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Dinner Tonight: Miso and Honey Butter-Roast Chicken

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"This recipe went from Good, to Better, to One of the Best. I was drinking Champagne so maybe it balanced things; I don't know."

To Erika, who wrote the above comment on this recipe for Miso and Honey Butter-Roast Chicken, we don't know either. It's likely the Champagne helped. But any dinner that invites the company of Champagne should automatically be categorized as "Better," if not "One of the Best," so right out of the gate, this 5-ingredient chicken is off to an excellent start.

Miso and Honey Butter–Roast Chicken
Miso and Honey Butter–Roast Chicken

And the accolades continue. Those 5 ingredients, while few in number, are big in impact: miso brings salty umami; honey, floral sweetness; roasted garlic, richness; and butter rounds everything out and keep the chicken skin crisp. The garlic is mashed up with the chicken drippings after it's been roasted, creating an instant pan sauce to spoon over the bird and anything you serve with it (mashed potatoes, roasted vegetables, fluffy quinoa...).

Other commenters declared this would be going into their regular dinner rotation. They didn't say Champagne was involved—but I think that deserves a weekly slot, as well.

Grocery List:
(Organized by area of the market)

  • Miso
  • 4 chicken legs

We're assuming you already have 1/2 a stick of butter, honey, and 8 cloves of garlic. If not, add those to the list!

The Game Plan:

About 45 minutes before dinner, preheat the oven to 400° F. Cream the softened butter and mix with 2 1/2 tablespoons each of miso and honey until smooth and well combined.

Place the chicken legs into a baking dish, and carefully run your fingers under the chicken skin to separate it from the meat. With a butter knife or your hands, spread a tablespoon of the miso-honey butter underneath the skin of each leg. Spread the remainder of the butter mixture on top of the skin and tuck unpeeled garlic cloves between the chicken pieces. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Roast until deeply browned, about 30 to 40 minutes. (You're looking for the juices to run clear!)

Right before sitting down, remove the garlic from the pan and squeeze the cloves from their skins. Mash them into the pan drippings to create a sauce, spooning over the chicken and anything you're serving with it—like potatoes, roasted cauliflower, or greens. And don't forget the Champagne.

What are you serving with Champagne these days? Tell us in the comments!

Tags: miso, chicken, butter chicken