Weeknight Hero: Panko-Crusted Roast Chicken

As I hand over this genius
weeknight recipe, it’s hard not to think of my earliest magazine editor days, when I was expected to constantly pitch story ideas — food and otherwise — to my boss in the dreaded weekly “beat meetings.” I was just starting out and operated under the assumption that anything that was interesting to me was inherently interesting to the world at large, including, things like “how to use chopsticks” (I was in my late-20s and, suffice to say, a little behind the rest of the world) and a David Sedaris book I thought people should know about, a year after it was published and reviewed in every major newspaper and magazine. The feedback from my boss was almost always the same: Where’s the learning? What’s new here? (Besides that I had newly discovered it? Hmm.) I guess not a whole lot has changed in the intervening decades, because I’ve run a version of this crispy, herby mustardy chicken recipe before (initially inspired by the great Diana Henry), and at the height of its popularity the dinner appeared on our table weekly, but…BREAKING NEWS…while I was writing about it for Bon Appetit, the dish got even better, thanks to a pass through their magical test kitchen. What’s new here? you ask. Well, for starters, using panko, not regular breadcrumbs, gives it a pronounced, super-satisfying crunch, and adding carrots to the pan offers just the right destination for the chicken’s buttery juices. It’s a sheet pan chicken dinner that I’ve newly re-discovered, and I don’t think I’m wrong that here on DALS, that’s always welcome news? Head over to Bon Appetit for the recipe.

Photo by Bobbi Lin for Bon Appetit.


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Back when I was in college, my roommates and I would take turns cooking dinner every week. I remember one of our favorites was chicken breasts that were coated in a mixture of bread crumbs and an envelope of Good Seasons Italian Salad Dressing mix and then baked. I have no recollection of what we paired them with, but I have made a variation for my kids a time or twelve. 🙂 This seems like an evolution of that recipe with the dual improvement of bone-in chicken and panko! Classics are classics for a reason!


Per the recipe on Bon Appetit, ” Arrange skin side up a rimmed baking sheet and smear all over skin side of thighs.” Smear what all over the skin side???


Did it turn out well with the boneless/skinless? I have little kids and that is so much easier for them to eat.


I’ve made it with boneless, skinless thighs and it’s still delicious. I think the original recipe called for them. The cooking time might be slightly different? The original recipe is on the blog – check it out. Title of recipe is Baked Chicken with Herbs and Dijon


I get to feel ahead of the game here… I’ve been using panko since I started making this, petty much immediately after you posted it the first time.

I’ve made it so many times it is literally “that chicken” at our house, and last year my 9yo son found out it wasn’t actually your recipe – so he convinced my husband to buy me A Bird in Hand for Christmas.

In fact, I probably need to throw this down for next week’s Sunday dinner. Tomorrow’s is your tomtoey pork chops and kale.


Love this recipe – have been making the original on repeat since you posted. Always done with Panko, but excited to try it with the carrots!!


Literally eating leftover (homemade) chicken nuggets and roast carrots we made the other day… Seems like we’re on the same wavelength here! Such a perfect, simple but still satisfying dinner


This recipe legitimately blew my mind. I got home last night late because I had to go to the laundromat (worst of all the chores). So I came to make this kind of grumpily. So much so that I accidentally put the mustard in with the bread crumbs and had to scoop it out. Luckily it didn’t affect what was a PERFECT dinner. Literally. I hate two chicken thighs and had peeled and cut a bunch of carrots. I ate EVERY blessed carrot. I’ll have to make more tonight to go with the leftovers.

So thank you! What a win.

Natalie T.

That looks delicious! I just did this with sole last night (how can we try something else that’s not regular bread crumbs or just flour?) and the textural crunch made a boring fish dinner a bit more exciting and a little more tasty too. Added with a salad with a lemon-tahini dressing, it was a well balanced meal. Basically, are you reading my mind with the thoughts of panko?!

Also: David Sedaris’s Theft By Finding is EXCELLENT. I saw a mention of Andy’s name in the thank you. It was the perfect antidote to the wintertime blues.


I didn’t check out this recipe until now as it links to your new post. This reminds me very much of a chicken recipe made famous by the late food write Laurie Colwin.