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 — 2,029 Comments

  1. Hi! I made this chicken tonight after looking in Pinterest for easy chicken thigh recipes. Wow! Awesome. Thank you when I was scrolling around I found a post on another website that looked really similar, and when I read it, it sounded like the author really plagiarized from your post here (even quoting your husband’s cute name for the recipe without citation). I didn’t quite know what to do so I thought I would leave it here and let you decide if a friendly reminder on blog posting etiquette was in order. And hey, maybe she already asked for permission and just forgot to cite! Anyhow, thanks again, it really was delicious.

  2. Hi there! This looks delicious and I’m in the process of making it now.. but have to ask if it’s plain or seasoned rice vinegar? Thanks for your help I hope someone sees this soon but otherwise I’ll just try the red wine rice vinegar! (I have all three and have never used them! lol!) R

    • I would suggest white rice as a starch and broccoli as your veggie with this dish. Green beans would also pair nicely, if you don’t care for broccoli.

  3. I made this dish today and my boys loved it!! They are picky eaters and they couldn’t get enough! Thank-you for sharing the recipe!

  4. oh I’m confused. This recipe shows up a lot on Pinterest with two versions…one with 1/4 cup mustard to 1/2 cup maple syrup and the other opposite with 1/2 cup mustard to 1/4 syrup. What to do now that I’ve mixed the first version? What would happen with equal ratios?

    • I’ve used equal ratios before when I haven’t had the right amount of one or the other on hand, still delicious! You shouldn’t notice too much of a difference in my opinion. Even when I have enough, I usually eyeball it anyway (I make this a lot, it’s so good)

  5. I make this recipe ALL THE TIME. My father and fiancee always ask when we are going to have “anna’s special chicken”… I had to break it to them that this is not my own recipe! Sometimes I add a little basil (i grow ungodly amounts of it) and a little garlic (because, well.. I love garlic) but usually I just make it as-is! Thank you!

    • I’m not professional, but I’m gonna say yes! I’ve made this recipe a zillion times and have grilled it on the BBQ several times. Still delicious, and when the maple syrup mixture carmelizes on the grill its crazy good!

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  7. I’m not familiar with the flavors of dijon mustard and rice vinegar. Overall, what does the chicken taste like? Spicy? Sweet? It looks delicious.

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  9. Holy shiznit this is some good chicken. Hubby went back for seconds. He rarely goes back for seconds when I cook so thank you for this recipe. I didn’t have any maple syrup so I used brown sugar equivalent and used bone in with skin thighs. I will definitely be making this again.

  10. Hi.I have a couple of questions:

    1. Can apple cider vinegar be used instead of rice wine?
    2. Can chicken breast be used in place of thighs, if so, what is the cook time?


  11. My chickens in the oven-20 minutes more to go and it smells
    Fantastic!! I’ve got rice and green beans to go with.
    Thanks so much for this great EASY recipe!!!

  12. I made this dish…..absolutely scrumptious!! Tx so much for sharing this with us. My husband happily moaned & groaned thru the meal in ecstacy. This definitely a keeper. He’s already asking me to make again real soon. By the way, I followed the recipe exactly. You don’t need to tweak this one; delicious as is. This recipe website has MANY outstanding recipes. Again, tx so much.

  13. I mean no disrespect as I’m know many love this dish, and I appreciate all the recipes people share and I’ve enjoyed! However, my husband and I do not really care for mustard, but I tried this recipe anyway since I kept seeing it pop up and there were several comments I read said that the dish doesn’t taste like mustard…. and that is absolutely not true. So if you do not like mustard, do not make this dish!

  14. I made this tonight for my wife and daughter. My 7-year old helped me with the marinade and did a great job flipping the thighs and “slathering” the sauce all around. Paired it with small red potatoes sprinkled with rosemary and margarine. Added some corn and it was a hit! Chicken fell apart.

  15. I just made this recipe and didn’t have maple syrup. So I used pancake syrup and brownsugar. I also added some hoisen sauce. OMG, this recipe was amazing. I think next time I will add a tad bit of heat to the dish. I paired it with scalloped potato and stuffing and my husband was very very pleaaed. Although I used bone in thigh which I had to cook a tad bit longer but it was still yummy. I want to try the original dish next time. Thanks so much.

  16. I make this pretty often. It’s become a staple recipe in our house. I use chicken breasts most of the time, and it seems to work just fine. I usually double the recipe and have chicken left over for chopping and eating with salads for the rest for the week. It tastes great on a spinach salad, with strawberries or dried cranberries.

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