Baked Chicken With Mustard & Pretzel Crust

A resolution friendly dish that is equally friendly on the palate.

Pretzels with mustard is one of my favorite all time flavor combinations, and thanks to this recipe these flavors are reserved for the bar or the ballpark no more!  I was introduced to this dish through some good blogger friends of mine, Maggie of the Freckled Citizen and Emily of The Culinary Couple.  A Food & Wine magazine original, I’ve slightly modified the recipe to be a bit more diet friendly.  Not that I’m on a diet per se, but it’s so easy to make little substitutions it has become second nature to me.

Adapted from Food & Wine


1/2 pound hard pretzels, coarsely crushed (4 cups)
1/2 cup chicken stock
1/3 cup whole-grain mustard
1/3 cup Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon honey*
6 tablespoons ground flax seed meal*
Salt and freshly ground pepper
6 large skinless, boneless chicken breast halves

*The honey and the flax seed meal are additions to the original recipe. The recipe will work as-is if you choose to omit these two ingredients. Honey I added for some extra flavor, and I figured 1 tablespoon in the sauce wouldn’t kill me. The flax seed meal I added for the additional boost of omega 3 fatty acids. If you are freaked out by this, don’t be. Flax seed meal actually has a pleasant nutty taste, and in this dish it’s presence is 100% undetectable.


Preheat the oven to 400°. In a food processor, pulse the pretzels until coarsely ground; you should have coarse chunks and fine crumbs. Transfer to a large, shallow bowl. If you don’t have a food processor, just put the pretzels in ziplock bag and beat them with a rolling pin or the blunt instrument of your choice.  Add the flax seed meal to the pretzel crumbs and mix well.

Wipe out the food processor. Add the whole-grain and Dijon mustards, vinegar and chicken stock and process until smooth. Season the dressing with salt and pepper. Again, if you don’t have a food processor, you can totally prepare this by hand using a whisk.

Pour two thirds of the dressing into a large shallow bowl, reserving the rest for dipping. Lightly dredge the chicken first in all purpose flour, shaking off any excess then add the chicken breasts to the Dijon sauce and turn to coat. Finally, dredge the chicken in the pretzel crumbs and transfer to a rack.

Bake at for 20-25 minutes or until cooked through.

Some notes on prep:

The key to pulling this dish together quickly is organization. Before beginning the dredging, dipping and coating process, be sure to set up clear zones working from one side of the counter to the next.  This will help you breeze through the prep quickly, and prevent a bigger mess than necessary.  I get frustrated on cooking shows when the chef starts to try and complicate dredging by suggesting a “wet hand, dry hand” approach.  Whatever, just use tongs and work from left to right.

An oven safe rack set up over a foil-lined baking sheet will save you lots of time during clean up. You’ll be so glad you took the time to do this once it’s time to do the dishes.

This entry was posted in Main Dishes, Recipes and tagged .

4 Responses

  1. Ashlyn says:

    You got this vegetarian salivating.

    I enjoy your blog so much!

  2. Laura says:

    Looks delicious, Elizabeth! To make it even a little healthier you might try using agave nectar instead of honey. It’s just as tasty and has a much lower glycemic index. I’m definitely making this next week. My kiddos might even like it! I’ll let you know. 😉 Thanks!

  3. Maggie says:

    I love seeing this recipe making the rounds – it’s such a fantastic one! Nice additions, too… You and Emily have me realizing it’s been too long since I’ve made it. And you’re so right on the process – it’s all about the assembly line!

  4. elizabeth says:

    Ashlyn – so glad you liked it, thanks for visiting!

    Maggie – I made the full recipe using 6 breast halves and this fed Steve and I three nights in a row. It never got old. I think it will be a favorite from here on out. Thanks so much for bringing this to my attention. If you make it again you should try subbing stock or wine for the oil. I find that the result was very nice and probably much lower in fat.

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