My friend had a garden party a couple weeks ago. It was kind of the standard, potluck, barbecue menu – a great way to welcome summer, but nothing too exciting. Except the freaking magical corn on the cob, it stole the show.

But wait, this is a chicken recipe, right? Stay with me…

The corn was basted in shiromiso – which apparently is just miso paste and softened butter – and a spice mixture. Brilliant! The fat from the butter smooths out and helps chunky/difficult miso paste adhere to anything. Again, brilliant!

So for the last couple weeks I’ve been trying out shiromiso, or ‘miso butter’ in quite a few recipes. Seeing what I could add to it, what I could put it on, etc. The overall lesson: it’s good on almost everything. Needless to say, more recipes to come. But for now, let’s go with some miso-mustard chicken thighs.

I decided to go with chicken thighs for this recipe – I love them in general, they’re so tender and pretty hard to over cook. But as with most chicken recipes, you can substitute in any part of the chicken you want\have on hand. With this one though, I’d probably stay away from larger chicken breasts. My only concern is that the miso butter would brown up a bit too much before the chicken has had a chance to cook all the way through.

Preheat the oven to 425 and whip up some miso butter. Sometimes I’ll double or even triple the recipe, so I have extra on hand for other projects. If you do that, make sure to separate the amount you’ll be using for the chicken so you don’t cross contaminate it with the basting brush. Salmonella is bad.

Hot Chinese mustard is a staple in our house, but if you don’t have any you can add some good quality dijon and a pinch of cayenne pepper. Feel free to add more pepper, garlic powder or some chile flakes to the mix, depending on your tastes. Just whisk it all together until the miso is totally smooth and you’re good to go.

I usually put a rack over a baking sheet covered in foil when I’m cooking any kind of meat. The fat drips down below the rack and helps the chicken skin crisp up. Place the chicken on the rack, skin side up, and put some miso butter under and on top of the skin. Don’t use all of it now, because you’ll be turning the chicken twice & adding more during cooking.

Bake the chicken for 35-45 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches at least 165. Turn the chicken twice while cooking, basting generously with the miso butter each time. When it’s done the skin should be crispy and dark in spots.

Miso-Mustard Chicken Thighs

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Yield: 4 servings


4 skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs
Miso Butter
2 T unsalted butter, softened
1/4 c white miso
1/4 c hot Chinese mustard
1 T honey
1 t unseasoned rice vinegar
1/2 t garlic powder
1/2 t ground white pepper


Preheat oven to 425.

Combine all of the miso butter ingredients in a bowl and mix with a whisk until well combined.

Place the chicken thighs on rack placed over a baking sheet, with the skin side up. Put a little bit of the miso butter underneath the skin and a healthy dollop on top.

Bake the chicken for about 40 minutes overall. Turn the chicken twice while cooking, basting generously with the miso butter each time. When it's done the skin should be crispy and a little dark and the internal temp should be at 165 degrees.

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