This sweet and savory miso chicken recipe is simple yet outrageously delicious. Coated in a buttery glaze of miso paste, maple syrup, garlic, ginger, shallots, oil and vinegar, the chicken bakes until lusciously golden and sticky.
Miso paste has become my new latest ingredient obsession.
But tahini is back in the pantry (for now) and miso is front and center.
This, by the way, is coming from someone who despises miso soup. I honestly think it tastes like dirty sock water.
Sorry, but it does.
Yet somehow, when I use miso paste in literally any other capacity, I’m obsessed.
And this miso chicken is a prime example.
Miso paste and maple syrup combine as the prominent ingredients to create the most swoon-worthy sweet and savory sticky glaze on the chicken.
It’s a skillet chicken dinner recipe you will undoubtedly bookmark as a favorite once you give it a try!
WHY I LOVE THIS MISO CHICKEN RECIPE
With just the chicken (drumsticks or thighs work well for this recipe) and miso marinade/glaze ingredients, there’s nothing complicated about this recipe.
Outside of the miso paste, there’s no oddball Asian ingredients that require a special grocery store run.
And that’s not meant to offend but let’s be real, how many of us have things like hoisin sauce, mirin, oyster sauce or shaoxing wine on hand at all times? Not me.
The chicken is also skillet baked entirely in the oven. No browning or prep steps necessary.
- IT’S A DELIGHT OF THE 5 TASTES
If you’re a sucker for combining the 5 basic tastes, miso maple chicken certainly checks off sweet, savory and even the 5th lesser known taste, umami.
I always default to mushrooms when tasked with defining “umami” (which is Japanese and actually translates to “delicious”) but miso paste is another excellent example of it. I love the description of its origins in this article.
Umami is a beautiful intersection of savory, salty and buttery and when combined with the maple syrup and touch of acidity from the rice vinegar and lime, this miso glazed chicken truly delights.
Check out this post about the best miso substitutes if you don’t have it on hand.
- IT PAIRS WELL WITH ALMOST ANYTHING
When I make this recipe, I love the flexibility of side dishes that can go with it.
If you want to stick to an Asian theme, white rice and air fryer frozen broccoli are both easy options. Air fryer mushrooms would be a double dose of umami deliciousness!
However, it’s not an overly “Asian” flavored meal so it can just as easily go with a side of potatoes and any other green you prefer.
I love throwing some purple sweet potato fries in the oven while the chicken cooks and making some sautéed greens on the stove top or something light like this mizuna salad (*tip – add some miso paste to the dressing!) for a balanced meal.
INGREDIENTS FOR BAKED MAPLE MISO CHICKEN
- Chicken drumsticks or chicken thighs (bone-in, skin on)
- white miso paste
- maple syrup
- diced shallot
- minced garlic
- minced ginger
- rice vinegar
- extra virgin olive oil
- juice & zest of 1 lime
While this recipe is shown with chicken drumsticks, bone-in and skin-on chicken thighs are a 1:1 swap.
If you’d rather use boneless skinless chicken breast, you can but the cooking time will be reduced (check around 20 minutes) and you won’t get the same golden brown color without the skin.
A split breast (bone-in) with the skin on would be a better replacement if you prefer breast meat.
You can even roast a whole chicken with this miso glaze! Much like roasted apple butter chicken, just coat the entire chicken with the miso sauce and brush/baste it as it cooks.
HOW TO MAKE MISO GLAZED CHICKEN
Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Pat the chicken dry with a paper towel and place in a large mixing bowl.
Combine the miso paste, maple syrup, shallots, garlic, ginger, olive oil, rice vinegar, lime juice and zest in a small bowl and whisk together.
Pour the miso marinade over the chicken and toss until well coated. Set aside until the oven is ready.
Reserve the extra marinade in the bowl.
Arrange the chicken in a large cast iron skillet (12-14″) with the skin side facing up.
Bake for 30-35 minutes, brushing the chicken with the extra miso marinade every 10 minutes.
Broil for the last 2 minutes for a lovely golden color.
Chicken is fully cooked at 160°F internal temperature using an instant read thermometer.
Remove from oven and let rest, covered, for about 5 minutes before serving. Garnish with chopped cilantro, scallions and/or sesame seeds if desired.
CAN I PREP THIS AHEAD OF TIME?
Yes, the chicken can be prepped through the marinade step ahead of time.
After you pour the miso sauce over the chicken in the bowl, toss to coat then cover with plastic wrap.
Refrigerate for up to 4 hours.
Don’t go much past this amount of time since there’s acid in the sauce from the vinegar and lime and you don’t want it to “cook” the chicken while it marinates.
WHERE TO FIND MISO PASTE
Most grocery stores now carry miso paste and although there is both white and red miso paste, I find white miso paste to be more easily obtainable.
Of course you can order online from Amazon, but places like Whole Foods and Sprouts will undoubtedly have it if your local grocery store doesn’t.
When it comes to soy based products, I always look for organic and preferably sprouted.
The brand Miso Master (I find it at Whole Foods where the tofu is) fits both of those requirements and is my miso paste of choice.
A FEW QUESTIONS ON MISO PASTE
If you’re new to the miso game, you may be wondering about a few of these things.
My goal is to make miso a less scary ingredient so you have more confidence to cook with it because it’s truly delicious!
I’ve personally gone from the “ew, miso soup – nah, I’ll pass on miso paste” mentality to using this ingredient weekly.
WHAT IS MISO MADE OF?
Miso is a fermented soy product that’s combined with salt and koji, a type of mold.
If you’re like omg, mold?! It’s the same mold that is used to make sake and it’s completely safe so don’t worry!
Sometimes, miso paste will also contain barley, rice, rye or other grains.
If gluten-free is important to you, make sure you read the label and look for a brand that is certified gluten-free without the added grains.
WHAT CAN YOU USE MISO PASTE WITH?
Besides creating sauces and glazes like with this miso chicken recipe, you can also make deliciously creamy pasta sauces using miso, add it to soups and broths or, use it in a salad dressing.
When combined with meat, miso also acts as a tenderizer.
Its umami flavor lends it wonderfully to almost any savory application.
My personal favorite is using it in pasta sauces. Lately, I’ve been adding it to this creamy pumpkin garlic pasta and it brings a whole new dimension to the taste of that dish.
IS MISO SAUCE HEALTHY?
Absolutely! Miso has an abundance of health benefits and is considered a highly nutritious food.
Because it’s a fermented product, all the benefits of fermentation carry over to miso.
So everything you’d enjoy from fermented vegetables (like better digestion and immune support) applies to miso paste as well!
Miso is a complete protein and good source of probiotics.
Perhaps miso soup is the secret to the people of the Okinawan blue zone!
Currently, there are over 1,000 recipes on this site. That’s a lot.
But every now and then there are those few that excel like the overachiever teacher’s pet from grade school.
Those are the recipes where I sit at the computer struggling to find the most appropriately compelling words to convince you to try them. Because I know if you do, you’ll fall just as much in love as I have.
This miso chicken recipe is one of those.
With it’s lusciously sweet, salty and buttery glaze accented with touches of bright acidity in that addictive sticky glaze texture, it’s truly one of the special ones around here.
My hope is that it becomes the same in your kitchen as well.
MORE CHICKEN RECIPES TO TRY:
- 2 1/2 - 3 pounds chicken drumsticks (or skin-on, bone-in thighs)
- 3 tablespoons white miso paste
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup minced shallots
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
- juice and zest of 1 lime
- chopped fresh cilantro
- chopped scallions
- sesame seeds
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Pat chicken dry with a paper towel then place in a large bowl.
- Whisk together all remaining ingredients to create the maple miso sauce and pour over the chicken. Toss until each piece is well coated and let sit until oven is ready. (*see note)
- Arrange the chicken skin side up in a large cast iron skillet (or baking dish) and place in the oven. Reserve the leftover marinade in the bowl.
- Bake the chicken for 30-35 minutes, brushing with the reserved marinade every 10 minutes. Chicken is done when the internal temperature reaches 160°F with an instant read thermometer. Broil for the last 2 minutes to caramelize the glaze until golden brown.
- Remove from the oven, cover and let rest for 5 minutes before serving. Garnish with chopped cilantro, green onions and/or sesame seeds if desired.
*Chicken can be prepared up until this point and left to marinate (covered in the refrigerator) for up to 4 hours.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 780Total Fat: 38gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 24gCholesterol: 432mgSodium: 534mgCarbohydrates: 22gFiber: 2gSugar: 15gProtein: 84g
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For the most precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator based on the actual ingredients you used in the recipe.