The Fantastic Mr. Feedbag

A website celebrating and enumerating Juneau, Alaska's food culture

Jacques Pépin’s Roasted Split Chicken with Mustard Crust

with 4 comments

Jaques Pépin

Watching Jacques Pépin butterfly a chicken with a pair of kitchen shears was a revelation to me. Coming from a master of technique the shear method of butchering is indeed technically awesome. This is a recipe that eases cooking time and the processing of butchering the bird. The result is a beautifully browned and juicy pan roasted chicken that will knock your socks and shoes off.

butterflied chicken

I battled a chicken last night with a pair of kitchen shears last night and won. Think of this process as simply de-turding the chicken, cutting the backbone out of the bird, and then making small cuts under the joints of the drumsticks and wings. I used a Foster Farm’s natural chicken weighing about 5 pounds for this recipe.


– Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

Mustard Crust

Mustard Crust:
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons dry white wine
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce (I used Louisiana hot sauce)
1 teaspoon herbes de Provence
1/2 teaspoon salt

-Combine ingredients in a small metal bowl and whisk together.

– Using kitchen shears or a sharp knife, cut alongside the backbone of the chicken to split it open. Spread and press on the chicken with your hands to flatten it. Using a sharp paring knife, cut halfway through both sides of the joints connecting the thighs and drumsticks and cut through the joints of the shoulder under the wings as well. (This will help the heat penetrate these joints and accelerate the cooking process.)

– Put the chicken skin side down on a cutting board and spread it with about half the mustard mixture. Place the chicken flat in a large skillet, mustard side down.

split chicken in iron skillet

– Spread the remaining mustard on the skin side of the chicken. Cook over high heat for about 5 minutes, then place the skillet in the oven and cook the chicken for about 35 – 40 minutes. It should be well browned and dark on top.

chicken and potatoes

I added small rounded red potatoes to my iron skillet when I put my bird in the oven putting a little olive oil and salt on top. They cooked beautifully in the chicken fat and drippings of the mustard crust and were a perfect side. Don’t be afraid to use the drippings from the roast to make a delicious pan sauce for your dish.

Make sure you let the chicken rest in the skillet at room temperature for a few minutes before cutting it into pieces with your kitchen shears or a carving knife. I served my roasted chicken with the little awesome pan roasted red potatoes and a green side salad with a nice shallot balsamic vinaigrette. Happy cooking!

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Written by Patrice Helmar

July 11, 2010 at 3:52 pm

4 Responses

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  1. This looks great! I can’t wait to try it with one of my homegrown chickens. Thanks for the fun site!


    July 12, 2010 at 8:59 am

  2. Thanks Sally! I bet your homegrown chickens are great!

    Margot Tenenchop

    July 13, 2010 at 11:30 am

  3. This dish was awesome, it will certainly become a regular item at our house.

    jeannette Warn

    December 4, 2010 at 6:54 am

    • I’m so glad you liked it Jeannette!! I think it’s such a simple fantastic dish, leave it to Jacques Pépin!

      Margot Tenenchop

      December 4, 2010 at 4:32 pm

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