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
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
- Heat oil in a frying pan and fry chicken pieces until they are golden brown and fully cooked.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.