Chicken Teriyaki with Pineapple Rings

Years ago, friends opened a restaurant in a little strip-mall food court – “The Teriyaki Hut”.  They were Hawaiian-Filipino transplants and their little eatery specialized predominately in dishes from Hawaii (although Teriyaki is actually Japanese).  I often wondered why they didn’t concentrate on the Filipino side of their heritage. After all, Las Vegas has a huge Filipino population. I suppose my friends wanted to set themselves apart. There were already a number of established strip-mall eateries serving up Pancit, Adobo and Lumpia.

I loved spending time in their commercial kitchen, playing with mixers and grinders that were as big as I was, and using wooden stir spoons that more closely resembled boat oars. I loved sampling the foods. Most of all, I loved getting new recipes. It was just a matter of converting the ingredients down to a manageable size designed for the home-cook.

This is their recipe for Chicken Teriyaki. It’s always been a hit with my crew – hope you enjoy it, too.

Note: Whatever you do, don’t skip lining the pan with foil and spraying it with cooking spray. Otherwise, you’ll end up with a sticky mess in your pan that is a real pain in the you know what to clean.

Chicken Teriyaki
Ingredients – Teriyaki Sauce:
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon cold water
½ cup white sugar
½ cup soy sauce
¼ cup cider vinegar
½ teaspoon grated or ground ginger (fresh grated is best)
1 clove garlic, minced
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
¼ cup pineapple juice

Ingredients – Chicken:
12 boneless skinless chicken thighs
3 Pineapple rings, cut into 4th

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line rimmed baking pan with foil. Spray lightly with non-stick cooking spray, set aside.

Dissolve cornstarch in cold water. In a small saucepan over low heat, pour cornstarch mixture.

Add sugar, soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, ginger, ground black pepper and pineapple juice. Increase to medium-low and cook, stirring frequently until sauce thickens and bubbles, about 20 minutes.

Place chicken thighs in a single layer on prepared baking sheet. Brush chicken with sauce. Turn pieces over and brush again.

Bake in oven for 15 minutes. Turn pieces over, brush with sauce and bake for another 15 minutes or until cooked through and juices run clear.

Turn oven to broil. Brush chicken with sauce and broil for about 5 minutes. Turn over, place 1 piece of pineapple on each thigh. Brush one final time with sauce. Place under broiler for 5-6 minutes until pineapple begins to brown. Place thighs on a large serving platter. Lift foil from baking pan and pour drippings over meat.

Serving suggestions: Place chicken on a bed of sticky white rice and drizzle with pan drippings just before serving. This chicken also goes well with Fried Rice and pork pot stickers. (There are several good pot stickers in the frozen food section of a well-stocked market; and Costco carries a decent selection as well). For added color to the table, serve with Brown Sugar Kahlua Glazed Baby Carrots

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