In this sheet-pan recipe, bone-in chicken breasts and wedges of fresh pears are roasted side by side until and the chicken is tender and juicy, and the pears are softened and lusciously caramelized.
The two elements, which might otherwise seem an unlikely duo, are married with a gingery miso mixture, which highlights both the sweetness of the fruit as well as the savory side of the poultry, and brings sophisticated flavor with little effort.
Whisk together mellow, blond miso, a splash of rice vinegar, a little honey, oil and chopped fresh ginger, then slather most of the slurry onto the chicken skin as well as underneath. I like to leave the skin on, so the meat beneath it stays moist as it cooks and the chicken takes on a deep brown color and crispness. Even if you choose not to eat the skin, you will still get plenty of flavor.
The remaining miso mixture is used to coat the pears, a fruit now in the later part of its season, so take advantage of the fresh pick while you still can – any variety will work here. Serve the chicken and pears together with a finishing shower of freshly sliced scallion, and perhaps a simple green salad, for a delightful dinner that brings something unexpected to the table.
Miso-Ginger Roasted Chicken and Pears
2 tablespoons mild miso paste (white or yellow)
1 tablespoon canola oil or other neutral-tasting oil
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon unseasoned rice vinegar
One 2-inch piece peeled fresh ginger root, minced (1 tablespoon)
3 firm ripe pears, each peeled, cored and cut into eighths
4 bone-in, skin-on chicken breast halves (about 12 ounces each)
2 scallions, thinly sliced (white and green parts), for garnish
Preheat the oven to 425 F.
Whisk together the miso, oil, honey, vinegar and ginger in a medium bowl. Toss the pears with 1 tablespoon of that miso mixture in a separate bowl, then transfer the coated fruit to a rimmed baking sheet.
Rub the remaining miso mixture all over the chicken and under its skin, then arrange the chicken on the baking sheet next to the pears.
Roast (middle rack) for 15 minutes, then stir the pears, turning them so they cook evenly. Continue to roast for another 15 minutes, until the chicken is browned and cooked through (to an internal temperature of 165 degrees) and the pears have softened and caramelized. If the pears are done before the chicken, remove them from the pan, cover them so they stay warm and return the chicken to the oven.
Serve the chicken (with or without the skin) and pears, sprinkled with the scallions.
Yield: 4 servings
Subscribe to the Spokane7 email newsletter
Get the day’s top entertainment headlines delivered to your inbox every morning.