Mustard has the ability to make bland dishes more interesting and it can be used with all types of meats, poultry and seafood. Dishes prepared with Dijon mustard are usually called “à la dijonnaise” and there is a reason for that, but I am getting ahead of myself.
Mustard is an ancient spice — one of the world’s most popular seasonings. The Chinese have grown mustard for more than 3,000 years and the Egyptians popped the seeds into their mouths when eating meat. It was the Romans who brought the seeds to France, sprinkling them along the roads where the plants flourished.
At first, mustard was considered a medicinal plant rather than a culinary one. In the 6th century B.C., Greek scientist Pythagoras applied mustard to relieve scorpion stings. One hundred years later, Hippocrates used mustard in a variety of medicines.
Dijon is the capital of the Burgundy region in France and without a doubt, the mustard capital of the world. It was not until the 14th century that this condiment was officially called “mustard”. In 1382 the French Duke of Burgundy granted a coat of arms to the city of Dijon bearing the motto “Moult Me Tarde” -meaning “much awaits me”. And by this time, dijon gained its reputation as the home of the master mustard makers in Dijon mustard was considered the condiment of the kings. In 1777 the Dijon mustard firm was founded when Monsieur Grey developed a secret recipe for strong mustard made with white wine. When he formed a partnership with financier Monsieur Poupon — voilà! — Grey Poupon mustard was born! Today at 32 rue de la Liberté in Dijon, one can visit the Grey Poupon building.
The chicken drumstick is a favorite among home cooks, mainly because it’s juicy and easy to brown.You can also use chicken thighs, to make this delicious mustard flavored stew—thickened with tangy crème fraîche—so that all the meat cooks at the same rate.
2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
4 medium chicken drumsticks
4 medium chicken thighs
Salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/4 cup finely shallots (or onions)
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 cups dry white wine (or low sodium chicken broth)
1 Tablespoon whole-grain Dijon mustard
1 Tablespoon smooth Dijon mustard
3 Tablespoons crème fraîche or sour cream
2 teaspoons chopped tarragon
Crusty bread, for serving
In a large skillet, heat the olive oil until shimmering. Add the butter to the skillet. Season the chicken drumsticks and thighs with salt and pepper, add them to the skillet and cook over moderately high heat, turning, until golden brown all over, about 10 minutes. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Deglaze the skillet by adding the wine (or broth) and bring to a boil. Cover and cook over moderately low heat until the chicken is cooked through, about 15 minutes.
Transfer the chicken to a platter, cover and keep warm. In a small bowl, whisk the mustard with the crème fraîche and tarragon. Whisk the mixture into the skillet and simmer the sauce over moderate heat until thickened, about 5 minutes.
Return the chicken to the sauce and warm over low heat for about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat. To serve family style, place the drumsticks and thighs on a large platter and spoon the sauce over the chicken. Sprinkle with the fresh tarragon. Serve with a good crusty, rustic bread.
The stew can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.