Man-Pleasing Chicken

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!

Man-Pleasing Chicken

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

Man-Pleasing Chicken

Put 1.5 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken thighs into a foil-lined or disposable oven-proof, 8×8 inch baking dish. Six thighs 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. 

Man-Pleasing Chicken

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 the 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, whisk the sauce that remains in the baking dish, and then spoon the 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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Comments

Man-Pleasing Chicken — 1,905 Comments

  1. I was very skeptical when making this. I have very picky eaters and have tortured them in the past with other recipes. This was fantastic! Everyone of them loved it. You couldn’t taste the mustard. In fact they were very surprised to find there was mustard in it. I made 12 pieces for my family and there wasn’t one left. Thank you so much. I have been asked to make this again.

    • I like having one refreshing side dish, like a steamed veggie, and one side dish that can soak up any extra sauce, like a grain or mashed potato.

      • This dish has become one of our favorite chicken dishes. I actually prefer my side dishes of mash red potatoes with chives and roasted garlic and roasted asparagus. It is so wonderful to use my rosemary and chives out of my garden. Delicious !!

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  5. I decided I should leave a comment while I’m cooking this recipe for at least the 20th time. This is one of our favourites, and it’s very versatile. Our favourite version is with bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (the skin gets delightfully crispy and so flavourful), but I’ve also used boneless skinless thighs and breasts and it turned out great. Another variation I’ve tried is pork loin chops with a peeled, sliced apple. The 3-ingredient sauce is so delicious, and so easy. Sometimes I use balsamic vinegar instead of rice wine vinegar, and sometimes I add an extra glug of maple syrup, and sometimes a sprinkle of thyme with the rosemary; it ends up being delicious every time. Thanks for sharing this recipe.

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  8. I’m sorry if this was asked but would you change time/temp if making with fish…say tilapia? Thanks! Can’t wait to try this!

    • I would not make this recipe using fish. The sauce requires a long exposure to high heat in order to achieve the desired flavor. When I’ve tried adjusting temperature or time, it just hasn’t tasted the same. Your fish will overcook. Try my recipe for cornmeal crusted tilapia instead.

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  10. It looks like you left the fat on the thighs. Is this intentional and does it lend to the flavor of the chicken? Also, is it ok to use white wine vinegar?

    • I do leave the fat on. It mostly renders down and gets emulsified into the sauce, making the sauce somewhat richer. You could trim the fat off at the start if you prefer. Other commenters have reported success using white wine vinegar, but I haven’t tried it.

  11. Have all the ingredients except thighs but have 5 bone in chicken breasts. How much would you adjust the time for these? Thanks!

    • I am hesitant to suggest a reduction because the sauce needs the full cooking time to caramelize and cut through the spiciness of the mustard. The few times that I’ve tried cooking for less time haven’t been as delicious. I’d hope that the bones would help keep the chicken breasts moist and slow the cooking time, so I’d let them go for as long as you feel comfortable. Let us know how it turns out!

  12. I made this last night, and it was amazing! I live internationally and don’t have access to maple syrup, so I used honey instead. Delicious!! We just had the leftover chicken sautéed with potatoes, whipped up a little more sauce and chopped some green onions and threw that in at the end and it was as good as the first time around! Thanks for a great new recipe!

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    • I’m glad you’re enjoying the recipe! Look at the nutritional information on the ingredients you use, add everything together, and divide by the number of servings you have.

  15. Hi, I was wanting to try this with chicken breasts instead of thighs, but I’m worried about them getting overcooked at that time and temperature. Instead of reading through all 2000 comments, I thought I’d ask if anyone has tried cooking the sauce for a little while before cooking the whole thing? Or will the boneless chicken breasts turn out okay? Can’t wait to try this!

    • You could remove the skin and the bones. Once the skin is off, feel around for the bone. Use the tip of your knife to slice down to it, and pull it out, cutting around the bone as necessary to free it. Save the bones in your freezer for stock.

  16. I made this tonight and wanted to leave the comment that my man was not too pleased by this. Apparently he is not a fan of chicken thighs, but I hadn’t known that. We got bone-in, skin on thighs, but I tore the skin off of most of them. I left it on one, but we didn’t try that one yet..I have it packed for lunch tomorrow. I did forget to baste halfway through the cooking process, but the meat was still plenty juicy. I just don’t think we’ll have it again.

    • above it said that the skin crisps if you leave it on and also others have used chicken breasts and even pork in place of thighs

    • I was excited to try this recipe also, after reading all the raves about it. My husband and I did not like it, and we are not picky eaters. As a matter of fact, because I didn’t want to waste the remaining chicken thighs, I rinsed off all the sauce and used the cooked thighs in a different recipe, using a lot of fajita seasoning. Even doing that, the flavor of the Dijon/rice vinegar/etc still came thru a little bit. I won’t make this recipe again.

  17. Made this tonight with boneless skinless thighs. The house smelled OUT- standing. The dish itself was the best! So delicious & tender. Can see why you suggested using a throw away pan. Cleaning my glass dish gave me an after dinner work out:) definitely a keeper, thank you.

    • So glad you enjoyed it! I’ve found that the burnt on sauce starts to flake off on its own…eventually. I always line with foil now.

  18. , this sounds yummy! i would like to make for sup tonite, but do not have dijon mustard, just the regular stuff. would it be all right to go ahead and just use regular mustard instead? thanks in advance for replying :)

  19. I have white wine vinegar… will that alter the flavor too much or do you suggest I buy the rice wine vin? I’ve made this before using rwv and it was awesome but wwv is all i have on hand. Thank you!

    • Other commenters have reported success using white wine vinegar, but I haven’t tried it. Because you’re familiar with the recipe, let us know if there is a difference!

  20. Quick, easy, and tasted great. Hubby loved it, and my 7 year old daughter who is EXTREMELY picky really liked it too :) Thanks for posting this recipe.

  21. This recipe was so simple to make and tastes amazing! My husband was mad that I didn’t make more for leftovers because it was so good. I will be making again very soon!

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    • Assuming that you also double the size of the pan, probably not. But you could always give it a few extra minutes at the end if you think it needs more time.

  23. I made this last night with the addition of…BACON. This was a really good recipe, loads of flavor! My man was definitely pleased by this chicken, so I’ll be making this again!

  24. Hey Miss Witty and everyone else! If you are skeptical about this chicken, OH MY GOD TRY IT! My husband said it was his FAVORITE chicken dish so far. Better than his moms. Huge compliment =)
    I have added it to my “Dinner rotation” Pinterest board. I make a side dish and a main dish once or twice a week from that board. This is a dish I will be making quite often, a staple in our home!

    P.S. – I added red pepper flakes (since we had leftover from superbowl pizza!) and subbed for WHITE vinegar, turned out Uh-Maze-Ing.

    ~Kat

  25. I made this tonight for dinner, along with Pioneer Woman” mashed potatoes, and green beans. I lined my dish with foil as suggested,and am glad I did. Also used white vinegar since I was out of rice vinegar. I used 5 bone-in chicken thighs since that’s what would fit in my dish. I took the skin off, but left most of the fatty pieces for flavor. The chicken tasted great, and came out very tender. I was worried it would be bland since I didn’t let the chicken soak in the sauce, but it was very flavorful. My husband and I both though the taste was reminiscent of honey-mustard pretzel’s. :-) I will definitely make this again. It was quick, easy, and budget friendly. Thanks for sharing this recipe!

  26. Realized I what I thought was maple syrup was molasses, so I used honey, and what I thought was rice wine vinegar was rice wine, so I used a combo of the rice wine and white vinegar. The sauce is delicious…can’t wait for the end result!

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  29. The sauce alone smells wonderful. I’ve already put the dish together for later this evening. Instead of running the oven at 400F for that long I’m intend to start it in my crock pot and finish in the oven for 20 minutes while my biscuits cook. Wish me luck.

    • Yes, you’ll find there is plenty of sauce for 6 thighs. It’s not supposed to drown in it, but you’ll see there is enough to cook and then spoon over while plating.

  30. I made this for my family tonight. It was DELICIOUS. However, I made a few edits. I cut all the fat off the boneless skinless thighs. I didn’t use any salt- instead I seasoned with herbs and spices. Next, I used more sauce. The first round, I dipped the thighs in the mixture and had a very decent amount of the mixture all around the chicken in the dish. For the second round of sauce (halfway through baking), I used the same recipe with honey added and less dijon. I also added whole pieces of fresh rosemary to the dish 3/4 of the way through for flavoring and it worked wonderfully.

    My suggestion is to start with picking out a dijon that you really like the taste of (they aren’t all created equal lol). It really makes or breaks the sauce.

    I added baked sweet potato wedges and blanched veggies as the sides. Family loved it. Thanks!

  31. I made this, but added crumbled bacon to it! Oh my gosh, this lives up to the name of “Man pleasing chicken”! My man loved it and bragged about it LOL The bacon just sort of took it up a notch or five and added another layer of flavor. It was tender and easy to make, thanks for sharing this recipe!!

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