Eilene is having friends over tonight and one of them is a picky eater. If it is not Vietnamese or sweet she will not like it. I would make pho, but it takes a long time to make the stock. Jan suggested that she would like chicken teriyaki.
Last Sunday, I made barbecued chicken teriyaki and I was very opinionated in my post about keeping the pieces of meat large, so that they would not dry out. Today, I have a very short window to marinate the chicken and I decided that this would be a good opportunity to “test kitchen” this idea.
I have cut the chicken into individual portions before I started to marinate them. I will probably need to add some stabilizing toothpicks—there are pieces of the tenders that are barely hanging on to their breast portions. This method also has a lot more surface area to cover with the sauce, so I have increased most of the ingredients to allow for generous basting.
On Sunday, I stayed close to my mother’s recipe. Today, I am adding a twist. I am replacing the plain sugar with Karl’s orange infused sugar.
After Dinner Note: As I expected the smaller pieces of meat came out a bit dryer than the large pieces. However, Jan found this a small price to pay for there being a lot more of the caramelized glaze covering all of the pieces. Your choice is juicy or sweet, it depends on your personal preference.
There may have been a touch of secret ingredient in using the orange sugar. The strong flavor of the soy sauce masked any orange flavor. I might make a special batch of orange sugar and add a lot more orange zest to it, to see if I can enhance this flavor.
Karl’s Barbecued Chicken Teriyaki II
1 large roasting chicken (4-5 lbs.)
1 cup light low sodium soy sauce
¼ cup sake
4 Tbs. mirin (sweetened rice wine)
4 Tbs. sugar
2 Tbs. grated fresh ginger
1 Tbs. rice vinegar
1½ tsp. corn starch mixed with water
1. At least six hours before cooking, cut the chicken into individual portions.
Tip: I cut out the backbone and the breast bone. Cut the bird in half and then separate the legs from the breasts. I also remove any large lumps of fat and I trim off the rib cage—these poky little bones have very little meat on them and they tend to puncture the marinating bag. For a large roasting chicken I cut the leg portions into a leg and two pieces of thigh. I cut a large breast into 3-4 pieces, wing and a bit of breast, a breast slice or two—depending on the size of the breast—and a triangular breast tip. The neck, backbone and any scraps are frozen for making chicken stock another day.
2. Mix the remaining ingredients (except for the corn starch) in a small pot and bring it just to a boil. Stir until the sugar is completely dissolved and remove the pot from the heat. Let the teriyaki sauce cool slightly.
3. Place the chicken in a sealable gallon plastic bag and add three quarters of a cup of the teriyaki sauce. Reserve the remaining sauce.
4. Place the bag of chicken in the refrigerator and flip it over about every two hours.
Tip: Turning the bag over allows the sauce to reach all parts of the chicken. Six hours is a minimum marinating time, but overnight is better.
5. Half an hour before cooking, start your coals. When ready pour the coals along the back of the barbecue, leaving the front of the grill bare (a bi-level fire).
6. Remove the chicken from the marinade and pat the pieces dry. If necessary, use half toothpicks to stabilize any pieces of meat or skin that might fall away from its portion during barbecuing. Let the pieces air dry for 30 minutes.
Tip: Discard the marinade or heat it and then filter out the clotted chicken juices.
7. Lay the chicken pieces skin side down close to, but not directly over the coals.
Tip: You what to place the thickest part of the breasts and legs nearest the heat. You also do not want the chicken directly over the coals, the rendering fat would drip onto the coals and cause flare-ups and scorched meat.
8. Close the lid on the grill and walk away for 15 minutes.
9. While the chicken is cooking, reheat the remaining teriyaki sauce. Add the corn starch and stir until the sauce has completely thickened.
10. Brush the chicken pieces with the sauce and turn them over a bit farther away from the coals—toward the front of the barbecue.
11. Brush the second side of the chicken and insert a constant read thermometer into the thickest piece of chicken. Close the lid of the barbecue.
Tip: Set the thermometer to 160° F.
12. Line a tray with a large piece of aluminum foil. When the alarm rings, , about 40-50 more minutes later, transfer the chicken to the tray. Loosely tent the chicken and let it rest for 10 minutes to redistribute the juices and to finish cooking.
Tip: When the heat is enclosed in foil the internal temperature in the center will rise to 165° F.
13. Cut the chicken into portions and brush the pieces with the last of the teriyaki sauce. Serve with steamed rice.