I love it when people call this teri-YAKI chicken. When flying to and from Japan back in the day, that’s how the American flight attendants always pronounced it. Funny.
Anyway, this use of a basic teriyaki glaze is not markedly different from a basic yakitori recipe, and the sauces are somewhat similar. In fact, this is one of many ways you can use teriyaki sauce with chicken. You could also broil whole, boneless chicken thighs and brush with this sauce. I’ve even added the unused sauce to a batch of fried rice, which turns out great.
This dish is hard to mess up, but for the love of god, do not use chicken breasts for this. They’re too dry and flavorless.
What you’ll need:
- 1 lb. boneless, chicken thighs, cut into 1- or 2-inch pieces
For the teriyaki sauce:
- 0.25 cups soy sauce
- 0.25 cups mirin (sake works, too)
- 2T toasted sesame oil—olive oil works in a pinch
- 1T light brown sugar
- 2t minced ginger
- 1 clove garlic, minced
And to make it a glaze:
- 1T water
- 1t corn starch (potato starch works, too)
What to do:
Adjust your oven racks for broiling, and turn on the broiler to high about 10 minutes before you want to cook. Same with prepping your grill, if grilling.
For the sauce, combine the soy sauce, mirin, oil, brown sugar, ginger and garlic in a medium bowl.
Add half of the mixture to a small saucepan, then add the cut-up chicken to the sauce in the bowl. Toss to coat, and let it marinade for about 15 or so minutes.
While the chicken is marinading, bring the marinade in the saucepan to a boil. Whisk the water and cornstarch together in a small bowl. Whisk in the water/cornstarch mixture to the boiling marinade and cook, whisking, for about a minute or so, until the sauce is has thickened. Remove from heat and set aside.
Thread the chicken onto skewers. (If using wooden skewers, make sure to soak them in water before using, or else the wood will burn under the broiler.) Don’t use the remaining marinade because it’s had raw chicken soaking in it.
For broiling, line a cookie sheet with foil and top with cooling racks. Put the chicken skewers on the racks and put under the broiler, 5 minutes or so, before flipping over to cook 5 more minutes. Ensure that the chicken is cooked through, but not overcooked. The internal temp of a piece should be 165 degrees.
If grilling, oil the grill and put the skewers right on the grills. Use about the same cooking time as when broiling.
When the chicken is done, remove the skewers from the heat to a serving dish and brush the thickened teriyaki sauce liberally over the chicken. Turn and baste the other side, too.