From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...This recipe has been in my rotation for years now. It is safely ensconced because this chicken is nearly effortless to prepare and makes it from the stove to the table in near record time. It would be faster still if I used a commercial sauce, but I prefer not to do that. I use a simple homemade sauce that, while not a heat and eat special, comes together quickly. "Teriyaki" is actually a word that identifies a method of cooking in which meat or poultry is brushed with a sauce made from soy sauce, mirin, sugar and saki. Food historians believe that teriyaki, along with other types of roasted and grilled meats, was first made by Japanese cooks in the seventeenth century. It was, however, the sauce that set teriyaki apart from the other dishes developed at that time. Traditionally, the sauce is made by boiling the four ingredients we've already mentioned until they are reduced to the desired thickness. The luster or shine of teriyaki comes from the mirin or sake, and from the caramelization of the sugar in the sauce. Cooks are not bound to the 4 ingredient formula. I also add lemon and ginger to the sauce I make for my family. I serve this chicken with steamed rice and pass any extra sauce at the table. I never have to deal with complaints or leftovers. This is another recipe that was added to the blog in 2008. Here is what I had to say about the dish at that time.
Our first heavy rain came Saturday - a not-so-gentle reminder of winter in Oregon and the price we pay for an achingly beautiful spring. I enjoy the rain. I'm lulled by it's tattoo and the scent of damp earth and pine released into the air, but my inner romantic just couldn't overcome the damp, bone-chill of this first rain. My mind kept wandering to Hawaii and, of all things, the Hawaiian plate lunch. Why potato salad and rice on the same plate? I'd really like to know. Truly! As I puzzled, I began to fixate on Chicken Teriyaki; so, in case you're wondering how we got here - the rain did it. I really like this recipe. It meets all my requirements for a quick weeknight meal. It's simple, inexpensive, made in a single pan and on the table in about 40 minutes. What's not to like? It's cooked stove top so it's an energy saver as well. So, without further ado, here's my version of Chicken Teriyaki.
Teriyaki Chicken...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite
1 cup + 2 teaspoons water, divided use
Juice of 1 lemon
1/2 cup tamari or soy sauce
1 cup mirin, sake or pineapple juice
2 to 4 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 piece (1-4-inch thick) fresh ginger, peeled and crushed
2 pounds well-trimmed boneless, skinless chicken thighs
2 teaspoons cornstarch
Optional garnish: sesame seeds, chopped scallion, cilantro and lemon slices
1) Combine 1 cup water, lemon juice, tamari, mirin, sugar, garlic and ginger in a large (3-quart) saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat; stir to dissolve sugar. Add chicken; return to the simmer. Cover pan and cook until tender, about 10 minutes. Transfer chicken to a plate; cover to keep warm.
2) Skim off fat; remove garlic and ginger. Boil sauce until syrupy and reduced by half, about 10 minutes. Mix cornstarch with reserved 2 teaspoons water. Add to sauce, whisking until sauce thickens and is shiny. Return chicken to pan; turn to coat all surfaces. Simmer for 2 minutes, or until chicken is warm. Transfer to a serving platter. Garnish with sesame seeds, scallion, cilantro and lemon slices if desired. Yield: 4 to 6 servings.
Cook's note: Tamari is a well-flavored Japanese soy sauce.
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