I spent the summer between my undergraduate and graduate studies teaching conversational English in Japan, in the suburbs of Osaka. That summer was a great adventure. I was fully immersed in a different country where I was unfamiliar with the culture and speaking basic Japanese that I had learned in less than one month’s time. Even the food was unfamiliar: miso soup and salad for breakfast, takoyaki (octopus dumplings) as a snack, and grilled rice were delicious but unexpected. I craved a little bit of normalcy and chicken teriyaki was comfortingly familiar and readily available in Japan.
When I came back, I went to graduate school, taught elementary school for a number of years, fell in love, married, and became a mom. I love my life but there were times I longed for a great adventure. Again, chicken teriyaki was my connection to being a young Asian American in a different country. Since my children were very young at the time, a delicious kid-approved meal must be prepared in a no fuss way for a busy mom: marinate and broil on both sides.
Broiled Teriyaki Chicken Thigh Recipe
- 2 trays boneless, skinless chicken thighs (approximately 12 pieces)
- ⅓ cup teriyaki sauce
- 1 scallion, thinly sliced (extras for garnish)
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- Use scissors to trim off the fat from the chicken thighs and place the thighs into a large bowl. Add sauce, scallion and garlic (if using) and marinate for 15 minutes.
- Check that the top rack in the oven is 4 inches from the broiler element and preheat the broiler on high for a few minutes.
- In the meantime, line a large baking sheet with foil for easy clean up.
- Place chicken pieces on the baking sheet and discard marinade.
- Spread the pieces out so that they lie flat and do not overlap.
- Broil for 6 minutes and then turn over each piece of chicken and broil for another 6-7 minutes.
- The chicken is ready when the meat looks caramelized (golden brown, with a few brown spots).
- Serve with rice and a favorite vegetable side dish.