It’s not hard to make a great marinade with just a few ingredients, as long as one of those ingredients is the magical miso. This super savory paste, made from fermented rice, barley, and soybeans, isn’t that hard to find, but what can be a challenge is understanding the different varieties available.
Miso is sold by “color,” and I’m recommending the white one here, except when you open the container, it’s not white, it’s sort of a golden yellow. They also sell a yellow miso, which is a slightly darker golden yellow, as well as a red miso, which is also a golden yellow. I’m just kidding…it’s actually dark brown.
The point is, the colors don’t refer to the actual color, but rather the processing method, and ratio of ingredients. And that’s basically the extent of my expertise. I choose the white, since it’s the most mild, but I encourage you to do some more research, as well as some experimentation.
After marinating overnight if possible, you’ll definitely want to cook your chicken with indirect heat. Otherwise, it will get too dark – as in black. Roasting in a 375 F. oven would be great, but if you use a charcoal grill, be sure to push your coals all the way over to one side of your grill, and place your chicken on the opposite site. Keep and eye on it, and turn/rotate the pieces as needed.
You can add many other things to this marinade, but maybe try the minimalist version first. I used to tell my students that the older you get, the fewer ingredients you use, so that’s my excuse, but I really want the clean flavors of the miso and honey coming through. Either way, I really hope you find some miso paste, and give this a try soon. Enjoy!
Ingredients for enough marinade for one whole chicken:
3 tablespoons white miso
2 tablespoons honey
1/4 cup rice vinegar
2 teaspoons hot sauce
1 tablespoon kosher salt (about 2 teaspoon fine salt)
lemon wedges and pepper flakes to garnish
– Let marinate overnight before roasting or grilling until the internal temp in the middle of the thigh is 165 F.