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Deviled Chicken Breasts*

The term la diable, or deviled, refers to the spiciness of the coating. Most likely borrowed from the English, the technique lends itself particularly well to intense French mustard. While sometimes completed with a layer of bread crumbs and served with a spicy sauce, this version packs in plenty of zip with little effort.

* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
* 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
* 4 bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts
* 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon olive oil
* 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
* 1-1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
* 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
* Pinch cayenne

Place an oven rack about 6 inches from the broiler element. Heat the broiler.

Mix together the salt, thyme, and pepper; sprinkle over both sides of the breasts. Drizzle both sides with the 1 tablespoon of olive oil; rub to coat all surfaces. Place on a broiler pan. Broil skin side up for 6 to 8 minutes, until well browned; turn and broil for an additional 8 minutes.

Mix the Dijon mustard, lemon juice, dry mustard, cayenne, and the remaining 1 teaspoon of olive oil in a small bowl. Remove the breasts from the broiler; turn off the broiler and set the oven temperature at 450F. Turn the breasts skin side up; spoon the mustard mixture over the breasts and spread to coat. Bake for 10 minutes or until the chicken is no longer pink in the thickest portion when cut with a knife.

* This chicken is good cold. Make a double batch so you'll have leftovers for tomorrow's lunch.

* Turn the dish into weeknight party food by making it ahead and arranging slices on a bed of black bean-red onion salad. Dust with torn coriander leaves and tuck in lemon wedges. Now you have a one-dish buffet supper. Not bad for 15 minutes of prep.

4 servings

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