Crispy Baked Honey Mustard Chicken
Crispy, crunchy, panko-crusted, and baked honey mustard chicken thighs. This is such an easy chicken dish. The most moist and tender baked honey mustard chicken every single time! Serve with a side salad for an easy lunch or dinner.
I am not much of a bone-in chicken maker (or eater). I don’t like to grill it, stew it, or cook it in any other fashion. But when I do bone-in chicken it’s almost always done in the oven. Without fail, it turns out so delicious with very minimal effort. As in, let’s coat these bad boys (chicken thighs) in a bit of honey mustard, roll them around in panko breadcrumbs, and pop them in the oven. Sit back while they make the whole house smell good. It’s totally food cheating but thank the lawd it’s legal. In fact, I heavily encourage it.
The idea of this recipe came from one of my food making idols – Ina Garten. Gosh, I would be like a 13 year old screaming at an Backstreet Boys concert if I ever get the chance to meet her. Do 13 year olds today even know who the Backstreet Boys are? I feel old.
This honey mustard chicken is perfect for when you’ve had like 400 million panko-crusted baked chicken pieces and you just want a little somethin’ different. So this is my new go-to recipe for those days when I want to make crispy baked chicken thighs with a little oomph. Ya know what I mean? The honey mustard flavor gives this panko-crusted chicken a bold, rich flavor and you still get that classic, perfectly golden crispy exterior. The best part is that this meal goes with anything! Serve it with a lemon-garlic rice pilaf (minus the shrimp or keep them!), quinoa tabbouleh, a simple spinach and berry salad, or even just a good old baked sweet potato.
Yummy, yummy, get in my tummy.
The first step is to get a few ingredients going in the food processor. Pulse the garlic, thyme, salt, and pepper together in the food processor. Once that’s done, add in the panko, lemon zest, olive oil, and butter. Pulse a few more times until the panko breadcrumbs are moistened by the olive oil and butter. The incorporation of olive oil/butter with the panko helps them adhere better to the chicken skin, which makes a more delectable honey mustard chicken. WIN!
For this honey mustard chicken recipe, I used whole grain dijon mustard and added the honey to the mustard myself. Side note: that sounds like something i’d say to my husband. Because he is the honey to my mustard.
Okay, back to crispy chicken.
Instead of taking a dip in beaten eggs the way traditional baked panko-crusted chicken usually does, these chicken thighs are going for a dip in 1/2 a cup of dijon mustard + 1/4 cup honey + 1/4 cup chicken broth. This makes such a moist, and tender chicken every single time!
Get them all on a large baking sheet (or use a big skillet). At this point, you can refrigerate the honey mustard chicken and bake it fresh for dinner. It takes a total of 50 minutes to bake, that gives you plenty of time to get in a run or catch up on that show you’ve got recorded on your DVR from 3 weeks ago. Just know that the smell of this honey mustard chicken is going to make you tummy rumbbbbble. Oh and also, it fills the entire house with the most tantalizing thyme and garlic smell.
Once you pull it out of the oven, just look at that honey mustard chicken. Perfectly crispy and panko crunchy on the outside and moist and tender chicken on the inside. The honey mustard really gives these otherwise ordinary crispy chicken pieces a nice little gourmet makeover.
This is just one of those chicken recipe that you wanna keep up your sleeve at all times. Stop with the boring old oven fried chicken and get this honey mustard chicken on the table asap!
- 5 garlic cloves
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme leaves
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 cups panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
- 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest (about 2 lemons)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1/2 cup whole-grain dijon mustard
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/4 cup chicken broth (or vegetable broth)
- 8 chicken thighs, with skin (or 1 whole chicken cut into eighths)
- Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Place the garlic, thyme, salt, and pepper in a food processor and pulse until the garlic is finely minced. Add in the panko, lemon zest, olive oil, and butter and continue to pulse a few times until the breadcrumbs are moistened. Pour the breadcrumb mixture onto a large plate. In a shallow bowl, whisk together the mustard, honey and chicken broth.
- Pat the chicken thighs dry with a paper towl. Sprinkle with a little bit of salt and pepper. Dip each piece into the mustard mixture to coat on all side, then place skin-side down only in the crumb mixture, pressing gently to make the crumbs stick. Place the chicken on a sheet pan crumb-side up. Press any remaining crumbs onto the chicken pieces. At this point honey mustard chicken can covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated until ready to bake.
- Bake the chicken for 40 minutes. Raise the oven temperature to 400 degrees F and continue to bake for an additional 10 minutes until the crumbs are browned and the chicken is cooked through. Serve warm.
- Recipe slightly adapted from Ina Garten's Foolproof Cookbook.
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