Ina Garten’s Mustard Roasted Chicken

Ina Garten's Mustard Roasted Chicken 1

Ina Garten’s Mustard Roasted Chicken is tender and succulent with a crunchy mustard and thyme crumb coating ~ it’s become a favorite in our house!

Ina Garten's Mustard Roasted Chicken 1

this crispy mustard roasted chicken recipe is from Ina Garten’s book Foolproof.

Ina is one of my favorite chefs, and I’m never disappointed by her recipes. Just look at the crunchy mustard and thyme crumb coating on this chicken, you just know it’s going to be amazing! This is one of those recipes to make and then memorize ~ it’s perfect for everyday meals, but also great for entertaining ~ there aren’t many souls who can resist a great roasted chicken.

Ina Garten's Mustard Roasted Chicken leg

Ina has a way of zeroing in on what makes food delicious, without any unnecessary steps, frills, or ingredients

We’re kindred spirits in the kitchen because this is the way I cook, too. She is always right on, and truly foolproof. In this case, though, Alexandra from Alexandra Cooks, one of my favorite blogs, made a couple of minor changes which I think are spot on. She substituted buttermilk for white wine in the coating/marinade for the chicken, and used fresh bread crumbs instead of the panko crumbs Ina calls for. I think they are brilliant changes, so I’ve kept them.

ingredients for Ina Garten’s crispy mustard roasted chicken

  • chicken, skin on, the cut is up to you (see our guide, below.)
  • buttermilk ~ why buttermilk? The acids and enzymes in buttermilk tenderize the chicken and the thick texture clings to the surface to grab ahold of all those wonderful crumbs.
  • bread crumbs ~ fresh or dried? You can use either but we love the texture of fresh made.
  • olive oil
  • Dijon mustard ~ 1/2 cup of mustard is in the marinade, which sounds like a lot, but only a portion will remain in the finished dish.
  • lemon ~ the zest
  • garlic ~ minced
  • thyme ~ fresh
  • salt and pepper
Ina Garten's Mustard Roasted Chicken piece

which cuts of chicken to choose for this recipe?

Use what you like here, every cut of chicken will work. Just be aware that different cuts of chicken will cook at slightly different rates, so if you’re mixing large breasts and tiny thighs or legs, you’ll need to account for that.

  • If you’re a fan of dark meat, use legs and thighs.
  • If white meat is what you love, you can use all breasts. The buttermilk and crumb crust will keep moisture in, so don’t shy away from white meat in this recipe.
  • Ina calls for a whole chicken, cut into 8 pieces.
  • I used a combination of breasts and my new favorite cut, the whole leg (drumstick and thigh attached.)
  • I even use this recipe to coat chicken tenders!
  • Whatever you choose, we recommend skin-on (with the exception of the tenders.)
bowl of bread crumbs

how to make your own breadcrumbs

If you’d like to make your own breadcrumbs, check out my How To Make Homemade Bread Crumbs post, they’re so quick and easy, you’ll wonder why you ever bought them. You can use just about any type of bread, or even crackers, in a pinch. For this recipe Ina uses Japanese dried breadcrumbs (panko) but I’ve chosen to use fresh bread, processed in a food processor until fine and fluffy. I think the fresh crumbs make a more luxurious coating.

  1. Take fresh, day old, or toasted bread. You can remove the crusts, or leave them on.
  2. Break up into rough pieces.
  3. Place in a food processor and pulse/process until the bread breaks down into crumbs. You can make them as coarse or as fine as you like.
  4. Store in an airtight container.
Ina Garten's Mustard Roasted Chicken, platter

the verdict

This chicken is everything you’d hope it would be. Moist and perfectly done inside, with a golden, crunchy mustard and thyme crust, it’s like fried chicken without the frying! We’ve made it countless times and it has never let us down. I highly recommend it!

craving more chicken?

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Thai Chicken Salad

3.72 from 483 votes

Ina Garten’s Mustard Roasted Chicken

Ina Garten's Mustard Roasted Chicken is tender and succulent with a crunchy mustard and thyme crumb coating ~ it's become a favorite in our house!
Course dinner
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Marinating 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 55 minutes
Yield 4 servings
Calories 630kcal
Author Sue Moran


  • 2 chicken breasts and 2 whole leg/thighs bone in, skin on
  • ½ cup Dijon mustard
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • 4 peeled garlic cloves
  • a small handful fresh thyme leaves
  • zest of one lemon
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt more or less to taste
  • 1 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
  • 2 cups fresh breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup olive oil


  • Put the chicken pieces in a large zip lock baggie or other container. Mix the buttermilk and the mustard and pour over the chicken. Coat all the surfaces, and marinate, tightly covered, for a couple of hours or overnight.
  • Set oven to 400F
  • Set up a food processor fitted with the metal blade. With the machine going, drop in the garlic cloves to mince them. Turn off the machine and add the crumbs, thyme, lemon zest, salt and pepper to the bowl. Drizzle in the olive oil and pulse the machine to combine everything.
  • Put the crumbs into a pie plate, or other wide shallow bowl, and press each piece of chicken, skin side down, into the crumbs. The marinade will help the crumbs adhere to the meat. Press the crumbs in with your hands to completely coat the top. Set the chicken down — crumb side up — on a foil or parchment lined baking sheet. Press any remaining crumbs onto the bare spots on the chicken. Don’t waste any!
  • Bake the chicken for about 40 minutes, until the topping is browned and the chicken is cooked through (if you want to be exact, 165F.) I ran mine under the broiler at the very end to get a little more color.


Calories: 630kcal | Carbohydrates: 42g | Protein: 58g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 13g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 148mg | Sodium: 1915mg | Potassium: 1026mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 139IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 163mg | Iron: 4mg
The nutritional information for recipes on this site is provided as a courtesy and although tries to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.
e book

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    Leave a Reply

    Please rate this recipe!

  • Reply
    Angie Zoobkoff
    May 12, 2021 at 11:30 am

    Hi Sue,
    We’d love to include the image and a link back to your recipe for our upcoming Ina Garten roundup. I tried emailing, but it bounced back. Could you contact me to let me know if we have permission to do so?

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      May 12, 2021 at 5:36 pm

      Just emailed you, and sorry mine bounced, I’ll check into that asap.

  • Reply
    January 3, 2021 at 6:36 pm

    3 stars
    I will give this another try by removing the skin from the chicken. Made this with chicken thighs and the skin remained rubbery and very unappetizing. The breading was tasty so I will try again and believe this will greatly improve the experience.

    • Reply
      Sharon Kneubuehl
      January 31, 2021 at 12:14 pm

      5 stars
      Really, really good!

  • Reply
    October 1, 2020 at 4:26 am

    Would this recipe work with turkey breast?

    • Reply
      October 1, 2020 at 6:12 am

      Yes, sure! You’ll want to cook it a little longer until the internal temperature is 165F

  • Reply
    April 27, 2020 at 1:27 pm

    Hi. Looks great! To confirm, we only bread the 1 side with the skin?

    • Reply
      April 27, 2020 at 2:28 pm

      That’s how I did it, but you can certainly coat the entire pieces if you prefer.

    • Reply
      May 29, 2020 at 4:10 am

      5 stars
      This recipe is so delicious and fairly simple. I prepped the chicken and marinated it for a few short hours, I only had thick chicken breasts, so I cut them into tenderloins, coated both sides and baked for the 40 minutes, the flavor was delicious, I was worried that may come out dry but NO, not at all, perfectly juicy. Family loved them. Thanks!

      • Reply
        May 29, 2020 at 6:18 am

        I’m so happy you enjoyed this Lucille, I think that coating really does keep the chicken nice and moist.

  • Reply
    April 22, 2020 at 11:07 am

    Really interested in trying this recipe! Our grocery store was almost out of meat….except for a big bag of chicken drumsticks with thighs. So we grabbed!! My question is would pork rinds sub for bread crumbs? Diabetic and they shoot my blood glucose u p and new at learning to cook differently.

    • Reply
      July 27, 2020 at 5:34 pm

      I haven’t experimented with that, but worth a try!

    • Reply
      August 28, 2020 at 4:40 pm

      You may want to try nut crumbs if you can have nuts. There’s a brand called Appel Foods that is delicious.

      • Reply
        August 28, 2020 at 5:45 pm

        I’ve tried them, they’re genius!

    • Reply
      November 3, 2020 at 9:29 am

      5 stars
      Please do a version for the air fryer. I would love this recipe on a night I can just throw them in after I have prepared them that morning. I work late so sometimes I need a shorter cook time but just as juicy and crisp. Thank you!

  • Reply
    April 10, 2020 at 9:49 am

    5 stars
    I was sent a picture of this from a friend and knew I had to try it myself! Due to the current state of the world, I only have chicken tenderloins on hand, but figured I’d wing it anyways. And I’m so so SO glad I did! This is now going into my regular recipe rotation!

    • Reply
      April 10, 2020 at 10:08 am

      Thanks Jay, that’s so nice to hear!

  • Reply
    Robyn B
    April 8, 2020 at 8:08 am

    Hi..I am in the no flour section…do you think we could use crushed pecans in place of the breadcrumbs?

    • Reply
      April 8, 2020 at 8:14 am

      I think that would work, I’ve actually seen ‘nut crumbs’ for sale in the supermarket lately. The only thing I would watch out for is the nuts getting too browned while in the oven.

  • Reply
    April 7, 2020 at 3:54 pm

    What do your serve with this chicken?

    • Reply
      April 7, 2020 at 7:40 pm

      Any green veggie, roasted or steamed, like broccoli, asparagus, green beans, peas. Then maybe roasted potatoes, couscous, or rice.

  • Reply
    April 6, 2020 at 12:06 pm

    5 stars
    I plan to try this tomorrow night. Just bought leg quarters and was looking for different way to do them. I have used a similar bread mixture to top baked oysters but used Italian bread crumbs and no mustard or buttermilk. Never thought to use it on chicken. So thanks so much! I gave it five stars because I know how good this is going to be.

  • Reply
    April 5, 2020 at 8:38 am

    5 stars
    I made this for the family yesterday and it got thumbs up from everyone, even my picky youngest, thanks so much Sue!!

  • Reply
    Uta Hoffer
    December 6, 2019 at 12:12 pm

    Place the garlic, thyme, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper in a food processor fitted with the steel blade and process until the garlic is finely minced. Add the panko, lemon zest, olive oil, and butter and pulse a few times to moisten the bread flakes. Pour the mixture onto a large plate. In a shallow bowl, whisk together the mustard and wine. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels. Sprinkle generously all over with salt and pepper. Dip each piece in the mustard mixture to coat on all sides, and then place skin-side down only into the crumb mixture, pressing gently to make the crumbs adhere. Place the chicken on a sheet pan crumb-side up. Press the remaining crumbs on the chicken pieces.

  • Reply
    Wanda K CRONIN
    April 17, 2019 at 1:41 pm

    I used plain Greek yoghurt with whole grain mustard (I didn’t have buttermilk or Dijon!). I also crushed up butter crackers and added all the seasonings I’m not even sure with all these changes I can say I “made” this recipe, but it certainly was good! I used boneless, skinless chicken breasts as well. I was searching for a different chicken recipe because I was tired of my usual ‘goto’ chicken and was determined to make it work!

    • Reply
      April 17, 2019 at 1:42 pm

      Changes are are always encouraged around here, and I’m glad it worked out so well for you!

  • Reply
    July 3, 2018 at 8:36 am

    This looks amazing! Any idea how long I need to cook these if I made it with boneless chicken breasts? My family is a little picky lol

    • Reply
      July 3, 2018 at 8:43 am

      I’d guess about 20 minutes, depending on the size of the breasts, Krista.

  • Reply
    Penny Moore
    July 1, 2018 at 9:49 pm

    5 stars
    I made this with boneless skinless breast. It was really good. This recipe is a keeper.

    • Reply
      July 1, 2018 at 9:54 pm

      Isn’t Ina fabulous?

  • Reply
    March 13, 2018 at 8:33 am

    Hi Sue,

    Love all your posts & your bright, thoughtful approach to culinary arts.

    With a nod to Thomas Keller’s *perfect baked chicken*, I switched out garlic cloves & fresh thyme with granulated. Mr. Keller’s methodologhy stresses no ingredeients which may add steam, prohibiting a crisp skin.

    I’m making your recipe tonight & will report back.??

    • Reply
      March 13, 2018 at 8:42 am

      Thanks so much Kim, I appreciate the kind words 🙂 I hope your chicken turns out amazing!

  • Reply
    June 14, 2017 at 3:43 am

    I used 4 chicken thighs that I had on hand and ended up with enough crumbs for 6. It was tasty however I used panko bread crumbs, subbed all purpose seasoning for salt, and used dried thyme. I feel that the lemon zest is what really made the flavor pop.

    • Reply
      June 14, 2017 at 7:01 am

      Great to know it works with thighs, Rachel, I know a lot of people really prefer them, thanks!

  • Reply
    September 19, 2015 at 8:01 pm

    Made this tonight with a grill pack of chicken. 3 thighs 3 drumsticks and 2 breasts. Had to double the breadcrumb topping. It was okay, but not fantastic. The only flavor is in the topping which is very tasty. Spray the top with cooking spray before putting in oven. It helps brown the top. I soaked in buttermilk and dijon for several hours before baking . Fairly easy recipe to make.

  • Reply
    June 26, 2015 at 8:43 pm

    Hi Sue, love how this chicken looks. Made my mouth so hungry just reading the recipe! My husband and I truly abhor skin. Do you think we can go skinless and still keep it juicy? Many thanks for sharing.

    • Reply
      June 26, 2015 at 8:51 pm

      I’m not sure, Lori, but you could certainly try. I would think that the coating would keep the meat moist, even without the skin.

  • Reply
    December 18, 2013 at 1:25 pm

    i usually steer clear of bone-in chicken recipes, but this one is too good to skip. i think i’ll try it on plain ol’ breasts. 🙂

  • Reply
    December 18, 2013 at 8:41 am

    Wonderful! I am going to pin your version, and intend to make it soon… I also love Alexandra’s blog, and find that her changes made the recipe better for sure!

    Now I am hungry. See what you did? 😉

  • Reply
    Lea Ann (Cooking On The Ranch)
    December 17, 2013 at 5:10 am

    I’m heading over to Amazon to put this cookbook on my wish list. Thanks for the heads up. Sounds like a must have in my collection. This chicken looks fabulous and I must try it soon. Pinning this one. Have you ever made Ina’s Mustard Chicken Salad? It’s a great recipe and she used to sell tons of it at her store.

    • Reply
      December 17, 2013 at 7:32 am

      I haven’t had that one, I’ll have to look it up, thanks Lee Ann!

  • Reply
    [email protected]
    December 16, 2013 at 8:14 pm

    Oh my I like your alterations to the dish I agree, wine and fresh breadcrumbs would make it so much better. Here we call the cut of leg and thigh Chicken Maryland, don’t ask me why. But it is perfect for something like this.

  • Reply
    Sam @ My Carolina Kitchen
    December 16, 2013 at 5:21 pm

    I have that cookbook and have wanted to make this chicken, but haven’t gotten around to it. You make everything look amazing. I could definitely hold out on the cookies for a while with this chicken.

    • Reply
      December 17, 2013 at 7:34 am

      Thanks, Sam. From what Alexandra says, the chicken doesn’t turn out nearly so appetizing with the panko crumbs, so I would definitely use the fresh.

  • Reply
    December 16, 2013 at 4:12 pm

    I love Ina..her recipes.. everything:)

    This looks wonderful!

  • Reply
    December 16, 2013 at 1:12 pm

    Wow, does this chicken ever look amazing! I can just hear the crunch of the crust. Definitely need to give this one a try.

  • Reply
    Tricia @ Saving room for dessert
    December 16, 2013 at 11:13 am

    This looks amazingly moist. I love mustard on chicken and bet this is pretty tasty. Happy Monday Sue!

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