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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Man-Pleasing Chicken — 1,965 Comments

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  3. I tried your recipe and it taste good but the glisten and blister did not happen during the cooking process. I followed your directions to the letter and my chicken thighs while cooked did not look as appetizing as your picture.

    • You could always give it a few minutes under the broiler at the end of the cook time to up the caramelization. I have never had to do that, but other commenters have been successful using that technique.

  4. Made this for dinner tonight and served it with buttermilk mashed potatoes. It was fabulous and could be the easiest meal ever. I did not change a thing!

  5. I made this dish Sunday night dinner and WOW it was GREAT.I did add a few minutes under the broiler at the end. Next time I’m going to try this with pork.

  6. I just tried this tonight and it was pretty good. To everyone in the previous comments: I used Aunt Jemima’s maple syrup and it still tasted great! I’m sure it would have tasted better if it was pure maple, but I already had the other stuff at home so why not

      • Well, that’s not very nice. I thought it was a valid question regarding using honey instead of maple syrup. Not everyone can afford to buy pure maple syrup because it’s expensive where I come from. For people on a small fixed income, buying expensive product or product you won’t use very often is just not an option.

    • Cooking is not rocket science. If you want to substitute honey, then go for it. It always amazes me that people think they have to follow a recipe to a T. Unless you are trying to substitute hot sauce for maple syrup, then you’ll be fine and get a similar result.

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  8. Making this tonight. I think I have pure maple syrup but if not then pancake syrup is what I will be using. Also looked up a substitute for the rice vinegar and it said you can use apple cider vinegar with a pinch of sugar or regular white vinegar or white wine vinegar.

  9. Made this tonight for second time. The first time I didn’t have rice wine vinegar so I used balsamic and it was okay. Tonight I used the rice wine vinegar and it was so much better. Yes, you need to use the real maple syrup. This recipe is so easy and delicious, real keeper!

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  11. I first came across this recipe two years ago, and my husband said with his mouth full of the first bite “DAMN this is good!” I make it about once a month and it’s always a huge hit. Even my two toddlers love it.

  12. This was delicious! But to answer a couple of people’s questions about substitutes. Yes, you can. I did the original sauce recipe the first time and then modified to what I say below when I cooked the second. Not a spec of difference. As far as the syrup, The end chicken did not take on much Maple flavor, it was more just there for the sweetness, so you could probably substitute except if you don’t eat processed foods. I live in Mexico and I can’t get boneless thighs. So I bought skin on and with bones and they worked just fine. I added on about 10 minutes to the cooking time. I also left the skin on and broiled it until they were crispy. Rice vinegar is extremely expensive down here so I used balsamic instead. As far as the breast versus thighs…I guess you could use them if you want the chicken to be tasteless meat with yummy sauce on top. I would not recommend it as the fat in the thighs is part of the whole finished sauce. There is no fat of any kind in the other ingredients and the fat makes the sauce the rich thing it is supposed to be. Chicken breast are all good, but there is a reason that countries like France, Spain, Italy etc.. use more legs and thighs…. for the flavor and moisture.

  13. How much fresh rosemary did you use? It doesn’t say in the recipe. Never used fresh rosemary and don’t want to put too much .

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  16. I made this for dinner tonight. It smells good, I will let you know how it taste in a few minutes.

    Taste pretty darn good!

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    • With this many comments, it’s hard to browse them all! Fortunately, I can search them, and many people have made this recipe in a crock pot. Most people liked how it turned out, but some did not. I wouldn’t recommend using a crock pot, because the high-heat from the oven allows the sauce to reduce and caramelize.

  18. Made this just this morning with a slight modification in that I used balsamic vinegar (because that’s all I had) and it is FANTASTIC. I roasted some veggies at the same time and it’s a perfect pair. Mine did caramelize just like in the pics here. I’m just sad I only bought 4 pieces of chicken instead of a bigger package.

  19. Making this just now. Okay after reading all the comments and following a lousy risotto lunch, I had to try this. But I read chicken legs instead of thighs. So off to Sainsburys to get the ingredients. I got everything except the ‘chicken legs’ I was so bent on getting it ‘right’..I even picked a few chicken thighs but eventually put them back and instead decided on buying 2 chickens in order to get off the legs. Can’t imagine how I felt after checking the recipes again and discovering that, instead I needed chicken thighs and I have loads of these things in my freezer. Feeling cheated..but any way..will see how this whole chicken plus 2 legs ( I had to cut off 2 legs from the second chicken..trying to get it ‘right’) goes. I just hope that it is as delicious as everyone says.

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  21. i love this dish! We make it at least once a month. When I’m feeling “fancy” I add a slice of bacon to each piece while they bake. Okay, maybe not fancy. Lol! Thanks for sharing such a wonderful meal!!!

  22. 40 mins at 450 for boneless chicken thighs? Yikes! Way over cooked. Flavor was great! Will try again, with less cooking time :)

  23. I made this recipe twice this week. Once for lunch when my husband came home for lunch and once for dinner the next day. He and his mother loved it . thank you for sharing this delicious recipe

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