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~ Japanese-Teriyaki-Style Roasted Chicken Quarters ~

IMG_4742Americans adore teriyaki-style almost anything.  This is not an assumption on my part.  Beef or chicken teriyaki appear as a skewered appetizer option on menus in almost all Japanese-American and Chinese-American restaurants.  Make no mistake, teriyaki is a 100% Japanese-invented method of cooking (read paragraph three), and, once Americans here in the states got a taste for its soy- and ginger-based flavors (thanks to our soldiers returning to the homeland after WWII), Chinese-American restaurants adopted it, to please the palates of their customers.

Incredibly easy to prepare, perfectly portioned, &, 100% guaranteed better than take-out, eat-out or delivery:

IMG_4767Teriyaki is true East-meets-West cuisine that started in Hawaii:

IMG_4568Chicken leg-thigh quarters are on my weeknight meal rotation two or three times a month.  They're tender and juicy, and, sigh-oh-my, that gorgeous, golden, crispy skin.  Each one is a one-piece drumstick and thigh, which means each piece is the perfect one portion, so, no guesswork involved, you never have any leftovers (unless you want leftovers, then you roast six-eight). No matter what you're seasoning or saucing these with (the possibilities are almost endless), the upfront prep-work is minimal (5 minutes).  Into the oven they go for 1 hour, 15-20 minutes, and, your hands are, for the most part, free to make an easy side-dish or two and set the table.  In the case of tonights dinner, once I get the chicken in the oven, my electric rice cooker with get turned on to steam some white rice and a medley of frozen broccoli, carrots, snow peas and water chestnuts.

6a0120a8551282970b01b7c94a9feb970bTeriyaki (tehr-uh-yah-kee):  Teriyaki is a Japanese term referring to a method of cooking beef, chicken or seafood that has been marinated (in a mixture of soy sauce, mirin, sugar, garlic and/or ginger) prior to being grilled, broiled or stir-fried. "Teri" is the Japanese word for "luster", and it is the sugar in the marinade that gives the food its "teri" or shiny glaze.  It's interesting to note that in Japan, there is no official teriyaki sauce.  Teriyaki sauce was invented by the early Japanese settlers to the islands of Hawaii.  They created:

A slightly-sweet nicely-thickened marinade/basting sauce using local, readily-available, easy-to-acquire Hawaiian products.  For example: pineapple juice (in place of the mirin or sake of their homeland) and wild garlic (in conjuction with ginger they brought with them), mixed with soy sauce and thickened with cornstarch.  The subject at hand (beef, chicken, fish or seafood) is marinated for a minimum of 30 minutes, longer for a more pronounced flavor, then cooled.

6a0120a8551282970b0263e8615d7d200dHomemade teriyaki sauce is thick and drizzly.  At its thinnest, it is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, and, at the discretion of the cook, in many cases thicker than that.  That said, many store-brought brands are watery (similar in consistency to soy sauce), and, they will not work in this recipe.  Ideally, the teriyaki sauce should be similar in consistency to a hearty barbecue sauce.  What I keep on-hand and recommend is: Panda Express Mandarin brand teriyaki sauce.

There's no shame in owning a bottle of this teriyaki sauce.

IMG_4703For the teriyaki-style chicken leg-thigh quarters:

4  chicken leg-thigh quarters, about 4-4 1/2 pounds

freshly-ground sea salt and peppercorn blend

1 1/2-2  cups Panda Express Mandarin brand teriyaki sauce or homemade teriyaki sauce, about 1/2 cup for basting chicken quarters 3-4 times while it's in the oven, plus  enough to be served for dipping or drizzling at the table

IMG_4715 IMG_47153-4 cups uncooked jasmine or basmati rice, steamed in a rice steamer (optional)

2  steam-in-bags Asian vegetables (broccoli, carrots, snow peas and water chestnuts), microwaved per directions (optional)

6a0120a8551282970b0263e95a63a9200b 6a0120a8551282970b0263e95a63a9200b 6a0120a8551282970b0263e95a63a9200b 6a0120a8551282970b026bde87f32e200c 6a0120a8551282970b026bde87f32e200c IMG_4704 IMG_4704 IMG_4720 2 IMG_4720 2 IMG_4720 2 IMG_4720 2 IMG_4720 2~Step 1. Arrange chicken quarters in a large disposable roasting pan into which a wire rack has been inserted and a sheet of parchment has been placed atop rack.  Generously season tops of chicken with freshly-ground sea salt and peppercorn blend.  Roast on center rack of 350° oven, 1 hour, 15 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven, use a pastry brush to baste each chicken quarter with teriyaki sauce, and return pan to oven to roast for 5 more minutes.  Repeat this basting process 2-3 more times, for a total roasting time of 1 hour, 15-20 minutes.  Prepare the optional rice and vegetables during the last 20-30 minutes of the chicken roasting process.

Three on-hand ingredients + 1 hour, 15 minutes = dinner:

IMG_4763Two side dishes, in 20 minutes while chicken roasts:

IMG_4781Japanese-Teriyaki-Style Roasted Chicken Quarters:  Recipe yields 4 servings.

Special Equipment List: 20" x 12" x 4" disposable aluminum roasting pan, or, 17 1/2" x 12 1/2" baking pan; wire cooling rack; parchment paper; pastry brush; electric rice steamer (optional)

6a0120a8551282970b01bb09f5d2e8970dCook's Note: Chicken wings are modern-day all-American pub grub and teriyaki is a long-established all-Japanese method of cooking beef, chicken, fish or seafood.  Lucky for us Americans, Japanese teriyaki sure does turn out a really good version of American chicken wings, but, unlike our traditionally-prepared wings, which are typically plunged into the hot oil of a deep fryer, teriyaki wings, in order to render their signature fall-off-the-bone tender interior with a slightly-crispy, sticky exterior, they require a kinder, gentler "oven treatment".  Try my  ~ Japanese Teriyaki Meets American Chicken Wings ~.

"We are all in this food world together." ~ Melanie Preschutti

(Recipe, Commentary and Photos courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen/Copyright 2020)


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