chicken sage dijon, served with lemon and capers

living for the weekend
notes from maggie's farm

Whether planning to entertain, or enjoy a simple supper al fresco, why not put a little fancy spin on dinner this weekend?  Celebrate the end of a long work week with a lovely little plateful of delicious. This charming dish delights, with it's European flair, but makes for a deceptively easy, and economical preparation, getting us in and out of the kitchen without breaking much of a sweat, saving time with which to enjoy friends, family, or a quiet early evening all to ourselves.

-6 chicken thighs {We've used thighs for economy; feel free to substitute your favorite cut.}
-1T grapeseed oil, combined with 1T butter {using all butter would burn, olive oil has too low a smoking point to use for frying.}
-1 bunch fresh sage
-1 cup sour cream
-1T, or more, to taste, dijon, or whole grain mustard.  We used the Basil Malt Spicy Mustard we made a few weeks ago.  It really adds a lot of body and ooomph to the sauce.
-4T Sauternes wine.  Learn more about Sauternes here.  Sauterne, without the s, is its semi-generic cousin.  In absence of either, any sweet or semi-sweet white wine can be substituted.
-served with--fried capers and lemon wedges, {optional, but oh-so-strongly suggested, my friend. Live a little!}

Wash chicken pieces well. Slice a paring knife under skin to loosen a pocket.  Slip sage leaves under skin.  Lightly salt pieces, and set aside.

Bring cooking oil and butter, together, to a 'sizzle' (just beginning to bubble), over medium to high heat. Place chicken thighs, skin side down, add a bunch of sage to the skillet, and continually move thighs around, prevent sticking.  Brown adequately, about 5-8 minutes.  Turn, browning on opposite side, about 5-8 minutes.  Chicken should be golden brown on the outside, but not cooked through.

As chicken browns, prepare mustard sauce in a shallow casserole. Whisk wine, mustard, and sour cream together.  Set aside.

When chicken has finished browning, remove from pan, blot on paper toweling, and tuck into prepared sauce. Remove sage from pan, and drain. If garnishing with capers and lemon, which we wholeheartedly recommend, toss a few tablespoons drained capers into cooking oil, and quickly crisp at medium high heat, about 3 minutes.  Remove, drain, and add, along with crisped sage leaves, removed from thick stems, and several grinds of coarse black pepper, to casserole.

Bake casserole, uncovered, basting occasionally with mustard sauce, for about 25-35 minutes, until chicken is cooked through; determined by either chicken juices running clear when pierced, or meat thermometer registering a minimum of 165 degrees.  

If chicken and sauce begin to brown more quickly on the surface the the interior of the chicken, cover with foil, and continue to bake until done.  

Remove from oven, tuck lemon slices or wedges between thighs, and allow to cool about 10 minutes before serving.

We enjoy this Chicken Sage Dijon with a simple salad for lunch, or over a bed of whole grains, with a green vegetable or salad as side, for dinner, and with either meal, a bit of crusty french bread with which to 'sop' up the sauce.  

Easy, affordable, but with the sophistication of bright punches of flavor with winning herbal combinations, this meal, accompanied by a glass of crisp white wine is sure to please company, and practical enough to treat yourself well, as you should, if dining solo.  

Use the nice china.  A cloth napkin.  This chicken is dressed to impress.


  1. This looks amazing. I love lemon and capers. I will need to pickup that oil. I seem to have lots of other kinds,but that one. I will let you know how it turns out.

    1. Winnie, even a vegetable or canola oil would do, if you have them handy. Grapeseed oil is a really healthy oil to use, if you do get a chance to pick some up. Low smoke point, too.
      Thanks for dropping by! How much fun did you have at Blogher?

    2. So much fun! learned a lot, and have so many questions to ask my tech loving brother. I loved the Voices of the Year. Hearing bloggers read was probably my favorite thing.

  2. Looks terrific, as usual! I love chicken thighs- I think the flavor is so much better. This dish incorporates another favorite of mine- capers. Good job lady!

    1. Thank you, little Mama! Tom isn't crazy about dark meat chicken, but he didn't hesitate to eat about 5 of them at one sitting this time. lol. Waiting to hear word that baby Ruby's delighted us with her arrival!


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