Amy’s Teriyaki Chicken Thighs

Photo of Amy’s Teriyaki Chicken Thighs over rice with broccoliHot Competition
For a lot of people, the start of College Football is a non-event. For others, like the majority of my family, it’s kind of a big deal. This year is especially wacky because, with my kids and my nephew off to college, we now have three more teams to cheer for.

If there was one silver lining for the heat we’ve had over the pasts few days it is this, there was a perfectly reasonable justification for camping out on the couch all Saturday to watch the full lineup of games. True, it wasn’t 155 degrees on Saturday but it was still hot. Hot enough that the chicken wings I had planned to make (because what else do you eat while watching football?) didn’t happen. I couldn’t bring myself to turn on the oven. I did, however, fire up the grill.

In lieu of wings, I made my recipe for Amy’s Teriyaki Chicken Thighs using boneless skinless thighs—which are the workhorse of my food repertoire. I always have chicken thighs in the fridge or freezer. I also always have teriyaki on hand because no matter what’s going on during the day you can get dinner on the table quick with a 30-minute dunk in teriyaki before throwing it on the grill.

Add some steamed rice and some broccoli and BOOM. Dinner is served. I also always make more than I need—so I can throw some on a salad for lunch or even make a sandwich.

There are plenty of good teriyaki marinades out there. But, lately, I have turned away from the super sweet ones for two reasons. First, the older I get the less sweet I want my food to be. Second, sugar in the marinade will burn on the grill if you’re not careful. That caramelized flavor has its time and place but I would rather taste the other flavors.

This is the teriyaki I have been using lately—though it does take a little bit more time to marinade than the open-and-pour options. To me, it tastes more like the grilled chicken you get in Hawaii. It’s sweet but not corn syrup sweet. Feel free to add a little chili garlic paste if you want some heat.

Amy’s Teriyaki Chicken Thighs Recipe
Adapted from Favorite Family Recipes
Yields 6 servings

1 to 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs

For the Marinade
1 cup soy sauce
1 cup brown sugar packed
1 cup pineapple juice
4 cloves garlic minced
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
1-1/2 teaspoons chili garlic paste, or to taste (optional)

Marinate the chicken
Place the chicken thighs in a large zipper seal bag and set aside.

Combine the marinade ingredients and mix until the sugar dissolves. Then pour the marinade over the chicken and press the air out of the bag. Seal securely.

Refrigerate the chicken for at least 2 hours—or preferably overnight.

Prep the sauce
Remove the chicken from the bag and set it aside. Pour the marinade into a medium-sized saucepan. Bring the marinade to a simmer and allow it to simmer for 5-10 minutes.

Grill the chicken
Place the chicken on a heated grill and brush some of the hot marinade over the top. Continue to grill the chicken, basting with marinade and turning as needed, until cooked through.

Place grilled chicken on a platter. Serve immediately

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