Chicken Teriyaki 

Adapted from America’s Test Kitchen

  • 1½–2 pounds bone-in chicken thighs (I use boneless/skinless)
  • 3½ tablespoons sake, divided (I use water)
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil

Note from ATK: It’s worth deboning chicken thighs here so that you can retain the skin. If you find deboned thighs with skin on, use 1½ pounds for this recipe; do not use skinless thighs, because they’ll be less juicy. Use a Frywall or splatter screen if you have one. Inexpensive sake is fine here; it can often be purchased in small cans. We strain the glaze in step 4 to improve its clarity, but you can skip this process if you prefer. Serve with unseasoned short-grain white rice, peppery greens such as watercress or mizuna, and sliced scallions.


  1. If using boneless/skinless skip to step 2: Place 1 chicken thigh skin side down on cutting board. Using sharp paring knife, trim excess skin and fat, leaving enough skin to cover meat. Cut slit along length of thigh bone to expose bone. Using tip of knife, cut/scrape meat from bone. Slip knife under bone to separate bone from meat. Discard bone and trim any remaining cartilage from thigh. Keeping thigh skin side down, cut into 1½-inch pieces, leaving as much skin attached as possible. Transfer to medium bowl and repeat with remaining thighs. 
  2. Add 1½ tablespoons sake and cornstarch and stir gently until chicken is evenly coated.
  3.  Combine soy sauce, sugar, and remaining 2 tablespoons sake in small bowl. Microwave until sugar is dissolved, about 30 seconds. Place fine-mesh strainer over bowl containing soy sauce mixture. Add ginger to strainer and press to extract juice. Discard solids (do not wash strainer).
  4. Line large plate with paper towels. Heat oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Place chicken skin side down in skillet (skillet may be very full). Increase heat to medium-high; place splatter screen on skillet; and cook, without moving chicken, until all pieces have ¼- to ½-inch perimeter of white, 6 to 8 minutes. Reduce heat to medium and flip chicken; cook until chicken is just cooked through, 1 to 2 minutes longer.
  5. Remove skillet from heat. Transfer chicken to prepared plate. Pour off fat, scrape any browned bits out of skillet, and wipe skillet clean with paper towels.
  6. Return chicken to skillet. Add soy sauce mixture and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until chicken is thinly coated and sauce has consistency of maple syrup, 1 to 2 minutes (I don’t reduce mine until it is this thick. Rather than creating a glaze, I keep it as a sauce and toss ramen in it). Pour glaze in skillet through now-empty strainer set over small serving bowl. Drizzle 2 tablespoons glaze over chicken and serve, passing remaining glaze separately.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

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