Miso Jidori Chicken Thighs are juicy, tender, and dressed in a rich, umami-packed miso sauce. These scrumptious thighs require minimal effort and make a flavorful main course or topping for ramen or a rice bowl.
We often enjoy jidori chicken thighs because they are more succulent and flavorful than regular chicken thighs. In this recipe, we simmer the jidori thighs in miso sauce until the meat is succulent and the skin is crispy. Then, we typically add the chicken to miso ramen or a hearty salad, or enjoy it with a Japanese side and rice.
The homemade miso sauce caramelizes in the pan and adds a deep, rich flavor to the chicken. It's easy to customize with honey, roasted garlic, ginger, togarashi, and more. This healthy dish is big on flavor, ready in under 30 minutes, and requires minimal effort. Add it to your weeknight dinner rotation!
About Miso Jidori Chicken Thighs
- Taste - The thighs are naturally fatty and rich and the miso sauce provides a delicious umami flavor.
- Texture - The thigh meat is extra juicy while the skin is crispy with a light crunch.
- Effort - All you need to do is make the sauce then simmer the chicken in the sauce.
- Time - It takes 5 minutes to mix the sauce and prep the chicken then 15 minutes to cook everything.
What is jidori chicken?
In Japanese, jidori means "local chicken." In Japan, only chickens that come from a specific bloodline, are free range, and follow other requirements qualify as jidori chicken. Whereas, in the U.S., jidori chicken usually refers to chickens that are free range and only fed all natural grains without hormones or steroids.
- Jidori chicken - Jidori chicken is our favorite type of chicken because it is the most flavorful and juicy.
- Miso paste - Miso paste gives the miso sauce a warm umami flavor. We like Hikari miso paste because it is high quality yet affordable.
- Sake - Sake adds savoriness to the miso sauce and allows it to become more liquid.
- Tamari or soy sauce - Soy sauce, or shoyu in Japanese, is an essential condiment in Japanese cooking that adds a rich umami flavor to the miso sauce. We use low-sodium shoyu because it is healthier without sacrificing the rich flavor.
- Mirin - Mirin is a Japanese sweet rice wine that adds umami flavor and is the base of many Japanese sauces.
- Garlic powder - Garlic powder adds the quintessential aroma to the dish.
- Cooking oil - Use a neutral cooking oil like avocado oil, grapeseed oil, or vegetable oil because they all have a high smoke point and won't burn. They also have minimal flavor so they won't change the taste of the chicken.
- Scallions - Scallions add an aromatic, refreshing flavor and a light crunch.
- Sesame seeds - Toasted sesame seeds add a mild nutty flavor.
See recipe card for quantities.
- Regular non-jidori chicken - This recipe will also be delicious with regular non-jidori chicken thighs.
- Teriyaki or unagi sauce - This chicken will be tasty with teriyaki or unagi sauce.
- Spicy - In order to make this recipe spicy, sprinkle some red chili flakes or togarashi or drizzle the chicken with hot honey sauce.
- Furikake - Furikake is Japanese seaweed seasoning commonly made of dried seaweed, sesame seeds, and salt. It will add an ocean-like flavor to the dish.
- Honey or agave syrup - Add a little honey or agave syrup to the miso sauce to make it sweeter.
- Mix sauce - Combine white miso paste, sake, and tamari or soy sauce in a mixing bowl and whisk until smooth. Set the sauce aside. (Photo 1)
- Pat dry chicken - Dry the chicken thighs dry with a paper towel. (Photo 2)
- Season chicken - Season the chicken thighs generously on both sides with kosher salt, pepper, and garlic powder. (Photo 3)
- Cook chicken - Add oil to a large skillet over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, use tongs to place the chicken skin side down. Use the tongs to gently push down on the meat so all of the skin comes into contact with the pan and cooks evenly. Cook the chicken for 5-7 minutes undisturbed until the skin turns golden. (Photo 4)
- Cook the chicken on both sides - Turn the chicken thighs over and cook for an additional 8-10 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F in the thickest part. (Photo 5)
- Simmer in sauce - Reduce the heat to low, then pour the miso sauce in the pan over the chicken, using tongs to lift the chicken and nestle it into the sauce. Be careful to not get too much of the sauce on the skin. Cook for an additional 2 minutes to reduce the sauce, baste the chicken with the sauce, then remove from heat. (Photo 6)
- Cut chicken - Transfer the chicken to a cutting board and slice into strips, if desired. (Photo 7)
- Serve - FInally, serve the chicken and drizzle with the miso sauce from the pan. Sprinkle the chicken with sesame seeds and scallions. (Photo 8)
What to Serve with Miso Jidori Chicken
This miso jidori chicken will be delicious in our homemade ramen or udon, in a donburi (rice bowl), or as part of a heartier meal with a tasty Japanese side. Some of our favorite sides with this dish are Miso Glazed Japanese Eggplant (Nasu Dengaku), Furikake and Lemon Shishito Peppers, and this Sunomono recipe.
Jidori chicken is usually available at Japanese markets, like Mitsuwa or Nijiya, or some common chain grocery stores.
Jidori chicken originated in Japan and now some U.S. chicken farmers attempt to replicate the Japanese standards.
Miso has uniquely dynamic umami flavor and is delicious on protein, veggies, and more.
Store jidori chicken in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. After 3 days, you need to freeze it. Frozen cooked chicken will last up to 3 months in the freezer. In order to reheat the chicken, microwave it or heat in a pan over low-medium heat until warm. If frozen, let the chicken thaw first before reheating it.
- Be sure to dry off the chicken with paper towels to ensure the chicken will get crispy.
- Be careful not to simmer the chicken in the sauce on too high heat or it will burn.
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Miso Jidori Chicken Thighs
- Mix sauce - Add white miso paste, sake, mirin, and soy sauce or tamari in a mixing bowl and whisk until smooth. Set aside.3 tablespoon white miso paste, 2 tablespoon sake, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, 2 tablespoon mirin
- Season chicken - Dry the chicken thighs dry with a paper towel and season generously on both sides with kosher salt, pepper, and garlic powder.2 lbs jidori chicken thighs, kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper, 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- Cook chicken - In a large skillet over medium heat, add oil. Once the oil is hot, use tongs to place the chicken skin side down. Use the tongs to gently push down on the meat so all of the skin comes into contact with the pan and cooks evenly. Cook undisturbed for 5-7 minutes until the fat renders and the skin turns golden. Then turn the chicken thighs over and cook for an additional 8-10 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F in the thickest part.1 tablespoon cooking oil
- Simmer in sauce - Reduce the heat to low, then pour the miso sauce in the pan over the chicken, using tongs to lift the chicken and nestle it into the sauce. Be careful to not get too much of the sauce on the skin. Cook for an additional 2 minutes to reduce the sauce, baste the chicken with the sauce, then remove from heat.
- Cut chicken and assemble - Place the chicken on a cutting board and slice into strips. Serve the chicken and drizzle with the miso sauce from the pan. Sprinkle the chicken with sesame seeds and scallions.sesame seeds, scallions
- Refrigerate jidori chicken in an air-tight container for up to 3 days. After 3 days, you need to freeze the chicken. Frozen cooked chicken will last up to 3 months. In order to reheat the chicken, heat it in the microwave or in the oven to 350°F until warmed. If frozen, let the chicken thaw first before reheating it.