This amazing chicken teriyaki recipe is a delicious and easy-to-prepare dish that is sure to satisfy your taste buds. And the gluten-free version of this yummy recipe is included!!
The sweet and savory flavor of teriyaki sauce is the perfect complement to juicy and tender chicken, making it a favorite dish for many.
Whether you’re an experienced chef or a beginner in the kitchen, this recipe is simple and straightforward, allowing you to create a restaurant-quality dish in the comfort of your own home.
In this blog post, I’ll share my favorite chicken teriyaki recipe that’s sure to become a staple in your meal rotation.
So let’s get cooking!
Where did this “Amazing” Chicken Teriyaki Recipe Originate?
Chicken teriyaki is a popular Japanese dish that has its origins in Japan. The term “teriyaki” comes from two Japanese words: “teri,” which means glossy or shiny, and “yaki,” which means grilled or broiled. The dish is known for its sweet and savory glaze made from soy sauce, sake, and sugar, which gives it a shiny appearance when cooked.
Teriyaki-style cooking and glazing techniques have been a part of Japanese cuisine for centuries, but the specific combination of flavors and ingredients that we associate with chicken teriyaki today likely developed in the mid-20th century. This is when Western influences started to play a role in shaping Japanese cuisine, and dishes like chicken teriyaki became popular both in Japan and internationally.
Chicken teriyaki, as we know it today, is often made by grilling or pan-frying chicken and then glazing it with a teriyaki sauce made from soy sauce, mirin, and sugar. This flavorful and relatively simple dish has become a staple in Japanese restaurants around the world and has been adapted and enjoyed by many cultures.
It’s important to note that the term “teriyaki” is not limited to chicken; it can also be applied to other meats, fish, and even vegetables prepared in a similar glazing technique.
Ingredients in the “Amazing” Chicken Teriyaki Recipe
Making chicken teriyaki is relatively simple and requires a few key ingredients.
You’ll start with 4-6 boneless chicken thighs (whole). If you’re unable to find the boneless chicken thighs at your local grocer you can always debone them yourself!
Easy Method to Debone Chicken Thighs for the “Amazing” Chicken Teriyaki Recipe
Deboning chicken thighs might seem a bit tricky at first, but with a little practice, it becomes easier. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you debone chicken thighs:
Tools you’ll need:
Sharp knife (a boning knife or a utility knife works well)
Kitchen shears (optional, but helpful)
Paper towels (for cleanup)
Follow these easy steps to debone your own chicken thighs!
Prep Your Area:
Start by setting up your cutting board on a stable surface. Make sure you have a sharp knife and any other tools you might need nearby.
Remove Skin (Optional):
If your chicken thighs have skin, you might want to remove it first. Gently slide your fingers between the skin and meat, and use a knife to cut the skin away from the meat. This step is optional, but it can make the deboning process a bit easier.
Locate the Bone:
Turn the chicken thigh so that the skin side is down. Feel for the bone in the middle of the thigh. You’ll want to cut along the bone to remove it.
Make an Incision:
Using your sharp knife, make a small incision along one side of the bone. This will be your starting point.
Follow the Bone:
Slide your knife along the bone, keeping it as close to the bone as possible. Use gentle, smooth strokes. You’ll need to separate the meat from the bone as you go.
Take your time and work slowly. Use your fingers to guide the meat away from the bone as you cut. Be cautious not to cut too deeply or apply excessive force, as you don’t want to damage the meat.
Trim Connective Tissues:
As you work your way down the bone, you might encounter some connective tissues. Use the tip of your knife to gently cut through these tissues.
Use Kitchen Shears (Optional):
For some parts of the thigh, especially near the joint, using kitchen shears can make the process easier. Snip through the smaller bones and joints with the shears.
Double-Check and Clean Up:
Once you’ve removed the bone, check the meat to make sure no small bone fragments are left. Trim away any excess fat or connective tissues.
Repeat with Other Thighs:
Repeat the process for each chicken thigh you want to debone.
Deboning chicken thighs might take some practice to become comfortable with, so don’t be discouraged if it’s a bit challenging at first. Over time, you’ll likely become more efficient and confident in this process. Remember to keep your knife sharp and work carefully to ensure you get the best results.
Ingredients for the Sauce and Marinade for the “Amazing” Chicken Teriyaki Recipe
The ingredients that make up the yummy teriyaki sauce include 1/2 cup soy sauce; 1/4 cup mirin (sweet rice wine); 1/4 cup sake (Japanese rice wine); 2 tablespoons brown sugar; 1 tablespoon honey; a teaspoon minced fresh ginger; and 1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic!
Optional Ingredients for the “Amazing” Chicken Teriyaki Recipe
You might want to add sliced green onions and sesame seeds as garnishes when serving your cooked chicken teriyaki!
Substitute Ingredients for the “Amazing” Chicken Teriyaki Recipe
You can make some substitutions in the recipe to accommodate dietary preferences, allergies, or ingredient availability. Here are some possible substitute ingredients for the whole boneless chicken teriyaki recipe:
Soy Sauce Substitute:
Use coconut aminos as a soy sauce alternative. It’s a soy-free, gluten-free option that works well in teriyaki sauce.
Tamari is a gluten-free soy sauce alternative that can also be used.
Mirin and Sake Substitute:
For mirin, you can use a mixture of white wine or rice vinegar and a touch of sugar or honey.
If you want to avoid alcohol, use chicken or vegetable broth as a substitute for both mirin and sake.
Replace brown sugar with coconut sugar or a sugar substitute.
Substitute honey with maple syrup, agave nectar, or another liquid sweetener of your choice.
Ginger and Garlic Substitute:
Use powdered ginger and garlic if fresh is not available. Adjust quantities to taste.
Instead of sesame seeds, you can use chopped nuts like toasted almonds or cashews for added crunch and flavor.
Fresh herbs like cilantro or parsley can provide a different dimension of taste.
Remember that these substitutions might affect the flavor and overall profile of the dish to some extent, so it’s a good idea to do a small-scale test before making a larger batch. Adjust quantities and seasonings to suit your taste preferences. Teriyaki sauce is quite forgiving, and its adaptable flavors can work well with various ingredient swaps.
Making a Gluten-free Version of this “Amazing” Chicken Teriyaki Recipe
To make the chicken teriyaki recipe with whole boneless chicken thighs gluten-free, you’ll need to use gluten-free alternatives for the ingredients containing gluten. Here’s how you can adapt the recipe:
Use 4-6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (whole); 1/2 cup gluten-free soy sauce or tamari; 1/4 cup gluten-free mirin (make sure it’s gluten-free); 1/4 cup gluten-free sake (or substitute with gluten-free chicken broth or white wine); 2 tablespoons brown sugar; 1 tablespoon honey or maple syrup (adjust to taste); a teaspoon minced fresh ginger; 1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic; and optional sliced green onions and sesame seeds for garnish!
Use gluten-free soy sauce or tamari to ensure the teriyaki sauce is gluten-free.
Ensure that the mirin you use is gluten-free. Some mirin products may contain wheat-derived ingredients, so check the label carefully. Look for a gluten-free mirin or omit it from the recipe.
For gluten-free sake, you can use gluten-free chicken broth or gluten-free white wine as a substitute.
Use honey or maple syrup as a natural sweetener. You can reduce the amount to suit your taste preferences or omit it entirely if you prefer.
Follow the rest of the recipe as outlined below, making sure all the ingredients are gluten-free.
By using gluten-free soy sauce, mirin, and other ingredients, you can create a gluten-free version of the chicken teriyaki recipe that is safe for individuals with gluten sensitivity or celiac disease. Always read labels and verify the gluten-free status of ingredients to avoid cross-contamination or accidental consumption of gluten.
Making the “Amazing” Chicken Teriyaki Recipe
You’ll start making this easy recipe by either buying or deboning your chicken thighs.
In a bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, mirin, sake, brown sugar, honey, minced ginger, and minced garlic to make the teriyaki sauce. You can add a teaspoon of sesame seeds to the sauce if you’d like!
Place the whole boneless chicken thighs in the marinade and ensure they are well coated. Allow them to marinate in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes to an hour, or longer if desired.
You can also marinade your chicken thighs overnight! Here’s how you can do it:
How to Marinade the Chicken Overnight in Teriyaki Sauce
Marinating chicken overnight in the refrigerator allows the flavors of the teriyaki sauce to penetrate the meat more deeply, resulting in a more flavorful and tender dish.
In a bowl, whisk together the ingredients listed above to make the teriyaki sauce.
Place the whole boneless chicken thighs in a resealable plastic bag or a container with a lid.
Pour the teriyaki sauce over the chicken thighs, making sure they are fully submerged.
Seal the bag or container tightly, ensuring there’s no air inside. Shake or gently massage the bag or container to evenly distribute the marinade.
Place the bag or container in the refrigerator and let the chicken marinate overnight, or for at least 8 hours. You can turn the bag or flip the chicken a couple of times during the marinating process to ensure even flavor distribution.
When you’re ready to cook the chicken, you can follow the cooking instructions below.
Marinating overnight allows the flavors to meld and intensify, resulting in a delicious and well-seasoned dish.
Cooking the “Amazing” Chicken Teriyaki Recipe!
Heat a skillet or non-stick pan over medium to medium-high heat. If desired, you can lightly oil the pan to prevent sticking.
Remove the chicken thighs from the marinade and place them in the hot skillet.
Cook for about 9-10 minutes on each side, or until the chicken is fully cooked and has a nice browned appearance.
You can also brush the chicken with the teriyaki sauce as it cooks to create a glaze.
Once the chicken is cooked, pour the remaining teriyaki sauce over the chicken in the skillet. Let the sauce simmer for a few minutes until it thickens and coats the chicken.
Remove the skillet from the heat.
Garnish with sliced green onions and sesame seeds for added flavor and presentation.
Adapting the “Amazing” Chicken Teriyaki Recipe for a Slow Cooker!
You can adapt the chicken teriyaki recipe with whole boneless chicken thighs to be made in a slow cooker. Here’s how you can do it:
Whisk together the ingredients mentioned above to make the teriyaki sauce.
Place the whole boneless chicken thighs in the slow cooker.
Pour the teriyaki sauce over the chicken thighs, ensuring that they are well coated.
Cover the slow cooker and set it to the desired cooking time and heat setting.
Cook on low heat for 6-8 hours or on high heat for 3-4 hours.
About 30 minutes before the cooking time is done, you can remove the lid to allow the sauce to thicken slightly. This step is optional and depends on your preference for sauce consistency.
Once the chicken is cooked through and tender, you can remove the chicken thighs from the slow cooker and place them on a serving plate.
If desired, you can thicken the remaining sauce in the slow cooker by mixing a small amount of cornstarch with water and stirring it into the sauce. Let it cook for a few more minutes until the sauce thickens.
Pour the thickened sauce over the chicken thighs.
Using a slow cooker can help infuse the flavors of the teriyaki sauce into the chicken while keeping it tender. Just be sure to adjust the cooking time based on your specific slow cooker model and the size of the chicken thighs you’re using.
What to Pair with this “Amazing” Chicken Teriyaki Recipe
Chicken teriyaki is a versatile dish that pairs well with a variety of side dishes and accompaniments. Here are some options that you might consider serving alongside or with your chicken teriyaki:
White or brown steamed rice is a classic and simple pairing that helps balance the flavors of the sweet and savory teriyaki sauce.
A colorful medley of stir-fried vegetables like broccoli, carrots, bell peppers, and snap peas can provide a fresh and nutritious contrast to the rich and amazing chicken teriyaki recipe.
Japanese noodles like udon or soba, or even simple egg noodles, can be served alongside chicken teriyaki. You can toss the noodles with a light sauce or serve them plain for a heartier meal.
A light and tangy Asian-style slaw with ingredients like cabbage, carrots, and a sesame-ginger dressing can add a refreshing element to the meal.
Steamed edamame (young soybeans) sprinkled with a bit of salt can make for a healthy and protein-rich side dish.
A small serving of seaweed salad adds a unique oceanic flavor and a pleasing texture contrast to the teriyaki chicken.
Japanese pickles (tsukemono) or pickled cucumbers can provide a palate-cleansing contrast to the richness of the chicken.
A bowl of miso soup is a traditional accompaniment in Japanese cuisine. Its savory, umami-rich flavor complements the teriyaki.
Japanese-style dumplings filled with meat and vegetables, either pan-fried or steamed, can be a delicious appetizer or side dish.
Slices of fresh fruit like pineapple, mango, or citrus can add a refreshing sweetness to balance the flavors of the teriyaki.
Remember that the goal is to create a well-rounded and harmonious meal, combining flavors, textures, and nutritional components. Feel free to mix and match these suggestions based on your preferences and dietary needs.
How to Store Leftover “Amazing” Chicken Teriyaki Recipe
Storing leftover chicken teriyaki properly is essential to maintain its quality and ensure food safety. Here’s how to store it:
Cool Down Quickly:
Allow the leftover chicken teriyaki to cool down to room temperature as quickly as possible. Leaving it out at room temperature for extended periods can promote bacterial growth.
Once the chicken teriyaki has cooled down, transfer it to an airtight container. If the teriyaki sauce is separate from the chicken, you might want to store them separately to prevent the sauce from making the chicken soggy. Seal the container tightly to prevent air exposure.
Label and Date:
If you have the means, it’s a good idea to label the container with the date so you can keep track of how long it has been in the refrigerator.
Place the container in the refrigerator as soon as possible. Leftover chicken teriyaki can generally be stored in the refrigerator for about 3 to 4 days. After this time, the quality might start to decline, and the risk of spoilage increases.
When you’re ready to enjoy the leftover chicken teriyaki, reheat it thoroughly. You can use the microwave, stovetop, or oven to reheat it. Make sure the internal temperature reaches 165°F (74°C) to ensure any potential bacteria are killed.
Before reheating and consuming, visually inspect the chicken teriyaki. If it looks or smells off, or if there are any signs of mold, it’s best to discard it.
Remember that the quality and safety of leftovers depend on proper handling and storage. If you’re not sure whether the leftovers are still safe to eat, it’s better to err on the side of caution and avoid consuming them!!
You Can Also Freeze this “Amazing” Chicken Teriyaki Recipe!
If you want to you can freeze leftover chicken teriyaki to extend its shelf life. Freezing can help preserve the quality of the dish for a longer period. Here’s how you can freeze leftover chicken teriyaki:
Cool Down Quickly:
Allow the leftover chicken teriyaki to cool down to room temperature before freezing. Placing hot food directly in the freezer can raise the temperature inside the freezer and potentially affect the quality of other items.
If you have a large amount of leftover chicken teriyaki, consider portioning it before freezing. This will make it easier to thaw and reheat only the amount you need.
Place the chicken teriyaki in an airtight container or a freezer-safe resealable plastic bag. If you’re using a bag, try to remove as much air as possible before sealing it to prevent freezer burn.
Label the container or bag with the date so you can keep track of how long it has been frozen.
Place the containers or bags in the freezer as soon as possible. The faster the food freezes, the better the quality will be when you decide to thaw and reheat it.
Thawing and Reheating:
When you’re ready to enjoy the frozen chicken teriyaki, you can thaw it in the refrigerator. Once thawed, reheat it thoroughly in the microwave, on the stovetop, or in the oven until the internal temperature reaches 165°F (74°C).
As with any leftovers, visually inspect the thawed chicken teriyaki. If it looks or smells off, or if there are any signs of mold, it’s best to discard it.
Keep in mind that while freezing can help preserve the safety of the food, it can affect the texture and flavor to some extent. The sooner you consume the frozen leftovers after thawing, the better the quality will be. Generally, frozen chicken teriyaki can be stored in the freezer for around 2 to 3 months for the best quality.
Storing Leftover Teriyaki Sauce from the “Amazing” Chicken Teriyaki Recipe!
The shelf life of teriyaki marinade sauce depends on several factors, including the ingredients used, storage conditions, and whether the sauce has come into contact with raw meat. Here are some general guidelines:
If you’ve prepared the teriyaki sauce using fresh ingredients and have not used it as a marinade for raw meat, you can typically store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for about 1 to 2 weeks. The acidity of the sauce components (like vinegar, mirin, or sake) can help prolong its shelf life.
Contact with Raw Meat:
If the teriyaki sauce has been in contact with raw meat during marination, it’s safer to use it within a shorter time frame, around 1 to 3 days. Raw meat juices can introduce bacteria to the sauce, so it’s best not to store it for too long in this case.
If you want to extend the shelf life, you can also consider freezing the teriyaki sauce. Freeze it in small portions or ice cube trays for easy portioning. Teriyaki sauce can be frozen for up to 3 to 6 months. Thaw the sauce in the refrigerator before using it.
Always use your judgment and your senses (such as smell and appearance) to assess the quality of the sauce before using it, especially if it has been stored for an extended period.
To maximize the shelf life of the teriyaki sauce, consider using clean utensils when handling it and avoid cross-contamination with raw meat. If you’re unsure about the safety of the sauce, it’s better to err on the side of caution and not use it if it looks or smells off.
Other Uses for Teriyaki Sauce besides in the “Amazing” Chicken Teriyaki Recipe!
Teriyaki sauce is versatile and can be used in a variety of dishes beyond just chicken teriyaki. If you want to just make the teriyaki sauce and use it on other recipes here are some ideas for you:
Use teriyaki sauce as a base for a homemade salad dressing. Mix it with some oil, vinegar (rice vinegar works well), and a touch of honey or citrus juice for a delicious Asian-inspired dressing.
Use teriyaki sauce as a stir-fry sauce for a variety of vegetables, protein sources (such as tofu, shrimp, or beef), and noodles or rice.
Brush teriyaki sauce onto grilled meats like pork chops, steak, or salmon during the cooking process for a flavorful glaze.
Use teriyaki sauce as a marinade for various proteins like tofu, tempeh, chicken, beef, or shrimp before cooking.
Roast or grill vegetables and brush them with teriyaki sauce during the cooking process for added flavor.
Drizzle teriyaki sauce on top of burgers or sliders for a unique and flavorful twist.
Rice or Grain Bowl:
Use teriyaki sauce as a drizzle over rice or grain bowls that include a variety of vegetables, protein sources, and toppings.
Sandwiches and Wraps:
Add teriyaki sauce to sandwiches, wraps, or pitas with ingredients like grilled chicken, vegetables, and greens.
Add a splash of teriyaki sauce to a tofu scramble or stir-fried tofu for extra flavor.
Serve teriyaki sauce as a dipping sauce for spring rolls, dumplings, or sushi.
Use teriyaki sauce as a base for an Asian-inspired pizza. Top with cooked chicken, vegetables, and cheese.
Quinoa or Grain Salad:
Toss cooked quinoa or other grains with teriyaki sauce, vegetables, and protein for a flavorful grain salad.
Feel free to get creative and experiment with different ways to use teriyaki sauce. Its sweet and savory flavors can add depth to a wide range of dishes. Just remember that teriyaki sauce can be quite flavorful, so start with a little and adjust to taste.
Winner, winner chicken dinner!!!
“Amazing” Chicken Teriyaki Recipe
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- 4-6 boneless skinless chicken thighs
- 1/2 cup soy sauce
- 1/4 cup mirin (sweet rice wine)
- 1/4 cup sake (Japanese rice wine)
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
- Sliced green onions and sesame seeds for garnish
- In a bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, mirin, sake, brown sugar, honey, minced ginger, and minced garlic to make the teriyaki sauce.
- Place the whole boneless chicken thighs in the marinade and ensure they are well coated. Allow them to marinate in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes to an hour, or longer if desired.
- Heat a skillet or non-stick pan over medium to medium-high heat. If desired, you can lightly oil the pan to prevent sticking.
- Remove the chicken thighs from the marinade and place them in the hot skillet. Cook for about 9-10 minutes on each side, or until the chicken is fully cooked and has a nice browned appearance. You can also brush the chicken with the teriyaki sauce as it cooks to create a glaze.
- Once the chicken is cooked, pour the remaining teriyaki sauce over the chicken in the skillet. Let the sauce simmer for a few minutes until it thickens and coats the chicken.
- Remove the skillet from the heat.
- Serve the whole boneless chicken teriyaki over steamed rice or with your choice of sides. Garnish with sliced green onions and sesame seeds for added flavor and presentation.