Miso and Honey Butter–Roast Chicken

By • March 3, 2015 44 Comments

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Author Notes: This is one of the simplest ways to dress up roasted chicken; it's quick enough to put together for a weeknight meal and special enough to serve to impromptu guests. I've used aka (red) miso in this recipe, but feel free to use shiro (white/sweet) or awase (mixed) miso for a mellower flavor. Adapted from userealbutter.com.Melanie K.

Food52 Review: WHO: Melanie K. is a graphic designer currently living in Canada.
WHAT: Simple chicken legs roasted with miso and honey that deserve a spot in your weeknight chicken rotation.
HOW: Cream together miso, honey, and butter, then slide it under the skin of the chicken legs and tuck some garlic between each piece. Bake until the skin is golden brown, mash the roasted garlic into the chicken drippings to make a sauce, take a bite, and wonder why you've never thought to make this before.
WHY WE LOVE IT: This recipe is a quadruple threat: it's simple, fast, visually impressive, and delicious. The butter makes the skin crispy without drying it out and the saltiness of the miso is balanced by the sweetness of the honey for a truly five star recipe.


Serves 2 to 4

  • 4 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons miso
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons honey
  • 4 chicken legs
  • 8 cloves of garlic, unpeeled
  • Salt
  1. Preheat oven to 400º F. Cream the softened butter with a spoon or spatula, and mix with the miso and honey until smooth and well combined.
  2. Place the chicken legs into a baking dish so that they fit snugly and pat dry with paper towels. Carefully run your fingers under the chicken skin to separate it from the meat. Using a butter knife or your hands, take a tablespoon of the miso-honey butter and spread it underneath the skin; smooth down to distribute the butter evenly, and repeat for each leg. Spread the remainder of the mixed butter on top of the skin to cover each leg in an even layer. Tuck unpeeled garlic cloves between the chicken pieces. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt.
  3. Roast in the oven for about 30 to 40 minutes, or until deeply browned (but not burnt!) and the juices run clear. Remove the chicken to a serving platter.
  4. Remove the garlic from the pan and squeeze out the cloves from their skins. Mash them into the pan drippings to create a sauce. Spoon the sauce over the chicken and consider serving with mashed potatoes or puréed cauliflower.

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