Man-Pleasing Chicken

I have never gotten so many compliments before, let alone for a piece of chicken. David suggested calling this chicken, “So Good it Can’t Be Described, Explosion on Your Taste Buds Chicken.” Exactly. I have never encountered a dish that is so basic and simple to put together yet creates such a big pay off. This chicken, quite simply, is one of the most savory things I’ve ever eaten. If you are the busiest person on the planet and don’t have much cooking experience, but you have to prepare a meal to woo the love of your life, cook this chicken!

To make this chicken, which you should absolutely do immediately, preheat your oven to 450ºF. Then, mix together 1/2 cup of dijon mustard, 1/4 cup of maple syrup, and 1 tablespoon of rice/rice wine vinegar. 


Put a 1.5 pound package of chicken thighs into a foil-lined, oven-proof baking dish. I used boneless, skinless thighs. Six came in my package, which made enough to serve 3 people. Then, salt and pepper the thighs. Pour your maple mustard mixture over them, turning the thighs in the mixture so they are fully coated. 


Put the chicken thighs into the oven, and let them bake for 40 minutes or until a meat thermometer reads 165ºF. Baste the tops of the chicken with more sauce half way through. I find that a meat thermometer is essential in cooking because it allows me to check for doneness without cutting into the meat and losing its precious juices. Let the chicken rest for 5 minutes before serving. Plate the chicken, making sure to spoon some extra sauce over the top. Sprinkle over some fresh rosemary. If there is ever a time to use fresh herbs, THIS IS IT! The flavors are just so good together. Enjoy the savory goodness of this meal!

I adapted this recipe from “The I <3 Trader Joe’s Cookbook” by Cherie Mercer Twohy. Thanks, Jenna!

Shopping list:

  • Chicken thighs- 1 package
  • Dijon mustard- 1/2 cup
  • Maple syrup- 1/4 cup
  • Rice/rice wine vinegar- 1 tablespoon
  • Fresh rosemary
  • Salt and pepper
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Man-Pleasing Chicken — 1,819 Comments

  1. Pingback: Dijon Maple Chicken | My Favorite Tablespoon

  2. I’m very impressed. I had two very skeptical men eat this chicken for dinner. The both agreed it was delicious and not mustard-y. Well done.

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  6. Pingback: Man Pleasing Chicken | bronco46526

  7. Pingback: What Is This “Man-Pleasing Chicken”? | Jeni Eats

  8. Just made this in a Dutch oven. I did leave chicken marinating an hour first while I started a fire, then put on 45 minutes at probably 350, before loading the top lid with six more charcoal for the last ten minutes. crisped up nicely. Added quinoa cooked on side to pan with fresh rosemary and some morels we found -hid the melted fat from the chicken skin. Threw in corn and pea leftovers for extenders but wouldn’t do that at home. Excellent – thank you. Also used the sirocco to “man it up” but the ladies didn’t mind. Course there is a rule in the west about critizing the cook.

  9. This was so easy and delicious! Followed the directions exactly except for the fresh rosemary. I had about 1.75 lbs of chicken thighs and there was a bit too much sauce so next time I’ll just cook more :)

  10. Pingback: Tried & Tasty: Man-pleasing Chicken!

  11. Pingback: maple mustard [life-changing, mind-blowing, man-pleasing] chicken | anna's bananas

    • At the supermarket, usually stocked with either the vinegars or the Asian ingredients. It can also be called “rice vinegar.”

  12. Making it again for dinner tonight! Haven’t made it in a year, but it’s the best quick chicken recipe I’ve ever made! And the men love it!

  13. I have been looking for a recipe with chicken and mustard to use up mustard I have in the frig – it looks like I’ve found a winner! Thanks in advance for what looks like a delicious addition to my kitchen rotation – and I have all the ingredients on hand already! I will post again after I try this recipe . . .

    • In my opinion–absolutely! Either rice vinegar or some other tasty “gourmet” vinegar, totally makes the dish.

    • I haven’t tried the recipe without the vinegar to see if it’s truly necessary, but the tartness of the vinegar likely balances the sweetness of the maple syrup. Other commenters have had success using other vinegars, like white wine vinegar, but I haven’t tested those replacements either.

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  17. Making these tonight, cannot wait, it looks delish! Making two alterations because it’s what I have on hand…spicy brown mustard and white wine vinegar.

  18. Pingback: Easy Herby Lemony Honey Mustard Chicken Thighs | Sugar & Salt

  19. Do you think this could be made ahead and possibly frozen somehow? Would love opinions and ideas on this. Thanks! Made it once with skin-on chicken legs, and it was good, but I think skinless is probably the way to go. More flavor.

  20. This was awesome! Baked potatoes at the same time and served with slice portabellos sauted in olive oil and garlic. Thanks for the great recipe!

    • This question has been raised frequently by other commenters, and feedback has been mixed. Some say yes, others say no. I have only made this recipe with pure maple syrup.

  21. Pingback: Sticky Sweet Chicken Thighs | The Hungry Paramedic

  22. Pingback: Man-Pleasing Chicken | My Piece of Happy

    • Commenter Rebecca on 2/3/13 reported success with pork loin. I have never tried it, but I recommend that you proceed only if the loin would cook well at this temperature and time. In my experience, reducing either prevents the sauce from adequately mellowing and caramelizing.

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  24. I finally made this chicken after seeing it and pinning it over and over again on Pinterest – it was AWESOME! So darn good! I shared my review and have a link for my readers to head over here to snag the recipe. Thanks for a wonderful chicken dish – I’ll be making this again and again! Cheers!

  25. I’ve made this several times. The only thing I do differently is use balsamic vinegar because I always have that on hand. It’s very tasty! Someone asked about freezing it after cooking it. It freezes well. I cook for two so we always have leftovers and I have frozen it with great success.

  26. So I am pretty sure I will not be able to find boneless, skinless chicken… Would the best alternative be to use chicken breast? Normal chicken thighs with skin and bone, or maybe removing the skin (kinda seem like blasfemy

    • The best alternative would be to remove the skin and bones from your chicken thighs. Leaving the skin on will create too much fat in the sauce. Cutting out the bone creates more surface area for the sauce to adhere to and also helps the thighs cook evenly. Chicken breasts will not survive the relatively long bake time as well as the thighs will.

  27. Any suggestions or tips on how to thicken the sauce or brown the chicken? These are the only problems I’ve encountered with this recipe, otherwise it’s delicious! I’d love some suggestions :)

    • If you’re having trouble with browning and thickening, check your oven’s temperature and don’t overcrowd the baking dish. Also, I recently had this problem for the first time ever in my new apartment’s electric oven– it seems to create too much steam, so I have to crack open the oven door occasionally to let the moisture escape. Once I did that, the chicken turned out as it should. It’s the worst oven I’ve ever had.

  28. Making tonight can hardly wait. Doubled up on the recipe for using with Chicken breasts with ribs. Based on the weather and the Broncos game will decide if Bar-B-Q or baking.

  29. I made this for dinner tonight and oh-my-word was it ever delicious! I did not have enough ‘regula’ Dijon mustard so substituted a whole grain Dijon I had on hand. My husband said it was the best Pinterest recipe I ever made. Oh, and I used chicken breasts because it was what I had in the freezer. Thanks for posting.

  30. Made this tonight and I got the approval from my husband to put this recipe in the rotation! Very good, fresh rosemary definitely made a difference! Served it with green beans and loaded mashed potatoes.

  31. Pingback: Cook: Maple Mustard Chicken | HappilyEverCrafter

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  33. Tonight is the second night my boyfriend and I are making this chicken for dinner! We are OBSESSED with the mustard and syrup flavors! Thank you so much!

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