Mustard-Baked Chicken with a Pretzel Crust

This dish, from chef Ilene Rosen at the City Bakery in New York City, matches chicken with the classic NYC street-vendor combo: pretzels and mustard.

For a crisp topping, it's essential to use thick, hard pretzels, such as the sourdough or handmade versions.

Plus: More Chicken Recipes and Tips

  • Servings: 6

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  • 1/2 pound hard pretzels, coarsely crushed (4 cups)
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 cup whole-grain mustard
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 6 large skinless, boneless chicken breast halves

How to make this recipe

  1. 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.

  2. Wipe out the food processor. Add the oil, whole-grain and Dijon mustards, water and vinegar and process until smooth. Season the dressing with salt and pepper.

  3. Pour half of the dressing into a large shallow bowl, add the chicken breasts and turn to coat. Dredge the chicken in the pretzel crumbs and transfer to a rack set over a rimmed baking sheet. Bake in the upper third of the oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until cooked through. Slice the chicken and serve warm or at room temperature with the remaining mustard dressing.

Make Ahead

The baked chicken and dressing can be kept at room temperature for up to 2 hours.


For a crisp topping, it's essential to use thick, hard pretzels, such as the sourdough or handmade versions.

Suggested Pairing

The chicken's crunchy coating and tart-and-creamy mustard dressing suggest a tart, lighter red with direct, fruity flavors. Look for a Pinot Noir from Oregon.

Contributed By Photo © Tina Rupp Published September 2001

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