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2000s Recipes + Menus

Roasted Mustard Tarragon Chicken

Serves4 to 6
  • Active time:20 min
  • Start to finish:1 3/4 hr
June 2009
Slathering mustard on chicken is one easy way to a juicy, flavorful bird. Like its creator, Ruth Cousineau, this dish revels in simplicity without being austere: Gild the lily by making a delectably creamy, mustardy gravy from the pan juices. The gravy, in turn, begs for mashed potatoes, and by adding a salad—voilà, the perfect Sunday dinner. (Editor’s note: This recipe is solely the creation of Ruth Cousineau and has not been formally tested by the test kitchen.)

Watch the Test Kitchen Challenge video that features this recipe.
  • 1 chicken (about 3 1/2 lb)
  • 1 bunch tarragon, divided
  • 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard, divided
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • Equipment:

    kitchen string
  • Preheat oven to 425°F with rack in middle.
  • Pull off excess fat around cavities of chicken and discard, then rinse chicken and pat dry. Mix together 1 1/2 tsp salt and 1 tsp pepper and rub inside cavity. Chop enough tarragon to measure 1 1/2 Tbsp and set aside, then add remainder of bunch to cavity. Put chicken in a flameproof shallow roasting pan or gratin dish and rub all over with 1/3 cup mustard. Tie legs together with string and roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted into fleshy part of a thigh (do not touch bone) registers 170°F, 45 minutes to 1 hour.
  • Carefully tilt chicken so juices from cavity run into roasting pan, then transfer chicken to a cutting board and let stand 10 minutes.
  • Pour off all but 2 Tbsp fat from pan. Whisk in flour, then cook over medium heat, whisking, 1 minute. Add water, whisking constantly and scraping up brown bits, and bring to a boil. Simmer sauce until slightly thickened, then whisk in cream, remaining Tbsp mustard, and salt and pepper to taste.
  • Strain sauce through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl, discarding solids, then stir in reserved chopped tarragon. Serve chicken with sauce.
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