Miso Butter Chicken Is the One-Pan Dinner of Our Dreams

September 24, 2018
Photo by Jenny Haung

I love cooking seasonally and in the moment. There's nothing more satisfying than coming home with the snappiest peas in the spring and making a bright, beautiful salad, or the juiciest tomatoes in the summer for a drippy, glorious BLT.

But I’m equally fond of dishes I can turn to any time of year. Things like spaghetti carbonara, pimenton fried eggs on toast, and creamy chickpea curry, all with inexpensive and dependable ingredients. They’re the weeknight staples that always deliver, even when my tired brain is on autopilot.

So when I land on an easy recipe that celebrates what’s in season right now and is adaptable enough to make year-round, I get really excited.

This Skillet Chicken with Corn and Miso Butter is a winner on so many levels: It’s simple to prepare, boldly flavored, and cooked entirely on the stovetop in one skillet. I’ve been making it since the first sweet corn arrived at my local farm stands, but I’m already dreaming of ways to riff on it all year long (more on that in a bit!)

Its deliciousness lies in a few techniques:

First, the chicken: To build big flavor, make a zippy rub of miso, honey, lime juice, and olive oil. Smear it all over tender boneless-skinless breasts or thighs (no marinating needed—just straight to the skillet!). Here’s the key: cook over moderate heat slowly so they evenly caramelize. Your patience will be rewarded with deeply bronzed, sticky, salty-sweet chicken and a gorgeous fond on the bottom of your skillet. And that’s about to make your corn all kinds of crazy good.

Next, that corn: In your now empty skillet (with that chicken resting on a plate off to the side), sauté chopped onions over moderate heat; I usually reach for Vidalia because I love its sweetness with corn. Scrape up the fond as the onion releases its moisture. Once the onions are soft and golden from the fond, add fresh thyme and corn—and lots of it (I usually use five to six ears’ worth). All fresh corn needs is a touch of heat. Once it’s tender and warmed through, add a big dollop of miso butter (equal parts of miso and butter smashed together) and stir until it coats every single kernel. Shower with snipped chives and nestle the chicken back in the skillet with the corn.

Another reason to love your skillet

While corn is in season, I can't think of a more satisfying meal to highlight its sweetness and freshness. But oh the possibilities… so many vegetables want to be paired with miso-rubbed chicken and miso butter! Green beans are another delicious, option. In the fall and winter, I’ll turn to shaved Brussels sprouts, shredded kale, sliced carrots, and cubed sweet potatoes. In the spring, I’ll give asparagus, sugar snaps peas, and radishes the miso treatment.

The protein in this dish is adaptable, too. Use bone-in, skin-on thighs or breasts and take the time to render the fat from the skin so it gets ultra-crispy. Or swap chicken for pork chops, boneless or bone-in.

But while the sweetest corn is still here, I’ll be making this dish exactly as written until the last lick of the season.

What's your best seasonal weeknight recipe? Don't be shy—share!

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Written by: EmilyC

I'm a home cook. I love salads. Two things you'll always find in my refrigerator are lemons and butter, and in my pantry good quality chocolate and the makings for chocolate chip cookies.