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11 January 2012

Chicken Teriyaki

I just realized that I have so many chicken thighs in the freezer.  My husband came home from the butcher the other day, loaded with chicken thighs, drumsticks and wings fit for an army.  I looked at him questioningly because I just asked him to buy some wings for the chicken lollipops I was preparing.  No army to feed, just two little mouths.   He wanted to be sure that he gets everything covered so he bought everything before the shops closed again.   He's scared that I might send him stealing live chickens in the neighborhood if he comes home with the wrong parts.  Again.  Sigh.  My husband and chicken are really worlds apart.  We always confuse the terms in Italian and English when we speak about chicken parts and he usually ends up buying what I didn't mean.  I think we need to study the chicken parts diagram together in both languages to put our acts well. 
So here I was with too many defrosted chicken thighs.  One pack was not enough for the whole family and two was too much.  On the safe side, I prepared a simple dinner of oven-roasted breaded chicken that the kids love with steamed white rice and a simple sauce mixture of soy sauce and calamondin lemons.  That usually breaks the stride of Riccardo and makes him run towards his place on the table instead of in front of the TV.

I marinated the excess thighs for a promise of chicken teriyaki  the following day.  The idea had been planted and grew roots in my mind when I was watching a cooking show one night and I couldn't resist the craving anymore.  I would have liked to pamper myself to a nice plate of this chicken in one of the few remaining genuine Japanese restaurants in the city but to reach the place is like hiking to Mt. Everest.  It's in a limited-traffic zone (us not included) and with no parking areas anywhere around it.  Thank God I keep too many sorts of ingredients in my kitchen that it saved me a trip to the Asian store and to the restaurant. 

Chicken Teriyaki

Serves 2

  • 2 chicken thighs with skin on
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons mild honey
  • 2 tablespoons mirin
  • Pepper
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Sauce:
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sake
  • 2 tablespoons mild honey
  • 2 tablespoons mirin
  1. In a small bowl, mix the soy sauce, honey, mirin, and pepper.
  2. In a large bowl place the chicken thighs then pour the marinade on them. Leave it between 1 hour to overnight. Overnight gives the best and tastiest result.
  3. To make the sauce, over low heat, in a small saucepan, boil all the ingredients for the sauce for about 5 minutes. Be careful not to burn it.
  4. Grill the chicken on the barbecue grill or oven.
  5. You can also sautè them on a heavy-bottomed saucepan on high flame with little extra virgin olive oil. When the skin becomes dark brown, about a minute, turn to the other side then lower the heat to medium. Be careful not to burn the chicken because the honey makes them burn fast. Cover the pan because the splatters of oil can get very messy.
  6. Baste the chicken with the sauce until cooked through. Start with half of the sauce first so if some remains, you can pour it on the chicken when they are cooked.
  7. Serve with plain steamed rice.