I have been trying out new recipes for roast chicken for years. Some are really successful, others less so. But almost all of them are variations on the same theme - American flavors, some herbs, some garlic. You get the picture. Tonight for dinner I wanted to try something new out and make an Asian-inspired roast chicken recipe. So we started discussing options and somehow I came up with the idea of making miso-marinated or rubbed chicken. I love the idea of a marinade, but when you marinate your chicken the skin never quite crisps up as much as I want it to, unless you pat it really dry or allow it to air dry in the fridge. Plus marinating requires time and time was something we didn't have - by the time we got home from the grocery store it was already after 7 pm. So we decided to make some miso butter (like in David Chang's Pan-Roasted Asparagus, Poached Egg & Miso Butter), and rub it under the skin of the chicken breasts before roasting them. I have rubbed various compound butters under the skin of turkeys on Thanksgiving, but I have never tried it with chicken breasts. So we stuffed our chicken breasts with miso butter and then cooked it up using our go to roast chicken breast recipe, only we bumped up the heat a little because these chicken breasts were massive and with the layer of butter we thought it could cook at a slightly higher temperature. We took some inspiration from this recipe from Food & Wine for the gravy and just kind of made things up as we went along. As a random side dish, I took some inspiration from my newest cookbook, Cooking in the Moment by Andrea Reusing, and tossed some cooked edamame with some shichimi togarashi for a really easy (and tasty) side.
The chicken was juicy and tasty (those were the adjectives Alex came up with to describe it). I was thinking more along the lines of savory, warm and hearty - the type of dish that you would love to eat on a cold evening. Miso has such an interesting and unique flavor that really permeates the chicken while the butter keeps the chicken very moist. The flavor profile here was very distinct from all of the other roast chicken recipes we have tried over the years, which was great. And the skin crisps up very well, which is something that both Alex and I love. If you aren't a huge fan of the flavor of miso, you can adjust the ratio of butter to miso accordingly, but since I really enjoy the flavor of white miso we kept the ratio about 50-50. I think this would make a really good recipe for a whole roast chicken. You could stuff the miso butter under the skin on the breasts and thighs and then roast until done. I might even stuff the cavity with a little more miso butter, or just some shallots and herbs.
Recipes after the jump!
Miso-Roasted Chicken with Miso Pan Gravy
2 bone-in, skin-on chicken breast halves
2 tbsp shiro miso
2 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
1 scallion, thinly sliced on the bias
1 tsp ginger, peeled and minced
3 shallots, halved, plus 1 tbsp shallot, finely minced
1 tbsp peanut oil
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Rinse chicken breasts and pat dry. Gently separate chicken skin from the breasts.
In a small bowl, mix together miso, butter, scallions, ginger and minced shallots. Carefully work the miso-butter mixture under the skin of the chicken, spreading it evenly. Season chicken with s&p. Heat a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add peanut oil. Once oil is hot, add chicken skin side-down and sear until golden brown, about 3-4 minutes. Turn the chicken over and add shallots, tossing them a few times to coat lightly in oil. Place in the oven. Roast chicken until the chicken is fully-cooked and juices run clear when pierced with a sharp knife, about 25-30 minutes.
Remove chicken breasts from the pan and place on a plate, tented with tin foil. Add remaining miso-butter mixture to the cast-iron skillet. Stir miso-butter mixture into chicken drippings until well-combined. Spoon pan gravy (including shallots) into a small bowl or gravy boat.
Serve chicken with pan gravy and bread to soak up the pan gravy.
Edamame with Shichimi Togarashi
1 package frozen, shelled edamame
Cook edamame in boiling water according to package instructions. Drain well. Season to taste with salt and shichimi togarashi.