some potatoes that were soaked in a vinegar salt water solution first, then roasted (hoping I remember that right) – they were really good. I’m one that chooses salt and vinegar potato chips also so I’m sure I’m going to love the dijon on the potatoes.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. when my cholesterol is back to normal this is EXACTLY what I want to eat first! 🙂 I never thought of using with Dijon mustard before baking anything and IT MAKES SO MUCH SENSE! You are so right about this being the prefect snack for movie night. Especially cold 🙂 I always loved cold fry chicken. And as cold pizza. And cold Chinese. Hummm and then I wonder why my cholesterol is high LOL !

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Greatly appreciate your comments, Daniela!

      Glad to read, too, we share thinking on cold chicken. The fridge diminishes most things, but not poultry!

      It’s touching that you’ll consider this for your first meal “on parole.” Though it’s not quite as tempting, boneless skinless chicken breasts will be much more respectful of your numbers. Plus it still would be “wicked awesome,” to poach one of your city’s favorite locutions. After all, the Dijon and panko make the dish, and the chicken’s just hitching a ride.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. This is brilliant and exactly the sort of dinner that tends to be a hit with my family! Adding to our dinner calendar next week…

    I used to do a maple mustard chicken, I love that you’ve captured the mustard here without the gobs of added sugar. (Not that I mind a little maple goodness from time to time. 😄)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Why, thank you, Summer!

      Glad to read your opinion of maple syrup too, because, well, don’t be surprised if it makes an appearance some week soon. Just sayin’….

      Besides, I didn’t think you were allowed to live in New England if you didn’t have a “thing” for maple syrup. Especially as you’re just on the other side of Massachusetts from Vermont. I mean, you’re practically in the state!

      By the way, how lucky is your family, getting more than just pictures of your great ideas? Maybe you should open a restaurant.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I was born in northern Vermont, so I learned of traditions like boiled maple syrup on snow rather early! I don’t know if I am ready for the restaurant world but I am quite flattered that you think I might be 😊

    Regarding the chicken, I was considering attempting to make my own mustard soon and I think this recipe will be the perfect way to use it. I’ll report back next week how it turns out!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Please do, Summer!

      Oh, you’re ready, intellectually. You have ideas galore, enough to fill seven or eight different menus if you’d like. Right now, the major task is working out the logistics. The ideas and attendant talent already are at your disposal.

      Vermont, huh? My late grandmother had cousins in NH she visited as a teen, back in the late ’30s. I suppose they, or at least their descendants, still are there, but I haven’t been. Mass., Conn., RI, yes, but not northern New England. At least not yet.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I find the idea intriguing but don’t think I’m ready to take on a new business venture right now! Haha

        I love the northern New England states and we’ve considered moving up there. (Hmmm… but maybe not at this time of year. Right now I’d prefer to move down south and become a snowbird.) I suppose it is more realistic now that there are so many more opportunities to work from home. NH and VT are especially gorgeous when the leaves change in the autumn. I highly recommend a visit at that time of year!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yeah, Summer, for sure. I understand the northeast US has the best autumn colors in the world. More than regional chauvinism is at play here, but rather, recognition we boast a greater variety of trees than do other parts of the world. Continental Europe and NE Asia have similar climates, but they want for the same arboreal diversity

        Good idea, about repairing to different homes each season. Let the Rockefellers inspire us – summer home in Maine, winter estate in Florida. Now, about earning that first billion…

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Remember what Pink Floyd taught us – “We don’t need no education.”

        Besides, if you had summer/winter home money, Rockefeller money, you easily could afford tutors.

        While I’m spending your, um, monies, I also think you should hire a food taster (me). It’s a medievalism sweeping all the affluent households.

        A pretty sweet arrangement too, as I get to sample all your ideas, and you pay me for it. Who thought of this deal?

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Oh, there you go. Wouldn’t most of us like to be food tasters? I would think that would be an extremely competitive career field.

        I’m making this on Wednesday, by the way. 👍 The tarragon mustard i made to use here is looking good and (hopefully) will taste similarly. I felt a little under the weather today so I just stuck with a simple slow cooker stew tonight.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Mmm, Summer. Delicious! You see what you’re doing here, right? You’re making it worthwhile – oh so worthwhile – to get sick.

        Come on cold, do your worst! I’ve got a pantry full of supplies and a brain full of ideas!

        Liked by 1 person

      6. Feeling better now 😄 I wish I could give a rating because I’d give the meal 5 stars! I’m thinking the homemade mustard gave the dish a little extra bite. These are actually really great recipes to experiment with a variety of homemade mustards. I will definitely be revisiting this one!

        I cut the chicken recipe in half and I still have some leftovers. It’s really nice that I was so busy in the kitchen this week; my shopping list for this coming week is quite small. I feel fortunate to have an abundance of delicious foods I have waiting for me in the fridge, including some of these golden potatoes and chicken. (Served with zucchini, simply because that’s what I had kicking around in the fruit/veg drawer.)

        Liked by 1 person

      7. Glad to hear, Summer, both of your recovery and of your subsequent victories in the kitchen. The variety of mustards you’ve made available reflect your creativity and inspire the imagination. Really, with the possibilities you imagine, all manner of delicacies await!

        More broadly, chicken really is just about the most versatile protein option out there, both enriching, and drawing compliments from, just about anything you’d find in the pantry or fridge. The experiences you relate here only reinforce the observation.

        A talented kitchen creator who knows her nutrition? You’re a doubly-gifted prodigy!.

        Liked by 1 person

      8. You’re so kind! Honestly, I always felt a little bad when I’d have a patient who was a chef or a baker back when I was doing rotations in the hospital. They always seem to have such a deep appreciation for delicious food, something I would not want to spoil for anyone! (That said, I definitely want to help folks resolve or improve whatever brought them into the hospital in the first place. The balance can be tricky for some!)

        Liked by 1 person

      9. Yes, Summer, the balance can be tricky, but not for you!

        You take wholesome ingredients and assemble them in ways that catch the eye and please the palate (among other receptors).

        Taste and nutrition needn’t be exclusive, a truth you demonstrate every couple days or so. Pity those who “cook” only when they’re frying sugar in lard!

        You, on the other hand, aren’t spoiling appreciation, you’re enhancing it!

        Liked by 1 person

      10. No, Summer, I wouldn’t imagine so. Although, even when opportunity isn’t forthcoming, your mind is. Just waiting for circumstance to catch up.

        While provisions-a-plenty beckon within hours – Greenwich in one direction, Boston in the other – neither is a particularly practical option.

        Besides, when I visited friends in Boston a few years ago, I was shocked at how anemic are their grocery stores. I don’t know, for such a “foodie” city I was expecting, maybe, Valhalla? It turns out, there are so many botique and high-end offerings, general grocery stores fade. Really, it seemed they were little more than big convenience stores. Tons of cool “specialty” stores, though!

        Liked by 1 person

      11. Honestly, we used to eat out more when we lived in the Boston area. It’s more convenient to take home a large grocery haul in the rural/suburb area where I currently live. I liked shopping in Boston but the stores within the city are (necessarily) restricted in size. Yes, lots of ridiculously high-end offerings! Some stores I decided were for window shopping only. Lol

        Liked by 1 person

      12. Your experience coincides with what my Boston friends report, Summer. Also, with what I observed in my visits. $57 for a pound of handmade ravioli? Wicked.

        Dancing Deer is what did it for me, though. As the cookies are made in Boston, I got it in my mind to pick up a few boxes for people back home. Until I searched grocery stores throughout the city only to discover they offered a scanter assortment than what I’d find back in PA. Really? Only couple miles from where the cookies are made, almost nothing? Seriously?

        Despite your many charms, Boston, your grocery stores are lame. Though I do hear quite a few Wegman’s have opened lately, and that moistens the drought. Just a bit.

        Liked by 1 person

      13. There has been a Wegman’s in the Worcester area for a while now. Did they make it out to Boston too? We moved away too soon!

        Yes, they cannot keep a large variety in stock with the limited space they have in the city! It’s restaurants I miss the most (food-wise) from the area. We went to Eataly Boston last year and it was amazing!

        Liked by 1 person

      14. Yeah, from what I hear, there are four or five now in metro Boston, including a two-story number in Natick. As you mention, there’s more space for them to flourish out in the ‘burbs.

        Eataly Boston does look incredible. JetBlue has direct flights to Logan too, increasing the temptation. Reminds me of the “Taste of Chicago” extravaganza my old hometown holds every summer in Grant Park.

        Liked by 1 person

      15. Wow, did not know that about Wegmans! I googled, it looks like they did not make it to the South Shore yet (where we used to live). Or to Connecticut. Hmph. They were my favorite grocery store when we lived in central upstate NY. I miss them!

        Liked by 1 person

      16. Naturally, Summer! Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s are okay, but they’re no Wegman’s. There’s just something about a grocers with a food court. Oh, and the quality, and the selection…

        Of course, people reading this in other parts of the country probably wonder why we rave. They wouldn’t understand – it’s an East Coast thing.

        Liked by 1 person

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