Making “Crusty Chicken” With Jacques Pepin! My “52 In 22” Cooking Challenge Honors This Master Chef’s Obsession With The Bird!

Making A Legendary Chef’s “Crusty Chicken!”

We are in the last weeks of my “52 In 22” cooking challenge, so I am honoring some of the most legendary Chefs of all time!

Well, it wasn’t really a battle – Jacques Pepin and Julia Child were great friends, and I will be cooking from both of their great cookbooks over the next week…beginning with Chef Pepin, who has a new memoir out!

As the Washington Post reported recently:

“Pépin turns 87 in December. He is among the last of the first wave of culinary legends who became household names — Julia Child, Craig Claiborne and Pierre Franey. For four decades, he’s been a constant in many American kitchens. Pépin democratized formal technique. He instructed legions of American professional and home chefs, not in a constellation of exorbitant white-cloth restaurants but through cookbooks, and hosting 13 separate public television series.”

The Chef’s memoir is riveting, with stories about cooking for President Kennedy, and much much more – and now he has a new book out:

This Chef Is A Chicken Fanatic!

Yes, Pepin loved chicken – so that’s what we are going to make!

He writes in the book:

“If you asked me to choose a single ingredient that I could not do without, it would likely be the egg.”

And that leads to a chicken dish that had one home cook proclaim:

“I nearly lost it when I watched Jacques Pepin cook chicken thighs in a non-stick skillet with absolutely no fat!”

So that’s what we are about to do as well!

Chef Jacques Pepin’s Crusty Chicken With Mushrooms!

Here are the ingredients needed to make Chef’s terrific “Crusty Chicken with Mushroom” – a delicious dish for 4 people!

4 large chicken thighs, about 1 3/4 pounds total, skin on

3/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 cup diced onion

1 1/2 tablespoons coarsely chopped garlic

3 cups washed and diced white mushrooms or cremini mushrooms

1/3 cup dry white wine

1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives or green portion of green onion

To get a jump ahead, dice your mushrooms, as well as your garlic and onion before you start to have them ready to go – then, let’s prepare the chicken:

Score the chicken skin – 1/2 inch thick slash on either side of the thigh bone. Season the thighs on both sides with 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper.

Place the chicken thighs skin-side down on non-stick skillet. Listen for the skin to begin to sing to you – that’s right a nice sizzle!

Only then turn the heat to medium-high. As you see, there is no oil added – the glistening fat in the pan is from the skin! Listen to the dish cook here:

When the chicken starts to sizzle, turn the heat to medium and move the thighs around to make sure they aren’t sticking to the skillet. Cover the skillet and cook for 16 to 18 minutes. Check the chicken occasionally to keep it from sticking. If the skin is browning too much after 10 minutes, then turn the heat to low. When done, transfer the thighs to a warm oven.

Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the chicken fat in the skillet. Turn the heat to high and then add the chopped onion, garlic, and mushrooms.

Sauté, stirring often, for about 3 minutes. Sprinkle in the remaining salt and pepper.

Then, it’s time for a drink! Pour yourself a glass of wine and pour a third of a cup into the pan. Continue to cook for one minute over high heat until the sauce reduces.

The recipe says to spoon some of the cooked mushrooms and sauce onto a plate and top with one of the chicken thighs. Add your diced chives and the dish is ready to go.

Here’s how I attempted that:

OK, I didn’t expect the mushroom mold to completely hold together but it did make for a better shape than if I had tried to plate it with a spoon. Still, I liked the look of the finished dish:

Two things to say about this dish: the chicken is moist, and the crispy top is a nice crunchy addition to the flavorful meat…and the mushrooms are, as always, delicious – because how can you mess up sautéed mushrooms with garlic, onion and wine?

Chef recommends serving with roasted Brussel Sprouts, but you can also have grilled Asparagus or even roasted Broccoli – any green vegetable with a bit of a crust on it as well!

I showed you a photo of Pepin with his great friend Julia Child…did you know I saw her actual kitchen?

The Smithsonian Museum in Washington D.C. has her kitchen re-built to show you the actual space she created in – fascinating!

See a tour by clicking on my story here:

Only a few more weeks to go in 2022, and I will soon be sharing a classic Julia Child dish you can make for your holiday feast.

I’ve cooked food from some of the world’s greatest Chefs:

This “Sous Vide Lobster” dish is from Chef Thomas Keller’s “French Laundry” cookbook – and it took three days to make!

Click here to see why!

I also spent a week cooking with the terrific Cookbook Author and Food Writer Patricia wells at her house in Provence, where she has Julia’s Provencal stove!

I got to cook on it – and my wife Alex and I had a blast at Patricia’s cooking class – click her for our provencal adventure:

I also cooked from one of Patricia’s terrific cookbooks – this dish celebrating everyday life in Provence:

This Pan Bagnat sandwich was made for fishermen to eat while out on the Mediterranean Sea…a filling, comforting meal while working…but you can make it at home and enjoy there as is the recipe:

Speaking of comforting, how about a nice slice of pie:

A “Duck, Pancetta, Cabbage and Mustard” One!

Yes, I proved that not all pie is sweet – but incredibly savory in this case!

It was one of my “52 In 22” cooking challenges but one of England’s greatest Chefs and you can see how it turned out here:

If you enjoy these posts, why not subscribe and never miss out? It’s easy, and there are NO ads of any kind, just stuff I like – from music to movies, books, travel, food and more…click on the main page and “follow” me on the upper right…

As for my “52 In 22″ cooking challenge, I am sharing and storing all of these recipes on my food website “Bite! Eat! Repeat!” 

It’s your site for all things food – if you like what you see, please click on my link and follow this blog as well!

Let me know what you think of my “52 In 22” challenge!

If you like the story, share it with friends on social media! Enjoy your crusty chicken!

Categories: cookbooks, Food, food blog, Food Review, Memoirs, Pop Culture, Recipes, Travel, Travel Adventures, Wacky Food

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14 replies

  1. Beautifully presented!😋👍✨

    Liked by 1 person

  2. That chicken looks very tasty, John!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. amazing that it worked. and tasted delicious! he really knew his way around a kitchen, and a chicken.


  4. Wonderful, John. You do know that Julia is smiling down at you from above, because you bring to bloggers what she brought to TV. Two peas in a pod.


  5. You have my mouth watering!


  6. It turned out very well. I may try this for hubby. He loves chicken.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. A winning combination. This looks so tasty!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. That looks delicious, John. It actually made my mouth water! Well done!
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

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