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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1,748 Responses to Man-Pleasing Chicken

  1. Karrie says:

    Making this right now, adding a tbsp of apricot jam for a bit more sweet. I made this a couple months or so ago and it was a hit. I dont even like mustard lol. Neither does my daughter but we gobbled this up. Cooking with dijon is much diff than eating it on a sandwich lol. It’s cold again today so baked potatoes for a side.

    • vicki says:

      I made this tinight for the first time., instead of using thighs I used breasts. It came out moist but there wasnt as much sauce. I plated it with couscous and asparagus and mushrooms. Delicious

  2. Diane Balch says:

    I just wanted you to know that I included your recipe in a roundup on my site today of transition into Spring dishes.

  3. Susan says:

    I have seen this recipe around and kind of thought – ew mustard. But I went ahead and made the leap and it was VERY good. My husband took one bite and said “you’re making this again.” And it’s so easy and inexpensive to make! Thank you!

  4. Mary Ann says:

    Loved this recipe….easy and yummy, except mine did not brown up like the picture. I follow recipe, wonder why it didn’t get crispy looking???

  5. Racheal says:

    Made this last night for dinner. I completely forgot about the fresh rosemary, so I used dried and it was still wonderful! Thanks!

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  7. Momy34 says:

    My kids and husband loved it! This is not a recipe that needs any tweaking. Will be making again and again.

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  9. Dar says:

    Do you bake it uncovered? It looks like it since the chicken is nicely browned on top. It looks very yummy, and I am going to try it.

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  13. Mila says:

    Can I use red wine vinegar instead of rice one? I don’t want to go to store haha

  14. Christi says:

    Found this recipe a few weeks ago; making it for the 3rd time!!! Love this flavorful and easy dish. I added a wee bit of siracha sauce to the original recipe.
    I served with roasted root veggies. Yum!
    Thanks for sharing!

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  19. Niccole says:

    OMG!!!! This was so delicious!!!! My husband couldn’t believe how yummy it was!

  20. sandy wise says:

    We’re in heaven!

  21. MiSsV says:

    I’m making this right now and so far it smells amazing!!!

    • Nicole says:

      I used pure maple syrup, this is the only time I use that instead of the pancake syrupy fake maple stuff, I wouldn’t recomend subbing, but that’s just me…

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  24. nicole says:

    so a question at my bridal shower was “what is the best meal according to your fiance that you’ve made?” and his answer was “men’s chicken”!!! I called this man pleasing chicken but he couldn’t remember the exact name, I was so confused until I eventually figured out what he meant!! HAHAHAHAHAHA!

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  29. Bev says:

    Tonight is the third time I am this delicious meal. It doubles easily, a necessity in this house!
    Due to sodium restrictions I add no salt, only pepper, to the thighs. So far I’ve used dried rosemary rather than fresh. With these changes, it is a recipe that nicely meets the family’s dietary needs, yet manages to exceed our taste buds’ hopes! It will be served with baked potatoes and broiled asparagus tonight.
    Thank you for sharing your version of Dijon-maple chicken thighs!

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  31. TJ says:

    Has anyone tried this using sugar free syrup?

  32. Andrea says:

    My husband and his friend are not mustard fans, but they loved this recipe! Used chicken thighs with bone in and no tweaking of the ingredients. Very easy to make, definitely a keeper!

  33. Jill Edgren says:

    Wondering if anyone has tried this on the BBQ, think it would still be as good?

  34. Maria W says:

    This was so insanely good! So easy to make but sin incredibly tasty! Will absolutely become staple food at our home!

    Replaced about about half of the mustard to a wholegrain one and it really gave it an extra punch thanks to the added texture it gave the sauce. =)

  35. Judith says:

    This is just awful. What are you people thinking!

    • Anonymous says:

      I’m making this tonight for dinner after all the rave reviews. I’m wondering if you didn’t use pure maple syrup, and that’s why you said its awful??????

      • Kim says:

        Do you have anything constructive to say, Judith? Do you just normally go around slamming food bloggers? Or maybe you’re a crappy cook?

  36. Perfect! I was planning on making chicken thighs tonight! This looks simple… and delish! Thanks :)

  37. Dawn says:

    My sauce is so runny! The first time I made it, the sauce was nice and thick, now it’s pretty much like water. Any ideas?

  38. Cara says:

    It was sure MAN PLEASING! My husband really enjoyed it! ;-)

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  40. Cari says:

    Making this for dinner tonight. I have it all ready to go in the oven after my daughter’s softball game! This is a recipe my whole family makes. We made it a few years ago for my Mom’s birthday. Everyone loved it!

  41. PJ says:

    Is it necessary to line the baking dish with foil?

    • Emily says:

      It’s not necessary, but advisable. I forgot once and had to soak and scrub and scrub to get all of the hard stuff off the pan.

      • PJ says:

        Thanks Emily. Some people said there was not enough sauce after the cooking process. What do you think about doubling the recipe for the sauce, but keeping the amount of chicken the same?

        • Emily says:

          I’ve never had any problem with enough sauce… I would say to try it as written the first time, then adjust next time if needed. Because there will likely be a next time! And a next time and… :)

  42. Ann says:

    This was so good! I added more syrup than the recipe called for, I added some crushed garlic and I used dried rosemary and put it in the syrup mixture. I will definitely be cooking this again!

  43. Juliette Exupery says:

    Has anyone thought about marinating the chicken in the sauce for an hour or so before baking? I’m going to try it.

  44. Veronique says:

    I LOVE this recipe ! I am making this right again for a dinner with the in-laws. First time hosting for them, I am a bit nervous, but I am sure this recipe will be a hit !
    Quick question though… How do you clean your dish after?? I have tried but there still remain a lot of black burnt bits, even after a good 30 minutes of cleaning.

  45. Laura says:

    Would you tell me how many servings this yields? One package of thighs is a little vague :(

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