What Is This “Man-Pleasing Chicken”?

I can hardly even say the name of this dish without gagging because it’s just. . . so. . . .awful!

“Man-Pleasing Chicken” is a Pinterest superstar. People who prepare and write about it don’t just like it, they LOVE it and speak of it in hyperboles. I took note of the dish, but mostly ignored it until a few friends recommended it as one of those Pinterest recipes that isn’t just pretty, but actually works.

I did some quick internet research and found the blog Witty in the City published the most-pinned post which is an adaptation of the recipe from the I Love Trader Joe’s Cookbook. She describes this chicken as So Good it Can’t Be Described, Explosion on Your Taste Buds Chicken.” 

Holy crap, what?

On Monday after we had just returned from the Twin Cities, I wanted to prepare something simple yet homey, so I gave Man-Pleasing Chicken a try, adding my own touches. Blogger Trial in Food attempted the dish twice and recommends bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs. After trying the recipe with bone-in, I think boneless would work just fine.

I thought the original sauce tasted overly sweet and one-dimensional, so I added freshly grated garlic, soy sauce, lots of black pepper, and a couple pinches of smoked paprika. Perfect. Then, I served the chicken with bok choy and steamed rice and french bread to soak up the sweet and savory mustard sauce.

Here’s my take on Man-Pleasing Chicken.

Jeni & Jake-Pleasing Chicken
For crisper skin, you could try searing the chicken before placing it in the baking dish or broiling the chicken after baking. I only broiled for a few minutes before I suddenly realized that I wasn’t sure if you can broil in glass pans. You may have to adjust the cooking temperature and cooking time depending on your oven and baking dish. 


6 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
1/2 cup Dijon mustard
1/4 cup real maple syrup
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1 clove of garlic, grated
3 tablespoons of soy sauce, or to taste
Black pepper
Smoked paprika, two pinches


  1. Pre-heat oven to 450℉.
  2. In a bowl, whisk together the mustard, syrup, vinegar and garlic.
  3. Add about three tablespoons of soy sauce, or enough to balance out the sweet maple syrup.
  4. Season with black pepper and a couple pinches (or more) or smoked paprika. Don’t be afraid to taste the sauce.
  5. Place the chicken thighs in a baking dish. Pour the sauce over the chicken and flip the thighs around so they are evenly coated. Make sure they are facing skin-side up while baking.
  6. Bake for 20-minutes and baste with the sauce.
  7. Bake for another 20-minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. If you have a thermometer, look for an internal temperature of 165℉. I cut into a thigh to make sure it was cooked and the juices ran clear.
  8. If you want the chicken to be browner, broil on high until the skin is crisp and bubbly.


  1. Beth Ann Chiles

    Pinning it, sharing it, printing it, cooking it tomorrow!!!! 🙂

    • Jeni Flaa

      YAY! It’s really good. Jake’s only complaint was that he wished the skin is crispier.

  2. Emily

    Do you know if this is doable with regular, store-bought (“fake”) maple syrup? Real maple syrup is quite pricey where I am!

    • Jeni Flaa

      That’s a good question! Maple syrup is expensive here, too. Maybe you could substitute some brown sugar or honey instead. The least expensive kind I could find here was a $5 bottle that’s pretty small. I am slowly using the extra to sweeten my coffee. A blogger suggested this and it is really amazing!

      • Emily

        Brown sugar/honey sounds like a great idea! I’ll try that instead of the high fructose corn syrup that they market as maple syrup here…

  3. TasteofBeirut

    will try it with grape molasses which is a local artisan food here, also available in the US in Ara stores. sounds yummy and easy.

    • Jeni Flaa

      Thanks for the suggestion! I will have to look for that next time I’m in the Twin Cities.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

© 2024 Jeni Eats

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑

Visit Us
Follow Me