Teriyaki Chicken is a staple dish, usually eaten during the lunch time, in Japan. ‘Teri’ stands for the lacquered glaze that the chicken gets on its surface due to the Teriyaki sauce, whereas ‘Yaki’ means grilled. You can make use of any cut or type of chicken for this recipe, though it is usually prepared with the drumsticks or thighs as they are easier to cook and get cooked evenly.
It is also recommended to use chicken with skin left on as it helps in keeping the meat moist, and takes on a magnificent caramelized hue when grilled. Even before sushi became the signature dish of Japanese cuisine for the entire world, Teriyaki Chicken invaded the west, and represented the Japanese culinary repertoire to the entire world.
Boneless chicken thighs – 4 to 6 filets
For the Brine:
Water – ½ cup
Japanese Soy Sauce – 2 tablespoons
Mirin – 2 tablespoons
Dark brown sugar – 2 tablespoons
For the Teriyaki Sauce:
Dark soy sauce – 2 tablespoons
Mild flavored honey – 2 tablespoons
Sake – 2 tablespoons
Mirin – 2 tablespoons
1. Combine soy sauce, water, mirin, and brown sugar in a large sized bowl and mix them well. Now add chicken pieces to the mixture and make sure to coat all the pieces with the mixture properly. Cover the bowl and allow it to sit in the refrigerator for a minimum of 1 hour.
2. To prepare the delicious teriyaki sauce, take a small sauce pan and add soy sauce, honey, sake, and mirin in it. Allow the mixture to boil on medium heat for some time till the sauce become a little viscous and glossy. Remember that the sauce won’t become too thick, so don’t wait for it to thicken as your can end up burning the sauce. It will take on a slightly caramelized taste, but make sure that it is not burnt.
3. After the chicken pieces are well marinated for about an hour, take them out of the refrigerator and keep aside. Once you are ready for grilling the chicken, turn on your broiler and move the grilling rack to the top of the oven. Place the wire rack on top of a baking sheet and place the marinated chicken pieces on the rack, one by one.
4. Grill till the chicken pieces become brown on one side; then flip the pieces and baste that side using the teriyaki sauce. Continue to broil the chicken till the pieces become golden brown in color, with few charred spots. Finally, baste the chicken pieces once again with the teriyaki sauce and serve.
Tips for Making the Perfect Teriyaki Sauce
Using honey or maltose in Teriyaki sauce is a great way to thicken the sauce without the need to add cornstarch to it. If you use honey in the recipe, it is recommended to use the one which does not carry a strong individual flavor. Serve Chicken teriyaki chopped up or as a whole over a bowl of steamed rice, along with some extra sauce.