What’s cooking today: Miso roast chicken
Brown miso is the most deeply flavoured version of this ancient Japanese fermented paste. Used sparingly, it adds striking flavour to a roast chicken.
More than just miso paste goes onto the skin of this fowl. The fermented paste (of soybeans, salt and koji, a fungus cultivated on rice) can be enhanced with other ingredients, despite its own punchy flavour.
I added brown rice vinegar, which is an excellent Asian staple worth keeping in your cupboard as it goes with many things. I also used a hint of a product I admire, Forage and Feast sweet chilli sauce. I dislike most sweet chilli sauces as they tend to taste of little more than chillies and sugar. This one has intriguing depths of flavour and adds a whack of taste to marinades or sauces. It’s available at Checkers.
Finally, a tiny dash of sesame oil went in. Sesame oil must be used with infinite restraint as more than a drop or two can make the entire dish taste only of sesame. Anything more than a teaspoon is usually too much, and less is often better.
I seasoned the bird itself with salt and black pepper but did not add any salt to the baste as it has its own inherent salting.
Share a large roast chicken with four people or serve two with leftovers to be used to make chicken mayonnaise for breakfast or a coronation chicken supper.
(Serves 4, or 2 with leftovers)
1 large chicken, cleaned, patted dry, wingtips removed
Salt and black pepper
¼ tsp cornflour mixed with a little cold water
Coriander for garnish
For the baste:
1 Tbsp miso paste
2 Tbsp brown rice vinegar
1 tsp Forage and Feast sweet chilli sauce
½ tsp sesame oil
Preheat the oven to 220℉ for at least 15 minutes to be sure it’s very hot when the chicken goes in.
Rinse the chicken and its cavity in cold water. Drain and pat dry with kitchen paper, mopping the cavity thoroughly with wads of paper.
Season the cavity and the skin with salt and black pepper.
In a small bowl or ramekin, mix together the miso paste, brown rice vinegar, sweet chilli sauce and sesame oil, stirring thoroughly for everything to combine. It will be a bit oily from the sesame oil, which is good for moistening the exterior of the bird.
Brush this all over the skin on all sides, until it is all used up.
Roast in the 220℉ oven for 90 minutes. Check for doneness by inserting a skewer to the bone in the thickest part of the breast. If the juices run clear, it’s done, if pink, give it a few minutes longer. Remove the bird to a warmed plate to rest.
Add some water to the pan juices, deglaze and reduce, to sauce the chicken on the plate. If needed, stir a little diluted cornflour into it until it thickens. Garnish with coriander. DM
Tony Jackman is Galliova Food Writer 2023, jointly with TGIFood columnist Anna Trapido.
Follow Tony Jackman on Instagram @tony_jackman_cooks.
This dish is photographed on a plate by Mervyn Gers Ceramics.