Misoyaki Roast Chicken with Shoyu Onion Sauce

By • February 22, 2010 • 79 Comments

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Author Notes: Misoyaki means “miso – grill” in Japanese, and traditionally, this marinade is used on fish like salmon, cod, or mahi mahi, all equally delightful. I thought I’d try it out on roast chicken and it's actually quite nice. WuNotWoo

Food52 Review: Yes, timWuNotWoo shoots and edits our videos. Yes, he's a friend. And yes, he makes a mean roast chicken. In fact, we've never tasted chicken quite like this. The red miso and mirin marinade permeates the bird inside and out, giving it an addictive sweet and savory laquered skin. The simple onion sauce, which consists of butter, onions and garlic, soy sauce, mirin, miso and more butter, is an extra bonus, perfect for drizzling over the tender meat; it is salty, so you may want to use a lower sodium soy sauce and miso to taste. Do make sure to scrape off as much of the marinade as possible before you roast the chicken -- it will just blacken otherwise.A&M

Serves 4

for the chicken

  • 3.5 pounds chicken
  • 1/2 cup red miso paste
  • 1/2 cup mirin

for the onion sauce

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup mirin
  • 1 clove of garlic, grated
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 cup miced onion
  1. Mix the mirin into the miso paste to loosen it up until you get something like the consistency of a gravy or a fresh banana smoothie. Some miso pastes are thicker than others, so if it’s too thick, just add more mirin. Easy beans.
  2. Smother the chicken with the marinade all over, be especially sure you cover the inside cavity too. This way the marinade flavors the chicken from both the inside and out, huzzah.
  3. Put the chicken in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap or if you have a Ziploc and/or Glad bag big enough for a whole chicken, that is most preferred. Park it all in the fridge and let sit for at least three hours, overnight would be nice.
  4. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
  5. Take the chicken out of the fridge and take a spoon, fork, knife, dowel rod, comb, whatever your scraping tool of preference is, and wipe off the excess marinade, it’ll just burn~
  6. Don’t run the chicken under water or anything though, just make sure there aren’t large clumps of marinade plopped on the bird.
  7. Brush on some vegetable oil or melted butter over the chicken, nestle it in a roasting pan, and throw it in the oven.
  8. Roast at 450 degrees for 25 minutes, then turn the heat down to 350, and roast for an additional 40.
  9. IN THE MEANTIME…. Make the ONION SAUCE.
  10. In small sauce pan, sweat the ½ cup of minced onion in a bit of vegetable oil or butter.
  11. When they start to become translucent, add the water, mirin, soy sauce, and grated garlic.
  12. Bring to a simmer, turn the heat down to low and let bubble while the chicken cooks.
  13. 5 minutes before the chicken’s done, sprinkle on some mirin. It gives the bird a delightful shine and sweetness. When time's up, take it out of the oven, cover with a sheet of aluminum foil, and let rest for 10 minutes.
  14. IN THE MEANTIME, we finish the sauce.
  15. Melt in a tablespoon of butter, and take it off the heat.
  16. Mix in the tablespoon of miso. Miso actually loses its flavor the more it’s heated, so do this off the heat. There’s plenty of residual heat in the pan to melt down the miso paste.
  17. ALAS, Carve the chicken, serve atop a bed of fluffy white Japanese short grain rice, ladle on the onion sauce, and have a delightful evening~
Jump to Comments (79)

Tags: chicken, japanese, miso, miso, onion, roast, sauce, shoyu

Comments (79) Questions (11)

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Ashley

29 days ago Ashley Marie

Delish, delish, delish. Made it with white miso since I was out of red and served with a side of Jasmine rice and Sriracha-sesame carrots and it was divine! I watered down the onion sauce just a bit since it was a little salty, and it still packed a punch! Wonderful and easy! Will be making again and again!

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3 months ago Susan W

This chicken is so delicious. I cooked a bunch of legs and thighs since I prefer dark meat. It was fabulous. I'm having people over for dinner and some like white meat so I will roast 2 whole chickens for the wow factor. I may spatchcock them.

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4 months ago Ben Jackson

I wouldn't recommend oven bags. The direct heat on the mirin and miso on the skin makes a nice carmelization. The oven bag would prevent that b

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4 months ago drea

Would you recommend using an oven bag to make it even more juicy? Or would that lose the crispy skin? I'm new to oven bags... Chicken is marinating right now! Mmmmm <3

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7 months ago Ben Jackson

Hey Cynthia, was your chicken completely thawed? Starting with a chicken close to room temperature helps ensure even cooking. In that case the total roasting time of 65 mins should do it. If you had an extra large chicken it may take a little longer.

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7 months ago Cynthia Lin

I had to roast this quite a bit longer than the indicated time. Is there something I'm missing? In any case, it was delicious, the flavors are amazing, and I'm excited for a new way to do chicken!

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7 months ago WuNotWoo

Thanks Cynthia!! Yeah, what Ben said, make sure you let the chicken come to temperature a bit after wiping off the marinade~ Ovens always do vary though at the end of the day. Glad you liked it!

Stringio

12 months ago Ashley To Breen

I've added the juice, and the scraped off marinade fron the chicken to the onion sauce. It turned out to be amazing!
I also flipped the chicken twice - once when it's 450 degrees and once when it's 350 degrees. The chicken was not burned and the breast was juicy!!

Gwen-powderhorn

over 1 year ago Chef Gwen

On the advice of Mrs. Wheelbarrow, I made this recipe in order to use up the miso paste I'd bought for another recipe that only called for 1 tablespoon. It is a FANTASTIC flavor bomb! I wiped what I thought was all of the marinade off with paper towels, and the skin still burned to a crisp in places during the first 450 degree roast (so I tented it for the remaining portion). The sauce is incredible, too. My miso (and the soy sauce for the sauce) are reduced sodium and it was still plenty salty and flavorful. Like Mrs. Wheelbarrow, this one will go into my roast chicken rotation. Thanks!

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over 1 year ago Foodvergnugen

Holy. Cow. Batman. Make this. You don't even need to marinade it. Using a 4.25 lb chicken, I put the miso+mirin, including the soy/onion/mirin/garlic under the skin. Made the onion sauce as well. Roasted chicken covered for 50 minutes @ 400 fahrenheit. Uncovered 10 minutes. Flipped, then 10 more minutes. Then, you're ready to go. Served with side of jasmine rice, and "asian" flavored brussel sprouts. This is even better than Jacques Pepin's mustard garlic roasted chicken!!! Life is a miracle, people.

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over 1 year ago Vivi B.

The leeks were really really good in the recipe and added an earthy element. I love the suggestion to add fried shallots on top. I am going to do that next time. I ran out of time so rather than toasting sesame seeds, I just put some Gomasio on the table. Delish! Just had some leftovers. Yum.

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over 1 year ago Vivi B.

Also, when I do this, I use Alice Waters' method with the chicken and flip it upside down and back again during the roasting. It makes it even more juicy and helps keep it from burning.

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over 1 year ago Vivi B.

Making this tonight for the umpteenth time. My standard go to when I need a relaxed, delicious crowd pleaser. I added leeks to the onions to the sauce this time. Will report. I like Michele's idea about the sesame oil. I am going to toast some sesame seeds to pass at the table.

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over 1 year ago WuNotWoo

Ahh, thanks so much! Leeks and onions would be amazing. You could also sprinkle fried shallots on top~

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over 2 years ago Michele Hays

I've made this twice to rave reviews from the family both times, but today I did something for TV night: I made it with chicken wings, and then added beer to thin out the onion sauce and blended it with the immersion blender to make it a dipping sauce (I also used sesame oil instead of butter.) MMMMmmmmmMMMmm

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over 1 year ago culture_connoisseur

Sesame oil instead of butter. What a great idea! I think I will do half butter, half sesame. I have my baby chicken in the fridge, all nestled in delicious red miso since last evening, waiting to be put in the rotisserie.

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over 2 years ago Jessie G

see my note below ... YES it DOES work to cook the night before you eat it ... you can heat in the oven for a few mins - or microwave. the skin doesn't stay so crispy, but it's still good. my kids LOVED it.

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almost 3 years ago Jessie G

Anyone cooked this the night before you have eaten it? I cooked tonight for tmrw night ... suggestions for best way to heat up? thanks!

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almost 3 years ago Midge

I made this last night after letting the chicken marinate overnight and wow, it was fantastic. Look forward to trying it on the grill next time. Thanks for an awesome recipe!

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almost 3 years ago lynnegreen

Made this last night, what a hit in my house. I am anxious to try it again but marinate the chicken longer. We served it with the Northern Spy's Kale Salad which was a great contrast in textures and tastes. This chicken recipe will be in our rotation of go to recipes for home and entertaining!

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almost 3 years ago deabot

Fantastic, simply fantastic. Easy to make and super tasty. This reminds of me of an elegant take on the chinese dish 'soy sauce chicken'.

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about 3 years ago student epicure

made this list night pre-hurricane and it was absolutely delicious! my new favorite way to roast chicken. a marinated the bird in the roasting pan and although i removed the marinade from the bird, i forgot to wipe out the roasting pan. this lead to some burning, but when i put in the bird in another pan, problem was solved.

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about 3 years ago MarinGrill

If you happen to have a rotisserie attachment to your grill, follow the recipe and then truss the chicken securely and cook over indirect heat. OMG.......

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almost 4 years ago AmeliaM

May I suggest that you add to the directions to roast UNCOVERED? The first time I made it, I put it in my roasting pan with the lid on, and I did not get the greatest results. My second attempt is getting nice and brown on the outside as I type this. Can't wait to try it. Thanks!

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over 4 years ago thirschfeld

I made this last night for some friends with some ginger scallion noodles and broccolini with oyster sauce. It is really, really, really good. Great recipe and will go into the repertoire, for sure. Thanks

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over 4 years ago MrsWheelbarrow

Cathy is a trusted source on Pickling/Preserving.

Wow. Finally (FINALLY) made this tonight. Completely addictive. Great recipe, thanks so much.

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over 4 years ago Ben Jackson

I love this recipe!!! I've made it twice now and everyone devoured the chicken. This is my new favorite way to cook chicken. Thank you!!!

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over 4 years ago Karin Lavater-Frazier

Got to try it, sounds great!!! I am a caterer and read many recipes none quite as amusing as yours...

Gaby_by_sarah

over 4 years ago gabrielaskitchen

Wouldn't it be grand to have a nyc food52 potluck dinner party! You could bring your finalist chicken (which I voted for hands down!), wcfoodies their winning french onion soup, and I'll bring dessert...my airy bread pudding of course! The only question is do any of us have a big enough space, Central Park picnic later this spring maybe? I'm totally serious.

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over 4 years ago WuNotWoo

Amanda's place is big enough, hahahaha. That kitchen is AMAZING. A nyc food52 potluck sounds INCREDIBLE though, we have to make that happen. Thanks for the vote! Your airy bread pudding was incredible~

Gaby_by_sarah

over 4 years ago gabrielaskitchen

Let's see if we can make it happen somewhere soon! Seems the Bay Area folks had the right idea. Thanks, glad you enjoyed my bread pudding.

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over 4 years ago JimHero

Let's make this happen!

How about a Winter-to-Spring potluck?

Monkeys

over 4 years ago monkeymom

Tim Wu, this chicken recipe, especially that onion sauce, is amazing. I really look forward to more (I'm making that killer meatloaf of yours very soon!)

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over 4 years ago abbyarnold

I made this last night. It was easy and really delicious. The bird looked and tasted great! The onion gravy was a big hit, and well worth the extra effort to make it. By extra effort, I mean chopping up an onion. One reason the gravy was easy is that it does not require chicken broth. I served it with fresh kale wokked with japanese aromatics, and rice with garden peas stirred in to make it look festive. Plus I learned about miso! YUM!

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over 4 years ago WuNotWoo

oh nice! i've never done kale using japanese seasonings before~ good idea!

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over 4 years ago hungryhippo

this is pretty good i guess

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over 4 years ago lisamariahall

Delicious.

Steve_dunn02

over 4 years ago Oui, Chef

This looks like a whole new way of doing a bird that my gang will LOVE...thanks!

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over 4 years ago WuNotWoo

AWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWESOME. you win a chicken.

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over 4 years ago WuNotWoo

those steak and eggs sound amazing too, i'm definitely gonna try that

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over 4 years ago NakedBeet

The flavors sound incredible and beautiful coloring on that bird!

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over 4 years ago Cara Eisenpress

This looks so good!

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over 4 years ago JimHero

Hats off to the NYU crowd rolling in to support Tim MF Wu.

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over 4 years ago ai_kuku_eigusu

heck yeah!

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over 4 years ago GoodFoodie

Made extra chicken and used it tonight for the Oyako Donburi (recipe from this site). Terrific!

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over 4 years ago WuNotWoo

oh dang, that reminds me, i've got oyako and katsu-don recipes that i need to put up!

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over 4 years ago GoodFoodie

I am getting a LOT of mileage off that one chicken dinner. Used the DIVINE leftover onion sauce on top of grill fish. Yummmm! Boo, it's finally all finished!

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over 4 years ago GoodFoodie

ps waiting for those recipes!!

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over 4 years ago Scheld-eats-what-you-cook

Pumped to sample...soon, I hope!

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over 4 years ago MrsWheelbarrow

Cathy is a trusted source on Pickling/Preserving.

spectacular use of misoyaki! can't wait to give this recipe a try. thank you for posting it!

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over 4 years ago thirschfeld

Just looked at this again and this might become my Monday Farmhouse roast chicken.

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over 4 years ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Dumb question: Where do you buy miso paste and mirin?

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over 4 years ago WuNotWoo

a lot of american supermarkets actually carry mirin and miso these days in their "ethnic foods" aisles, haha. or you can order it off places like freshdirect.com~

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over 4 years ago GoodFoodie

Doesn't just about everywhere have an Asian supermarket these days? Whole Foods also sells these items.

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over 4 years ago Mariachi94

LEGEN- wait for it....

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over 4 years ago JimHero

-DARY

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over 4 years ago intimaci

This is the best recipe ever !

I love chicken again.

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over 4 years ago DrAztec

YTMND. Misoyaki Roast Chicken with Shoyu Onion Sauce fo' LIFE!

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over 4 years ago JimHero

FINALIST WOOT WOOT

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over 4 years ago LConoscenti

Go T-Wu! Voted!

Kay_at_lake

over 4 years ago Kayb

OK. I'm doing this chicken, roasted in my tube pan. And it'll take me all week to decide how to vote. Both these are great, but miso...mirin....gonna be hard to pass that up....

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over 4 years ago GoodFoodie

fyi if you're really worried about sodium content, supposedly white miso is slightly lower than red.

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over 4 years ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Actually, I used white miso and only 1 T. of soy sauce (organic, but not low sodium, but with better flavor and less salty tasting, ironically, than the TJ's lower sodium kind) and it was still much too salty . . . . I strongly recommend (a) wiping ALL of the marinade off and (b) starting with a small amount of miso when making the sauce and adding gradually, tasting frequently.

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over 4 years ago WuNotWoo

yeah, the saltiness of miso varies so much from brand to brand it's always hard for me to explain how much to put in a recipe~

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over 4 years ago WuNotWoo

huzzah! thanks!! i did forget to write to that i used low-sodium soy sauce in the recipe. i never get anything but low sodium soy sauce so it just slipped my mind that there's regular sodium soy sauce, haha.

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over 4 years ago thirschfeld

I will be having this for dinner this week.

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over 4 years ago GoodFoodie

Wowee - this was fabulous - esp that onion sauce which could be used for so many things! Husband was raving the whole time he was eating. Just might end up on our Easter menu. ( I ended up having to cook my chicken a lot longer so plan for differences in size of birds).

Tip - to 'melt' miso in sauce, do as the Japanese do: take the TB of Miso and submerge halfway into sauce. Using chopsticks or a fork, slowly wash sauce over miso stirring in a gentle circular motion. You don't want the lump to fall into the sauce. Since it's sticky, it should stay put. This is also a good method for making miso soup when you have a lot more miso and risk ending up with chunks at the bottom of the soup.

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over 4 years ago lastnightsdinner

Love red miso - this sounds fabulous.

Gaby_by_sarah

over 4 years ago gabrielaskitchen

Omigosh! I think I found my new default roast chicken recipe!

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over 4 years ago WuNotWoo

oh wow, haha, thanks!

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over 4 years ago ajs518

Love the use of onion in the sauce! Looks absolutely tasty!

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over 4 years ago TasteFood

I am a sucker for miso, and will definitely try this recipe.

Winnie100

over 4 years ago WinnieAb

Sounds amazing!

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over 4 years ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Would you post how to do this with fish, as mentioned in your introduction? It's making my mouth water just reading it! Also, can you use whte miso paste? Thanks! ;o)

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over 4 years ago WuNotWoo

Thanks!

I'll work on writing out an official recipe for fish later this week, but it's pretty much the same recipe steps, haha. Pour the marinade over the filets in a ziploc bag and marinade for a couple hours~ If it goes overnight though, you get a much much more intense miso flavor, almost like a smoked salmon level of flavor. That's best enjoyed in smaller amounts with white porridge for a nice and light Japanese breakfast!

White miso will work just as well, but the flavor of red miso is usually bolder. Plus I like the rich color red miso provides. The miso used for the fish variation is usually white actually.

Monkeys

over 4 years ago monkeymom

This looks so good. Another reason to buy miso!

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over 4 years ago WuNotWoo

Oh I always have miso stocked in my fridge! Especially for soups on cold days~

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over 4 years ago JimHero

Tim, I expect you to make this for me every night this week, else I can't say I'll vote for it.