There are just six ingredients in this recipe for miso roast chicken and you can cook it standing on your head (yoga students only) but the finished dish has savoury depth and burnishes beautifully.
Miso, both red and white, is readily available in UK supermarkets. It’s a fermented soya bean paste which gives a fabulous umami flavour. Putting the miso butter under the skin of the chicken means those flavours better penetrate the bird. It is salty, though, so don’t add further salt during the cooking process.
Miso butter is also good melted on steaks, fish or vegetables, especially broccoli. Purple sprouting is in season now. Just saying.
You can give this compound butter an extra Asian twist by adding fresh grated ginger, but here I wanted something that was simply savoury.
Roast Chicken with Miso Butter
1 medium chicken, about 1.75 kg
50g unsalted butter, room temperature
25g white miso
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
Black pepper, a few good grinds
125ml white wine
In a small bowl, mash together the butter, garlic, pepper and miso. Loosen the skin on the chicken, trying not to tear it. Loosen the trussing so you can get at the top of the thighs, too.
Push most of the butter under the skin, using a food-safe glove if you prefer, and massage it so there’s a good layer (no pun intended) across the breasts and top of the legs. Smear any leftover miso butter on the outside.
Heat the oven to 220C/200 fan/400F/Gas Mark 7.
Place in a roasting tin and add the white wine. Roast the chicken for 15 minutes, before turning the temperature down to 190C/170C fan/375F/Gas Mark 5. Cook for a further 40-50 minutes, basting with the pan juices every 20 minutes, and adding a splash of water if they’re drying out. The bird should be burnished and brown and the juices should run clear when you pierce the thickest part of the thigh with a knife.
When the chicken is done, remove it to a warmed plate and rest for 15-20 minutes. Skim most of the fat from the pan, add a splash more wine, chicken stock or water and scrape up the good browned bits. Check the seasoning, pour through a sieve into a small pan and reheat if necessary. Serve on the side or joint the chicken, arrange on a serving dish and pour over the jus.