Miso-Orange Pepper Roasted Chicken

This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

This is everything roasted chicken should be: moist, deeply flavorful meat with crisp, citrus-savory skin. You can get great results without brining the chicken first if you use a quality chicken, but it’s the brining that makes it so moist. Allow one to six hours to brine the chicken. Try it with an unwooded Chardonnay from Australia, along with a bowl of roasted potatoes and a salad.

NotesTo separate the skin, with the breast side up and using your fingers, very gently begin to pull the skin away from the meat, inch by inch. I sometimes use a small sharp paring knife to slice the muscle that holds the two together, although with enough patience this can be done with just fingers. The idea is to completely separate the skin from the meat so that it’s simply lying on top. The miso-orange paste should cover the meat, with the skin acting as a “lid,” since the fat will render, mix with the sauce, and continually self-baste the meat.

Serves4 to 6

Cooking Methodroasting


Total Timehalf-day

OccasionCasual Dinner Party, Cooking for a date, Family Get-together

Recipe Coursemain course

Dietary Considerationegg-free, gluten-free, halal, kosher, lactose-free, low carb, peanut free, tree nut free

Five Ingredients or LessYes


Taste and Texturefruity, juicy, savory, sweet, tangy, umami


  • 1 cup soy sauce
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • One 3½-pound chicken, preferably organic and free-range
  • Olive oil spray
  • 2 oranges
  • 2 tablespoons miso
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  1. Pour the soy sauce into a pasta pot or a clean bucket big enough to hold the chicken, add the sugar, and swirl around to dissolve. Add 2 cups warm water and swirl around some more to dissolve the sugar. Place the chicken into it and add enough cold water to cover completely. Let it brine, refrigerated, for up to 6 hours.

  2. Preheat the oven to 300°F. Rinse off the bird in cold running water and dry it thoroughly with paper towels, including the cavity. Set it, breast side up, on a roasting pan fitted with a rack sprayed with olive oil. Zest both oranges, place the grated zest in a small bowl, add the miso, and squeeze the juice from one of the oranges into it. Mix together with a fork until you have a creamy miso-orange paste.

  3. Gently separate the skin from the chicken meat (see Note). Spoon the miso paste under the skin, aiming for maximum coverage. Cut the remaining orange into quarters and stuff into the cavity. Spray the skin with olive oil spray, pepper liberally, and roast for 30 minutes. Increase the oven temperature to 375°F, remove the pan from the oven, and flip the chicken over using sturdy tongs so it is now breast side down. Roast for another 30 minutes. Increase the oven temperature to 425°F, remove and flip again, and cook for another 20 minutes to really crisp up the skin.

  4. Remove and let the chicken rest for 15 minutes. Carve and place on a serving platter (1 like to separate the white and dark meat on the platter). Squeeze the baked oranges over the meat and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.



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