Best Friends Teriyaki

What’s better than making chicken teriyaki?

Making it with your best friend!

My best friend, Helena, just left my house – she was here for over a week!  She lives in our hometown up north, and I hadn’t seen her for…six months or so?  We had such an awesome time together, and cooked a LOT.  It’s tempting to want to go out every night, but both of us are on budgets, and cooking is healthier and yummier a lot of the time! Plus, it was fun to do together.  We tried a few recipes that were new for both of us, and I got to teach Helena (who has just recently begun cooking for herself at the tender young age of 28) how to make a lot of my favorite meals.

I forgot to take pictures of most of them…but I did remember to take pictures of this amazing chicken and veggie teriyaki.  Maybe I should call it veggie and chicken teriyaki, actually, because the veggies are really the center of attention in this dish.  We’re fortunate to have an organic fruit and vegetable buying club that delivers to our little islands, so every other week I get a box of fresh produce.  You may recall those amazing bell peppers that The Boy has been growing from my last post (because who doesn’t remember other people’s peppers, right?) – well, they are turning red now, and tasting amazing.

This recipe is essentially three simple steps:

1) Sautee the veggies: you may use whatever veggies you have on hand.  Fresh are great in this recipe, but a frozen stir-fry blend would probably work well too.  I think that bell peppers, onions, and some diced garlic are a must for any stir fry, and we had fresh bok choy which went great with this dish. When sautéing bok choy, separate the stems from the leaves (as pictured below), since they have different cooking times. In a large sauté pan, heat up some oil on medium heat (we used coconut oil, which is amazing in stir fries), then throw in all the veggies except the garlic and the bok choy leaves. Grind some black pepper over them if you want to get crazy. Sauté for two or three minutes, then add in the garlic and bok choy leaves and continue to sauté until the garlic is fragrant, just for another minute or so.  Remove to a large plate and set aside.

Teriyaki Vegetables
Mmmm!

2) Brown the chicken: add a little more oil if needed, and toss in some sliced raw chicken.  We used four boneless skinless chicken thighs (about 1 lb), which are my favorite because I find them to be juicier and more flavorful than breasts.  Plus, they’re more economical!  But breasts would work fine too, if that’s what you’re into.  Brown well on all sides – don’t worry about whether it’s cooked all the way, since it will finish cooking in the next step.

3) Add the sauce and simmer: in a measuring cup, mix together 2/3 cup mirin (a Japanese sweet cooking wine, which can be found in the Asian section at major grocery stores), 4 tablespoons soy sauce, and 2 tablespoons honey (or brown sugar, or even white sugar if that’s all you have).  Add the veggies back into the pan, then pour the sauce over the chicken and veggies.  Keeping the heat on medium, allow this to simmer for 5-10 minutes or until you cut the thickest piece of chicken in half and it is cooked through.  If you wanted to be fancy, you could add a little corn starch to thicken the sauce.  We weren’t fancy this time, but it was soooooo yummy!

Plated Chicken and Veggie Teriyaki
Ta-da!

As you can see, we had this over brown rice.  I love the organic sprouted brown rice from Thrive Market. I learned a trick from Dig This Chick (digthischick.net, you should check it out), a blog I LOVE, for making rice not-mushy. After it’s done cooking, DO NOT STIR – turn it out onto a plate and let it cool a bit, to keep the lovely little clumps and individual grains.

I hope next time your best friend visits, you try making some yummy Chicken and Veggie Teriyaki!