I needed chicken thigh filets, but my neighborhood market only had bone-in chicken thighs attached to legs. “I can just separate and de-bone them,” were my last words before I was elbow deep in stuff that I never knew existed inside a chicken part. After an hour, I had finally hacked off enough meat to work with but had burned my sushi rice to a crisp in the process. When I opened the lid of the garbage pail (which was also serving as a food photography station) to throw out the crusty remains, it pushed the diffuser umbrella into a bottle of tequila on the window sill that flew toward the kitchen floor.
After sopping up a puddle of tequila and blue glass, I whipped around to the stove to pry off the chicken that was fusing to my too-hot saute pan as searing hot oil spat all over my arms. Somehow I got back on track and managed to put out some nice, glisteningly glazed chicken with tender broccoli and satisfying sticky rice. When I made the dish again the next day, everything went as smoothly as if I had been making chicken teriyaki my whole life. I learned how to make this dish from a member of my cooking club and I’m happy to have it become part of my dinner repertoire. You have to try this at home...minus all the destruction described above.
RECIPE (Courtesy of Takako Oishi-Marks)
Makes 2 large or 3 small servings
2 tablespoons sugar
4 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons mirin
4 tablespoons sake
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 pound skinless chicken thigh filets or boneless skinless chicken breasts
1. In a bowl, mix together the sugar, soy sauce, mirin and sake. Set it aside.
2. With a sharp knife, remove any excess fat from the chicken. If you're using chicken breasts, butterfly them and cut them into evenly sized pieces so all the chicken cooks evenly.
3. Set a large saute pan over medium heat and add the vegetable oil. Once the oil gets hot, sear the chicken for about 5 minutes on each side until it's golden brown.
4. With tongs, place a balled up piece of paper towel into the pan while tilting the pan to soak up all the oil. Discard the paper towel.
5. Add the teriyaki mixture to the pan, cover the pan with a lid, set the heat to low and simmer for 12 minutes. Meanwhile make the sticky rice.
6. Take off the cover, turn the chicken pieces over and simmer for another 15 minutes uncovered until the sauce gets syrupy. Meanwhile make the broccoli.
7. Serve chicken, broccoli and rice together.
To make the sticky rice:
1 cup sushi rice
1 1/2 cups water
Rice wine vinegar, to taste (optional...I love it on sticky rice)
1. Place the rice and water in a medium saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil, uncovered. Once it begins to boil, reduce the heat to the lowest setting and cover with a lid. Cook for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and let stand, covered, for 10 minutes.
2. If using it, add a few big dashes of rice wine vinegar and mix well.
To make the broccoli:
2 tablespoons sesame seeds, whole (or crushed for extra flavor)
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon mirin
2 teaspoons soy sauce
3 heaping cups broccoli florets (from 2 small broccoli heads)
1. Mix the first 4 ingredients in a mixing bowl.
2. Steam the broccoli in a steam basket set over boiling water for 8 minutes or until fork tender.
3. Toss broccoli with sesame seed mixture.