From America's Test Kitchen Season 6: Asian Chicken Classics
Too many chicken teriyaki recipes are lackluster—they can include everything from skewered chicken chunks shellacked in a corn-syrupy sauce to overmarinated, preformed chicken breast patties. They’re a long way away from the simple recipe promised in the name “teriyaki”—meaning “to shine” (referring to the sauce) and meaning “to broil.” We wanted a straightforward recipe that delivered the simple and authentic result of crisp and moist, sweet and salty, glazed chicken.
First, we decided against using breast meat. Bone-in, skin-on thighs stood up best to the salty profile of the teriyaki sauce. We set a weight on top of the chicken as it cooked (we used a heavy Dutch oven), which helped to brown a greater surface area of the chicken evenly, as well as to aid in pressing out most of the fat. We also found that a quick mixture of soy sauce, sugar, mirin, and a few other flavorings made an incredible teriyaki sauce that far surpassed any we could buy in a bottle.
Serves 4 to 6
If you prefer to serve whole bone-in thighs and thereby skip the step of boning the chicken, trim the thighs of excess skin and fat, position the oven rack about 12 inches from the heat source, and increase the broiling time to 20 to 26 minutes, rotating the pan once halfway through the cooking time. This recipe was developed to work in an in-oven broiler, not the drawer-type broiler typical of older gas ovens. Mirin, a sweet Japanese rice wine, is a key component of teriyaki; it can be found in the international section of most major supermarkets and in most Asian markets. If you cannot find it, use 2 tablespoons white wine and an extra teaspoon of sugar. If desired, low-sodium soy sauce can be used in place of regular soy sauce. Serve with steamed rice, preferably short grain.