Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Teriyaki chicken

It appears the new trend on FaceBook is to post a photo of a dish, then share the recipe that goes along with it.  The only problem?  In most cases, the recipe doesn't yield the result shown in the photo.  With so many people feeling like they can't cook, even with a basic recipe, these fake recipes kind of irritate me.  Cooking really isn't difficult, and it can be very easy, provided you have a *real* recipe.

To debunk these fake recipes floating around on FaceBook, I decided to try the "crock pot teriyaki chicken". From the moment I read the recipe, I knew it wasn't going to work.  The photo showed beautifully browned chicken chunks, in a thick glaze.  Meat will not brown in liquid, slow cooked in a crock pot, and a glaze is only possible from liquid when a thickening agent (flour, cornstarch, etc.) is used to tighten it up, or through a process called 'reduction'.

I did like the idea of slow cooking the chicken, though, so I did an adaptation that should satisfy those who want to believe in "crock pot teriyaki chicken", but would like a recipe that actually yields something resembling the accompanying photo.  Here is how I did mine.


1-2 lbs. boneless/skinless chicken breasts, cut into large chunks
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup teriyaki sauce, and extra for glazing chicken (use prepared or make your own)
Sesame oil
1/2 lb. green beans, sorted, trimmed, rinsed and patted dry
1/2 cup water chestnuts, sliced
Sesame seeds, toasted


If you're feeling adventurous, I recommend making your own teriyaki sauce.  It's easy, and you can control the flavor by adjusting the ingredients to your desired taste.  Like less salt?  Use low sodium soy.  Like a bit of a bite?  Add some red pepper flakes.  Whatever you wish.

To your crock pot, or slow cooker, add the chicken broth and 1/2 cup teriyaki sauce, and whisk to combine.  Set temperature to low.  Add chicken chunks, and cook for 4-5 hours, or until cooked through, and fork tender.

When chicken is done, drain with a strainer, and set aside.

To a wok, add 1-2 tablespoons of sesame oil, and set heat to high.  When oil is heated, add green beans, and cook until lightly charred, and tender, tossing continually, for about 3-4 minutes.  Add drained chicken and water chestnuts, and continue cooking until chicken develops a light char, about a minute.  Add teriyaki sauce, a couple tablespoons at a time, until a glaze develops, and all pieces are lightly coated when tossed.

Serve over a bed of steamed rice, and garnish with toasted sesame seeds.

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