I have never liked teriyaki anything. Teriyaki chicken in restaurants is almost always bland or soggy. The teriyaki burgers in Japan's McDonalds are okay, but taste like pork. My parents probably had a bottle of Kikkoman in the kitchen cupboard (because there is no foodstuff that wasn't at some point) but we never used it.
But, being the curious soul that I am, I couldn't resist trying a homemade version of teriyaki chicken when I saw it on Gourmande in Osaka's blog. The commenters insisted there was no comparison with the icky pre-made stuff. I like both soy sauce and sake/mirin, which are the two basic components of the sauce. And we should eat more white meat. So why not?
It isn't the prettiest dish to look at, but if I was a 16-year-old girl (who resembled normal teenage girls, and not the girl with her nose super-glued to a book who was me at 16) I would be screeching "O. M. G." to the entire blogiverse. The original recipe was more labor intensive than I cared for, but even with my lazy alterations this was easily one of the best chicken dishes I have ever made. Sweetie gave it two thumbs up, and if he had multiple hands, he would give even more. The sauce is salty and sweet, but not overpowering--you definitely taste the juicy meat and comforting rice underneath.
-6 chicken tenderloins, or 2 chicken breasts cut in strips
-2 tablespoons soy sauce
-2 tablespoons mirin (sweetened sake)
-1 teaspoon sugar
-1/2 cup Japanese (sushi) rice
Coat the chicken in the cornstarch and fry in a thin layer of oil until crispy. Pour the soy sauce and mirin over the meat, and turn to coat. Remove the pan from heat. Remove the chicken to a baking dish, leaving the sauce in the pan, and bake for 20 minutes at 350° until cooked through. While the meat is baking, steam the rice on the stove or in a rice cooker. Pour any juices from the chicken back into the pan with the sauce, add the teaspoon of sugar, and boil until thick. Season the rice with vinegar to taste, and top with the chicken. Pour the sauce over the dish, grab a fork and wait for glowing praise for the genius cook.
This is probably the first main dish I've posted here that doesn't feature vegetables. That is easily remedied with a side of steamed broccoli and carrots, or with a conscientious effort to consume more fruits and veggies throughout the day. This shortcoming will not deter me from keeping this dish high in The List of our weekly meal options.