Roast Chicken with Miso Butter

There are just five ingredients in this recipe 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.

Roast Chicken with Miso Butter


1 medium chicken, about 1.75 kg

50g unsalted butter, room temperature

25g white miso

Black pepper, a few good grinds

125ml white wine


In a small bowl, mash together the butter, pepper and miso. Loosen the skin on the chicken: I’ve found the easiest way to do this without tearing it is to insert a dessert spoon, rounded side up, under the skin from the neck end and gently move it around.

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. Put a dollop inside the bird and 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 and cooking for about another 40 minutes, basting with the pan juices every 20 minutes or so. Top up with a splash of water if they’re drying out.

When the chicken is golden brown and the juices run clear when you pierce the thickest part of the thigh with a knife, move the chicken to a plate and let it rest for 10-15 minutes somewhere warm.

Taste the pan juices, adjust the seasoning if necessary and re-heat on the hob. Carve the chicken, pile onto a plate and pour the juices over the top.

7 thoughts on “Roast Chicken with Miso Butter

  1. Have used miso, oft in the form of miso soup or dressing, for decades – have I ever married it with chicken . . . no, methinks ! Usually use the mixed brownish type, ‘awase’ if I remember correctly ! Don’t often prepare a whole chicken but the idea would travel well to chicken pieces, I am certain !

  2. miso is very trendy at the moment, isn’t it? and no wonder – tasty and good for you. years ago when i was living in a student house, we always had some in the fridge for all those vego meals we ate.

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