I tried this Ina Garten recipe (from her cookbook, ‘barefoot contessa foolproof‘) one Tuesday to make use of a large thyme plant in my herb garden. it was easy, delicious and packed with flavor – just the kind of recipe we love keeping on hand for classy weeknight meals. 

Prep Time: 15 min | Cook Time: 50 min| Serves: 3-4


  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 tbspn minced fresh thyme leaves
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups panko (japanese bread flakes)
  • 1 tbspn grated lemon zest (about 2 lemons)
  • 2 tbpsn good olive oil
  • 2 tbspn unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup dijon mustard, such as Grey Poupon
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 3 1/2 lb  -4 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs*

*Ina uses a whole cut up chicken, skin on. But after making this recipe her way and then with skinless chicken thighs, I much prefer using skinless thighs. I opt for chicken thighs over breast because they have slightly higher fat and collagen content. This makes them well suited for the long oven roast. 


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Mix the garlic, thyme, 2 tsp salt, and 1 tsp pepper in a food processor until the garlic is finely minced. Add the panko, lemon zest, olive oil, and butter and pulse a few times to moisten the bread flakes. Pour the mixture onto a large plate.

In a shallow bowl, whisk together the mustard and wine until completely blended.

Pat the chicken dry with paper towels then generously sprinkle with salt and pepper. Dip each piece into the mustard mixture to coat on all sides and then press only one side of the chicken into the crumb mixture, pressing gently to get the crumbs to adhere. Place the chicken on a sheet pan crumb-side up. Press the remaining crumbs on the chicken pieces.

Bake the chicken for 30-40 minutes (depending on your oven). Raise the heat to 400 degrees and bake for another 10 minutes, until the crumbs are browned and the chicken is cooked through.