French Mustard Chicken (Poulet à la Moutarde)
French Mustard Chicken, or Poulet à la Moutarde, is a classic French dish that is simple but impressive! Chicken thighs are braised in a rich, creamy mustard sauce that will have you licking your plate clean. The whole dish comes together in just about an hour!
French cuisine has my unconditional love! ❤️
Not the ultra sophisticated dishes, like escargot, but the rustic, homemade French recipes that are very easy to recreate at home, like Boeuf Bourguignon or this Poulet à la Moutarde.
And don’t let the fancy-sounding French name scare you! This recipe is made with ingredients that can be found at any store here in the United States.
Also, despite this being a braised dish, it is ready in less than an hour, making it suitable even for busy nights! Chicken cooks way quicker than beef, so you’ll only need about 20 minutes of braising to get it melt-in-your-mouth tender.
This is as quick as low and slow will go!
What is Poulet à la Moutarde?
Poulet a la Moutarde is a classic French dish that translates to “chicken with mustard”. And it is exactly that: chicken (thighs or breasts) that are braised in a creamy white wine, mustard-y sauce until melt-in-your-mouth tender.
This dish is also commonly made with rabbit in France, but then it is called Lapin à la Moutarde.
To make this French Mustard Chicken recipe, you will need:
CHICKEN – I like using bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs because they have so much flavor. However, you can use skinless, boneless thighs or even breasts if you prefer. Cooking times might change!
MUSTARD – We’ll use both Dijon and grainy mustard in this recipe. Use the best you can afford!
BACON – I prefer using thick-cut bacon, as it’s easier to dice. But regular bacon works as well!
SHALLOTS – Shallots have a more delicate and sweet flavor than onions, and are usually used instead of onions in French cuisine.
GARLIC – As much as I love garlic, I like to stick with only 2 cloves in this recipe, so the garlic flavor doesn’t overpower the other flavors in the dish!
THYME – This dish is traditionally made with thyme. Sometimes I also like to add a bay leaf or two!
PARSLEY – I like to add some chopped fresh parsley before serving, for freshness.
WINE – Dry white wine is used to deglaze the pan. Omit if needed.
CHICKEN BROTH – We’ll use just one cup of broth or stock. No need to add more, as this is not a stew!
HEAVY CREAM – I believe they use creme fraiche in France for a richer sauce, but I like using heavy cream for a looser, pourable consistency. I don’t add a whole lot of cream, as I like my sauce darker, but you can increase if you prefer.
FLOUR – Just a little bit of all-purpose flour to thicken the sauce! Use cornstarch for a gluten free version.
SALT AND PEPPER – Salt as you go, to ensure every layer is seasoned properly.
How to make French Mustard Chicken
Here’s how I make Poulet à la Moutarde. As always, you will find the printable (and more complete) version of the recipe at the end of this post!
Step 1: Prepare and cook the chicken.
- Season the chicken thighs with salt, pepper and the Dijon mustard. Rub so every piece is thoroughly coated.
- Heat the oil in a large skillet or braised and cook the bacon until golden brown. Remove and reserve.
- Add the chicken thighs and cook until browned. Remove and reserve with the bacon.
Step 2: Make the sauce.
- Sauté the shallots, garlic and thyme leaves.
- Pour the white wine to deglaze the pan, scraping all the browned bits from the bottom of the skillet. That’s where all the flavor is!
- Once the wine is almost all evaporated, stir the flour and cook for a few seconds. Then, add the chicken broth, stirring to thicken the sauce slightly.
Step 3: Braise until tender!
- Add the reserved chicken (skin side up), the bacon and any juices that collected on the plate. Lower the heat, cover and simmer until the chicken is very tender and with an internal temperature of at least 165ºF.
- Stir in the heavy cream and the grainy mustard.
- Raise the head and let the sauce boil to thicken to the desired consistency.
- Taste and adjust salt and pepper, if needed.
- Stir in the chopped parsley, garnish with thyme and serve!
- A good braise relies on even, low heat. You will want to use a pot with a heavy bottom, preferably a Dutch Oven, because they distribute the heat evenly and cook at a consistent temperature!
- Avoid overcrowding the pot. If you can’t fit all the chicken thighs at once, work in batches. A packed pot means the chicken will end up steaming instead of searing. Let them cook until they naturally release from the pot.
What to serve with French Mustard Chicken?
My favorite way to serve this dish is with fluffy white rice and a simple side green salad!
That being said, you can definitely serve it over egg noddles or buttery mashed potatoes. Anything starchy to soak up all that delicious sauce.
Oh, and don’t forget the crusty bread! Trust me, you won’t want to leave anything behind on the plate. 😋😋😋
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, you can make French Mustard Chicken ahead. Cook everything but don’t add the heavy cream and whole grain mustard. Cool and store in an airtight container the fridge for up to 2 days. Then, reheat and add the cream and mustard!
This recipe makes for some delicious leftovers! Store them cooled, in an airtight container, with all the sauce that is left in the pan, in the fridge for up to 4 days.
Reheat the leftovers on the stove, over medium-low heat, adding more broth or cream to make it saucy again!
This dish doesn’t freeze well, because of the cream. If you must freeze, skip adding the cream and add it after you thaw and reheat it.
More French recipes
- Croque Monsieur
- Flamiche aux Poireaux (Leek Tart)
- Gougères (Cheese Puffs)
- Lyonnaise Salad
- Warm Lentil Salad
- French Yogurt Cake
Did you make this recipe? I love hearing from you! Please comment and leave a 5-star rating below. You can also take a photo and tag me on Instagram with #oliviascuisine.
French Mustard Chicken
- 8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
- Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- ½ cup Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 4 slices thick-cut bacon, diced
- 2 large shallots, minced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 2 teaspoons flour
- 1 cup chicken broth
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons grainy mustard
- ¼ cup chopped parsley
- Thyme sprigs for garnishing
- Place the chicken thighs in a bowl and season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper. Add the Dijon mustard and rub, making sure that the chicken thigs are thoroughly coated. Reserve.
- Heat one teaspoon of the oil in a large skillet with a lid, braiser or Dutch oven, over medium-high heat. Add the bacon and cook until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove to a paper towel lined plate to drain the excess grease. Reserve. If the bacon has rendered a lot of fat, drain most of it, leaving just a couple tablespoons in the pan.
- Add the chicken thighs and brown on all sides, about 4-5 minutes per side. Remove and reserve with the bacon.
- Add the remaining olive oil and sauté the shallots until softened, about 3 minutes. Then, stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the thyme leaves and stir to combine.
- Pour in the wine and deglaze the pan, scraping all the browned bits from the bottom of the skillet with a wooden spoon. Let it cook until almost all gone, about 3-4 minutes.
- Stir in the flour and mix to combine. Then, pour in the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Once boiling, return the chicken (skin side up), bacon and any juices back to the skillet. Lower the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the chicken is cooked through (to an internal temperature of at least 165ºF), about 15-20 minutes.
- Add the heavy cream and grainy mustard, stirring to combine. Raise the heat to medium and let the sauce boil until thickened to the desired consistency.
- Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.
- Stir in the chopped parsley and serve, garnished with thyme sprigs.