Chicken Teriyaki

This non-traditional “Seattle-style” chicken teriyaki is a crowd-pleaser. It is sweeter than authentic Japanese chicken teriyaki. I cooked it under the broiler, but it would be fabulous grilled. We ate it over rice with roasted cauliflower and asparagus.

  • 1 cup soy sauce
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons brown sugar
  • 6 to 8 cloves garlic, crushed in a press
  • 2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 3-inch cinnamon stick
  • 1 tablespoon pineapple juice
  • 8 to 10 skinless, boneless chicken thighs
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • rice, for serving
  1. In a small saucepan, combine all ingredients except cornstarch and chicken. Bring to boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low and stir until sugar is dissolved, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool. Discard cinnamon stick and mix in 1/2 cup water.
  2. Place chicken in a heavy-duty sealable plastic bag. Add soy sauce mixture, seal bag, and turn to coat chicken. Refrigerate for at least an hour, ideally overnight.
  3. Remove chicken and set aside.
  4. Pour mixture into a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to low. Mix cornstarch with 2 tablespoons water and add to pan. Stir until mixture begins to thicken, and gradually stir in enough water (about 1/2 cup) until sauce is the consistency of heavy cream. Remove from heat and set aside.
  5. Preheat a broiler or grill.
  6. Lightly brush chicken pieces on all sides with sauce, and broil or grill about 3 minutes per side.
  7. While chicken is cooking, place sauce over high heat and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a bare simmer, adding water a bit at a time to keep mixture at a pourable consistency. (I did not have to add additional water.)
  8. To serve, slice chicken into strips, arrange on plates, and drizzle with sauce.

Chicken Teriyaki Plate

FW Teriyaki Chicken

When I get my Food and Wine magazine, I find a recipe that interests me and then cross check to see if it has a “staff favorite” label– I don’t remember being disappointed.  This recipe is a staff favorite. The write-up was interesting:

“Roy Choi’s excellent version of the clichéd dish has a surprise ingredient: lemon-lime soda. He uses it as a substitute for sugar. ‘Asian cooking folklore says that adding soda to a marinade will help tenderize meat and poultry,’ says Choi. ‘As a chef, I know it probably does nothing. But because I want to carry on historical cooking traditions, I continue to use sodas in my marinades.'”

I substituted boneless, skinless chicken thighs, Hansen’s mandarin lime natural cane soda from Trader Joes’s, and used a vidalia onion.  I keep fresh ginger root wrapped tightly in plastic wrap in my freezer- it is always on hand and is easy to grate.

  • 1 cup lemon-lime soda
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 3/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 1 medium onion—1/2 grated, 1/2 thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 4 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 pounds boneless chicken thighs with skin
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • Steamed white rice and hot sauce, for serving
  1. In a bowl, mix the soda, soy sauce, vinegar, grated onion, ginger, garlic and sugar. Add the chicken; turn to coat. Let stand at room temperature for 1 hour or refrigerate overnight.
  2. Remove the chicken from the marinade and pat very dry. Reserve 1 cup of the marinade. Heat 1 1/2 tablespoons of the oil in a large, deep skillet. Add the chicken skin side down and cook over moderately high heat, turning once, until browned and cooked through, 7 to 8 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate.
  3. Wipe out the skillet and heat the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons of oil. Add the sliced onion and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until browned, 5 minutes. Add the reserved 1 cup of marinade; boil until slightly reduced, 2 minutes. Swirl in the butter and add the cilantro. Return the chicken and any juices to the skillet and cook until heated through, 1 minute. Serve with steamed rice and hot sauce.

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