Spice-Rubbed chicken with mustard-chive sauce

Contributed by Preston Maring, MD

Spice-Rubbed chicken with mustard-chive sauce

This grilled chicken is probably the best I have ever tasted. The chicken can be prepared a day in advance and refrigerated. It uses chives and tarragon and it goes great with corn on the cob. You probably will have to spend a little time in the spice department at your local grocery store, but it's well worth it.


For the chicken

  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
  • 1 tablespoon yellow mustard seeds
  • 2 teaspoons fennel seeds
  • 3 tablespoons mild paprika
  • 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt
  • 8 large chicken breasts with skin (bad fat) and bones, trimmed of excess fat (really bad fat)

For the sauce

  • 1/3 cup sherry wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 1/4 cups olive oil (good fat)
  • 2 large bunches fresh chives, chopped
  • 3 tablespoon fresh tarragon, chopped


  1. Grind the coriander, mustard seeds and fennel seeds together. (I don't have a spice grinder so I used a food processor and then smashed them in a ziplock bag with a meat mallet and the bottom of a cast iron skillet.)
  2. Stir in the paprika, pepper and salt. 
  3. Rub the spice mixture into the chicken breast, making sure that some of the rub gets under the skin. (Grilling with the skin on helps keep the chicken moist. The skin can be removed before using the sauce if you are close to exceeding your 30% daily calories from fat.) 
  4. Let stand up to 1 hour or overnight, covered in the refrigerator. 
  5. Whisk the vinegar and mustard together then whisk in the olive oil. 
  6. Mix in the tarragon and chives. 
  7. Season with salt and pepper. 
  8. Grill the chicken, skin side down, until dark, about 5 minutes. 
  9. Turn it over and cook covered until done, about 15 more minutes. 
  10. Serve with skin on or off, spooning the sauce over the chicken.