This chicken recipe is a winner, hands down! The rich, flavorful marinade, combined with the smoky flavor from grilling, makes for an outstanding chicken dish. This one is guaranteed to WOW your family and friends alike!
This recipe has been my “go-to” chicken recipe for years. Both my husband and my kids get excited when they find out I’m making teriyaki chicken for dinner. The marinade in this recipe is what makes the recipe so amazing! It is packed with so much flavor. The ingredients all work together to create a tangy, rich, yet smooth marinade that will make you reach for a second, third or even fourth piece of chicken! I actually have to double this recipe to feed the four of us because my family just devours this chicken. And honestly, this chicken is great as leftovers the next day, cold or reheated.
Like I mentioned above, this recipe is all about the marinade. So the longer you can marinate the chicken, the better. If you can, I would recommend marinating overnight. If that is not possible or you simply forget to do it ahead of time, like me, 4 to 6 hours of marinating will still yield amazing results.
I prefer thighs for this recipe. They are just a juicier cut of chicken and they grill really nice. Start by trimming off as much fat as you can.
Preparing the Marinade:
- Hoisin sauce is a condiment based on fermented soybean paste with other flavors and spices. It adds an Asian flavor to dishes, combining sweet, tangy, and spicy elements. Hoisin is dark in color, with a thick consistency. It has a very strong salty and slightly sweet flavor. Hoisin sauce does taste a bit like an American-style barbecue sauce, but saltier, richer, less sweet, and has a flavor all its own. It is key in this marinade and should not be left out. If you’ve never tried it, trust me, it’s amazing!
- Any ketchup and or soy sauce that you prefer is fine.
- Ginger is another ingredient is that is key in this marinade. Do not use powdered ginger. You need the strong flavor of fresh ginger. You can find it in the produce section of most grocery stores. Just peel and finely dice the ginger.
- Garlic should also be fresh, not dried. Dice the garlic.
- You want to use pure sesame oil. It is referred to as toasted or dark sesame oil. Toasted sesame oil is known for its rich, nutty, toasty taste. It has a distinct toasted sesame aroma and adds a punch of flavor to recipes, and this recipe is no different. Just be sure you don’t use light sesame oil; it is too neutral and doesn’t have enough flavor to complement the marinade.
- Rice vinegar is a vinegar made from fermented rice in East Asia and Vietnam in Southeast Asia. It can be used as a sweetener in some stir-fries, dressings, sushi rice, etc. In this recipe, the vinegar gives the marinade a slightly tangy taste.
Mix all the marinade ingredients together and add the trimmed chicken. Stir to cover the chicken completely. Cover and refrigerate 4 to 6 hours or overnight.
Usually, I post directions on how to both grill the chicken and cook the chicken on the stovetop. But this is one of those recipes that needs to be grilled to be really good. Trust me on this…It gives it a smoky depth of flavor you can’t get cooking on a stovetop.
When you are ready to grill the chicken, let it sit at room temperature for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, heat your grill to medium-high or high heat (it will vary based on your grill).
Place the chicken on the grill. I like to spoon any marinade left in the bottom of the bowl onto the chicken. Marinade equals flavor! Grill the chicken for 5 to 6 minutes per side. Always check that the internal temperature reaches 160F. (Temperature of the grill and grilling time will vary based on your own grill).
Let the chicken rest for 10 minutes before serving. Garnish with green onion and toasted sesame seeds.
My favorite rice cooker is listed below:
- ¼ cup ketchup
- ¼ cup hoisin sauce
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 2 teaspoons minced fresh garlic
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
- 2 teaspoons sesame seed oil
- 8 boneless chicken thighs
- toasted sesame seeds
- green onions, sliced
- Mix the ketchup, hoisin sauce, soy sauce, rice vinegar, minced garlic, minced ginger, and sesame seed oil in a medium bowl. Set aside.
- Trim off any extra fat from the chicken. Add chicken to the marinade. Stir to distribute the marinade onto the chicken evenly. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for 2 to 6 hours (the longer you marinate, the more flavorful the chicken will be). Stir a couple of times while the chicken is marinating.
Grilling the Chicken
- Preheat the grill on high heat.
- Once the grill has heated up, place chicken on the grill. Spoon any remaining marinade onto the chicken.
- Cook chicken for 4-5 minutes (or longer, depending on your grill, see notes). Flip and cook the other side for an additional 4-5 minutes. Using a meat thermometer, check that your chicken has reached an internal temperature of 160°.
- Remove from the grill and allow to rest for 10 minutes before serving.
- Garish with toasted sesame seeds and sliced green onions.