It's always a little amusing when you cook a French dish called "a la Diable," named as such because it's supposedly "hot and fiery" from its coating in mustard and hot pepper. Because, well, the French definition of "spicy" might be a little tamer than that of anyone who happens to love Mexican, Korean, or other cuisines fond of chiles. This is not the most overpoweringly spicy dish.
That said, there's little faulting this recipe from The Paris Cookbook by Patricia Wells. It's the kind of technique-driven recipe that makes cooking French food so satisfying. The mustard and pepper are the perfect complement to mild chicken, hidden under a breadcrumb crunch that reveals a juicy interior. Less than ten ingredients and an hour later, it's a pretty fine dinner.
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon coarse-grain Dijon mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon finely ground hot red pepper flakes
- 2 eggs
- 4 chicken legs
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh thyme
- 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a small bowl, combine mustards and red pepper and mix well to blend. Season chicken legs with salt, then use a pastry brush to paint the mustard mixture evenly on all the legs.
On a plate or shallow bowl, combine eggs and whisk lightly with a fork to blend. In another, combine the breadcrumbs with the thyme. Dredge the chicken in the eggs, then breadcrumbs, coating them as evenly as possible, then transfer to a baking dish.
Use butter to evenly dot the chicken pieces, then bake until the juices run clear, 30-35 minutes.