I am doing a Japanese dinner for our Sunday meal. While there may be a main dish of meat and rice or noodles, Japanese meals usually include many small side dishes with a variety of textures, colors and tastes. The aesthetic— moritsuke—is that it is food for the soul as well as the stomach. I am making chicken teriyaki and this is one of the side dishes I decided should go with it.
Tag Archives: barbecued chicken
Sunday dinners have become a bit of a challenge, since daughter Miriam has been sick with something that prevents her from eating anything in the leek family—garlic, onions, etc. Adapting recipes to be flavorful without these well loved ingredients tests my mettle—laddle?—as a cook. I decided on barbecuing a chicken with a slightly French fine herbs sans chives vibe—sage seemed an appropriate substitute.
When someone refers to Southwestern cooking, most people would immediately assume some version of Mexican cooking—New Mexican, Cal-Mex, Tex-Mex. Mexican dishes with an American influence—or vise versa. However, there were people and cooking going on in the Southwest long before the Spanish got there to influence the cuisine.
It is Memorial Day and barbecue is the traditional way of celebrating. Son-in-law, Chris, is avoiding sugary foods, so many a barbecue sauce was out. I decided that a spice rub would be the way to go.
Jan asked me last week why I never make chicken wings. As is usually the case, at some point in the past she told me that she did not like them. As is also the case, she completely denies ever having said that or that she did not want them that day. Eilene prefers legs to wings, so I threw in some of those as well.
When I make teriyaki chicken I usually use the traditional Japanese (and my mother’s) simple recipe—soy sauce, mirin, saki, ginger, and sugar. Years ago—like 30—I had a friend who added wasabi and brown sugar to his teriyaki sauce. For this meal, I decided to go a bit less traditional and do a variation of my friends recipe.
I have done this dish before, but it shows just how differently a dish will turn out when you make just a few changes. The last time I made enough sauce to make the marinade and no more. After the bird was barbequed I sprinkled some fresh Sichuan pepper on the dry surface, producing a bird with crisp skin and strong pepper flavor. This time I made twice as much sauce and basted the bird so that the final dish had a thick, sticky glaze that melded the sauce flavors. Mostly the same ingredients, but very different dining experiences.
While I am still not convinced that the flavor is as good with gas grilling—over charcoal—it is certainly more convenient. Wanting something a bit different for a weeknight dinner, I settled on chicken satay. Satay, in the end, is just marinated meat grilled on a stick. While originating in Indonesia, it spread over Southeast Asia with each culture adding its own distinctions. Usually it is accompanied by a dipping sauce, some kind of peanut sauce being one of the more common.