Nuta-Caramelized Chicken & Squash

March 16, 2022
5 Ratings
  • Prep time 2 hours 10 minutes
  • Cook time 35 minutes
  • Serves 2 to 4
Author Notes

If you've never heard of it before, nuta is a miso dressing that adds bright-yellow intrigue to otherwise simply prepared greens (blanched) or seafood (boiled). To be a “nuta” requires only the presence of white miso and vinegar. But the first nuta I ever tasted was a nuta with mustard, and upon tasting it, I wondered a) why you would ever leave the mustard out, and b) how I could make up for all this lost time pre-nuta. The first taste will remind you of honey mustard: puckery, a little sweet, a little spicy, and unmistakably yellow-mustard-y. But then, the sweetness is tempered—by the funky miso, sharp sake, and sharper rice wine vinegar. Definitely an awesome combination that should no longer be ignored for weeknight cooking and beyond.

The recipe below, for a sheet pan chicken and squash dinner, shows off nuta in two of my favorite ways: caramelized, transformed by heat, and raw, tossed with bitter greens. It also features rice vinegar, sake, and mirin. But you can also just keep it simple. Slather the nuta onto a fluffy baguette, with mayo, pickles, ribbons of turkey, and top with shredded lettuce. Or toss spicy salad greens (arugula, frisée, or radicchio are all welcome here) with crisped bacon, some of the bacon fat, and a spoonful of nuta. Whatever you choose to do with your verison of nuta, definitely let me know in the comments below. The possibilities for nuta are endless, and once you have a taste, you'll understand why. —Coral Lee

What You'll Need
  • 6 tablespoons white miso
  • 4 teaspoons unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon mirin
  • 1 tablespoon sake
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons mustard powder (such as Colman's)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 1 1/2 pounds skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs (about 4), patted dry
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 delicata squash, seeded and quartered on the bias
  • 5 cups bitter salad greens (such as arugula or frisée)
  • 1 pinch flaky salt and freshly ground black pepper
  1. In a blender, blend the miso, vinegar, mirin, sake, sugar, mustard powder, ½ teaspoon kosher salt, and 2 tablespoons of water until smooth. Reserve 2 tablespoons of the nuta for serving. Coat the chicken with the remaining nuta. Arrange in a shallow baking dish or plastic bag and let marinate in the fridge for at least 2 hours or up to overnight.
  2. Heat the oven to 425°F. On a baking sheet, toss the squash with 2 tablespoons of the oil and the remaining 1 teaspoon of kosher salt. Arrange the squash cut side down. Arrange the chicken around the squash and roast for 15 minutes. Turn the squash and continue to roast for another 15 to 20 minutes, until deeply caramelized.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk the reserved nuta with the remaining 2 tablespoons of the oil. Shower in the greens. With a claw hand, toss to coat the greens lightly in the dressing. Season with the flaky salt and black pepper. Serve with the chicken and squash.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Kelly B
    Kelly B
  • AntoniaJames
  • Emma Laperruque
    Emma Laperruque
  • Eric Kim
    Eric Kim

7 Reviews

Kelly B. March 21, 2021
This was amazing! I couldn’t find delicata squash at my local grocery so I swapped in kabocha squash—turned out great! Felt like it melded well with the Japanese flavors, too. I also accidentally left off the sugar in the nuta recipe but did not find anything to be lacking for it. All in all, a winner!
NXL October 5, 2020
This recipe is easy to make with a little bit of planning and a great way to have a colorful plate of food. A little on the salty side for me, but the marinade is interesting.
Kelsey May 18, 2020
So good! I was afraid the funkiness would be overpowering after tasting the marinade, but it ended up being a great accent and balanced the sweetness of the squash nicely. I used red miso because that's what I had and added ~1tbsp of honey to compensate(red miso is stronger/saltier/funkier than white)
Stefani January 12, 2020
Can you use red miso instead of white? I have a ton of red in my fridge right now.
AntoniaJames January 7, 2020
So interesting! Definitely on my must-make-soon list. (And if Eric K declares it "so freakin' good," it actually goes on my must-make-this-week list.) Wow. ;o)
Emma L. January 6, 2020
Sooo good! Can't wait to make this at home.
Eric K. January 5, 2020
This was so freakin' good. Thanks for the recipe, Coral.