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

3.77 from 503 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
    Anita Oberwetter
    April 1, 2022 at 7:11 pm

    4 stars
    I enjoyed trying this recipe but I found it not as flavorable as anticipated. I found that the breadcrumb mix needed more olive oil to bind it together and more salt and pepper on the chicken breasts. ( I used bone in chicken breasts). At the end of the cooking time, the breasts were so tender and moist which was really great and they made a good presentation on the plate. Thanks for the recipe.

  • Reply
    Wendy Craig
    December 26, 2021 at 8:22 am

    5 stars
    Excellent! I used boneless, skinless chicken breasts. This was amazing! This is definitely a dish that’s worthy of serving to company.

  • Reply
    October 10, 2021 at 7:12 am

    5 stars
    I will never just roast chicken thighs again. I will always make them this way. This was the juiciest, most flavorful chicken ever, and the combination of buttermilk and mustard added a nice tang but didn’t overwhelm the chicken with their own flavors. I used only thighs and substituted rosemary (LOVE!) for thyme (NOT SO MUCH!), and it was perfection.

  • 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!

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