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.
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.
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.