No-Fuss Chicken Teriyaki

No-Fuss Chicken Teriyaki

I don’t know about you, but when five o’clock rolls around and I still don’t have anything planned for dinner, it suddenly turns into Miraculous Stir Fry Day!  Miraculous Stir Fry Day is miraculous for a few reasons: first, undoubtedly you already have all the ingredients on hand (or at least have things on hand that could be subbed in for the missing ingredients); second, it requires very little fussy work and comes together very quickly (in fact, the longest step, time-wise, is boiling the rice!); third, it’s a great way to clean out the old fridge & freezer of strange odds and ends.  Have the end of a bag of frozen broccoli or mixed vegetables?  Incorporate that into the frying pan.  Have some leftover tofu or cooked chicken kicking around in a tupperware container?  Perfect!  Got a couple of sad onions and quickly softening carrots?  No problem!  Chop those suckers up and throw them into the pan while they can still be salvaged.

I first came across this recipe on Pinterest, where several pinners raved that it was the “best thing they’d ever eaten”!  Now, I don’t know about that, but what I do know is that it was inexpensive, versatile, and came together quickly, and for that–at the end of a long day–I was grateful!  The original recipe, blogged here, included no vegetables and was meant as a slow cooker meal (which is a great idea if you’ve got a busy day planned!).  I adapted the recipe to include a few extra fresh ingredients (let’s not forget my mission of constantly cleaning out the old fridge drawers!) as well as to tailor it to better suit a quick fry on the stove top.

No-Fuss Chicken Teriyaki

1 tbsp vegetable oil

3 chicken breasts, diced or sliced into strips

1 medium onion, diced

4 medium carrots, peeled & sliced

3 ribs of celery, sliced

¼ water

¾ cup sugar

¾ cup soy sauce (low-sodium if possible)

6 tbsp cider vinegar

½ tbsp grated fresh ginger

½ tbsp minced or grated fresh garlic

¼ tsp ground pepper

4½ tsp cornstarch

4½ tsp cold water

cooked rice or noodles, to serve

sesame seeds, for garnish

  1. Heat oil in a frying pan and fry chicken pieces until they are golden brown and fully cooked.
  2. Add in onion, carrot, and celery slices along with the ¼ cup of water, stirring thorougly.  Then, cover the pan with a snug-fitting lid or heat-resistant plate in order to allow steam to build up and soften the vegetables.
  3. Meanwhile, in a small dish, combine the sugar, soy sauce, ginger, garlic, and pepper.  After the vegetables have steamed for 5 minutes, stir the sauce into the frying pan, tossing the contents to coat them all in the sauce.
  4. In a small cup or bowl on the side, combine the cornstarch with the cold water, stirring until lumps disappear.  Slowly add this into a pool of sauce within the frying pan, stirring to incorporate it throughout the pan.  Within a minute, the sauce should be noticeably thicker and stickier.
  5. Serve stir-fry over rice or noodles.

** alternately, as suggested by the original recipe, this dish can also be prepared in a slow cooker by simply omitting the vegetable oil and the ¼ cup of water.  Add all ingredients to a crock pot (except the corn starch/water mixture) and let cook on high for 4-5 hours.  Incorporate the cornstarch/water mixture just before serving in order to thicken the sauce.