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 — 2,420 Comments

  1. I love this! Made it last week—I added about three cloves of garlic, minced… everything’s better with garlic! Lol. It was AMAZING! GIve it a try 🙂

    • I have made a version of this for years. Yes, you can make it with breasts but it is just not as good (unless you use skin on boneless), and we don’t usually eat dark meat. It MUST be skin on and there is no reason to sear first–the skin should be above the liquid and it gets dark and crusty at 425* for one hour cooking with no basting. I add a tbs of curry powder.
      The thighs should fit very tightly in whatever pan you use. Put them in and pour sauce over the top and sort of move chicken around to get into the meat.

    • I made it tonight with boneless, skinless chicken breasts that I pounded to 1/2 inch thick. 20 minutes was plenty of time, and I put them under the broiler for the last 5 minutes to get a prettier color—certainly didn’t look like the picture with the original recipe, but not unappealing.

    • I haven’t beena dark meat fan, but my hubby is. This dish is delicious. It’s become a go-to recipe. In fact, I’m making it now, which is how I saw your comment. Give it a try, just don’t tell them it’s dark meat.

  2. Oh man! Tried this for hubs today and it was amazing!!!!! I kept the skin on but pan seared the chicken before putting them into the oven to crisp them up!!! So yummilicous and definitely a keeper! Thank you so much for sharing!!!!!!!!

  3. I’ve made this several times now. My husband and I both love it. Make sure to line your pan with foil or your pan will burn.

  4. Made this last night — very good flavor, but sauce was way too thin. I thought it would be thicker and maybe a bit sticky? I used thighs with the bone and skin on, as any chicken has more flavor when cooked with the bone. Removed skin when eating, mainly because it was soft and soggy. Any suggestions on thickening up the sauce?

    • If you pan sear the chicken before baking it,
      that will crisp the skin and and you won’t have
      Soggy skin. As for thickening sauce, maybe try
      adding a little cornstarch to it? I have no idea if
      that will work, but it’s worth a shot.

      • cornstarch will do a fantastic job, however you should add it towards the end: follow the recipe as above, then place chicken pieces on a plate and keep warm. Pour the sauce in a saucepan. Place a teaspoon of cornstarch in a cup and add a enough water to form a runny paste. pour paste in sauce and cook till bubbling gently while stirring continuously with a wooden spoon. Add more cornflour/starch according to the thickness you desire.

    • Your chicken probably released more water than boneless skinless thighs. Remove the chicken from the pan, and return the pan of sauce to the oven for a few minutes to reduce/thicken.

  5. I did use frozen boneless/skinless chicken breast bc thats what I had on hand and my picky beef eater hubby still loved it. I kept all the other ingredients the same!

  6. I come back to this recipe again and again, and my men love it! Since I don’t keep maple syrup in my pantry, I use honey. Dijon and chicken are always wonderful together. The rice wine and honey really make it special!

  7. Sadly my family didn’t like this recipe. For me it was ok. The mustard was quite strong. Maybe we just have different taste buds because the reviews is what made me cook this dish.

    • You have to really love all types of mustard to love this dish. Try substituting honey for the maple syrup. 🙂

    • I serve this dish with rice pilaf and green beans, or with a broccoli rice casserole, or with a medley of roasted potatoes, carrots and onions. And there’s always warm homemade bread on the table! (Hope these suggestions help!) 🙂

  8. How can I incorporate bacon into this recipe? That would add to the “man pleasing” element for my husband.


  9. This is now one of my go-to recipes! I use sugar-free pancake syrup instead of the sugary version with no loss of taste IMO. Thanks so much for posting it!

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  11. Thank you …. No idea what to prepare for dinner in Oz…. Loved this dish …an nice Aussie Sav Blanc to go with it…..

  12. Super yummy recipe!! so simple and yet packed with flavor. I kept my oven down to 400 degree’s but then it tends to run higher. Perfect dish =)

  13. I like this one and I will add that with a little sprinkle of chopped bacon gives it a fuller kick. I don’t do it all the time, but it’s yummy.

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  15. I reviewed this recipe for the first time in May of 2013 and we’ve enjoyed this meal at least once per month (if not more) since then. It is just so good and easy! I double the sauce as we like it spooned over Jasmine rice that I serve with it. I’ve made the recipe tripled for guests and everyone enjoyed it and took leftovers home. I have sometimes changed the recipe – using red wine vinegar or champagne vinegar and fresh tarragon instead of rosemary when it’s what I have on hand. This recipe is versatile and so good as written. I’ve also used a light sprinkle of Montreal Steak Seasoning instead of just salt & pepper and it was good, as well. Broccoli and Brussel Sprouts make a nice side dish in colder weather and a garden salad in the warmer months is lovely. Oh! Since mustard can be too strong of a flavor for kids I have added 1/4 cup of orange marmalade to the recipe and reduced the mustard just a bit and cooked it in a separate pan. A friends 5 year old son was licking his fingers after eating the chicken and rice. Highly recommended.

    Orignal Review:
    Ann on May 28, 2013 at 9:17 pm said:
    I made this for the first time this evening and both my husband and I really liked it. I used generic brands for the Dijon mustard, pure maple syrup (not breakfast/pancake syrup) without issue. I also substituted with red wine vinegar and dried rosemary since I already had those on hand. I followed the cooking directions – foil lined 8″x8″ pan, 40 minutes at 450 degrees and it turned out great! I did give it a minute under the broiler to crisp up the edges a bit only because I had completely covered the thighs in sauce. The chicken was not at all overdone and had a very good flavor to it. My husband can be a bit picky but he really enjoyed this meal. The mustard flavor was pronounced but not overwhelming. I might reduce the amount of Dijon next time when I make it for my nieces and nephews and thicken the sauce a bit once the chicken is cooked. I served it with jasmine rice (with extra sauce spooned over the rice) and broccoli. I will make this again. Thanks for a great recipe!

  16. Hi! Im so super excited to try this dish. First and foremost to haters of the title, I literally typed these words into google. I love the title!

    I went and got all the ingredients and came back realizing I got rice vinegar. I dont remember seeing a rice wine vinegar. Is that essentially the same thing?

    Also, Im a rice girl but for a change, Im thinking to pair this with pasta. Anyone try that?

    Thank you for the recipe. I will post my results.

  17. My entire family was licking their fingers (6 & 10 years olds too)! I think apple cider vinegar would be delicious too. And, in regards to the title-makes people I’ve told about it, laugh hysterically, and then say they would look it up and give it a try.

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  19. We tried this tonight. Hubby and kids didn’t like. I thought it was good. Not amazing, but good. I used pure maple syrup which is funnier than artificial. It’s not as strong flavoured either. I’m wondering if that’s the difference with the the other commenters who said runny and strong mustard taste. ‍♀️ I’d make it again for me.

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  21. I got a similar recipe from Pinterest several years ago & make it all the time. We love it.

    The recipe calls for the same marinade as this recipe but uses boneless, skinless chicken breasts. My family doesn’t like dark meat either. Oven temp is 425 with 30-40 minutes cooking time.

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  23. Made this today and my man was indeed pleased!
    I’m typically not a fan of honey mustard, but I enjoyed this dish. It did have a bit of a butter after taste but I suspect it was the fancy mustard I used. I will try this recipe again with a different mustard.
    Thanks for sharing!

    • Try using ‘Annie’s Horseradish Mustard’. We like the flavor better (no after taste). And we use honey instead of maple syrup.

      • ops I meant bitter, not butter.
        Thanks for the tip! I will try it with Annie’s horseradish mustard, it sounds delicious.

    • Used bone-on half chicken, cut and de-skinned. Very good, didn’t have quite enough mustard which I think it needed. We really enjoyed this recipe. Will definitely be making again!

  24. Boneless thighs?? I never have much luck with the time I trim the fat there’s nothing left. Can you use boneless skinless chicken breast?

  25. Have you tried this in the instant pot? I would love to see this adapted for a pressure cooker. It is always a hit when I make it but would love to make it quick when I am time crunched

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