Monday, October 11, 2010

Chicken Teriyaki & Simmered Vegetables

Lately I've been really falling behind on my homework (not necessarily from cooking, though), so I've only really been eating two meals a day, usually skipping breakfast and wolfing something down for lunch.  For someone who's hypoglycemic, that's not so good, but I'm going to blame it all on school.  I didn't get really all that creative with this one since I didn't have much time to be cooking all that much in the midst of my desperate attempts to get caught up (and my first breakdown of the school year), so it's good ol' chicken teriyaki with lots of nice veggies in attempts to lift my spirits and get some energy for the long haul of senior projects I have to be working on.  I'm not sure about anyone else, but teriyaki can be a comfort food for me because it's salty, sweet, sticky, warm, and satisfying.  I just thawed out some chicken, pre-blanched asparagus spears, and rice package and threw some kabocha and satsuma-imo in a pot.  Not rocket science tonight, so this is a good hearty meal for when you're just not feeling up to snuff.   ...I work almost constantly, so I don't know how I have this lovely talent for falling behind!!!   T_T  *cries*

Chicken Teriyaki & Simmered Vegetables

1 chicken thigh, skin on
2 Tbsp. soy sauce (see Note)
2 Tbsp. sake (see Note)
2 tsp. mirin (see Note)
1 tsp. brown sugar (see Note)
3 asparagus spears, blanched (I had blanched and frozen a bunch yesterday, so I just thawed out 3 spears)
1/2 satsuma-imo (Japanese sweet potato)
1-2 oz. kabocha (Japanese squash), seeded
3/4 c. cooked rice, reheated if frozen or left over (I had a pre-measured frozen rice packet I made a while ago, so I just thawed that out)
sesame seeds (optional, to serve)

Note:  If you don't have all these ingredients for the teriyaki sauce or if you want to save a little time (by say, 30 seconds) you can use pre-made teriyaki sauce, but the homemade stuff tastes better.

Cut the satsuma-imo into 1/2 in. chunks and slice the kabocha into 1/4 in. slices.  Put both vegetables into a pot of boiling water and cook until soft enough for a fork to pierce easily.  Drain.

Cut the bone out of the chicken thigh (kitchen shears makes this a breeze, but you can use a knife if you like).  Heat a dry pan and add the chicken, skin side down.  (You don't need any oil if your chicken has skin on--the fat from the skin will provide well more than enough oil.  However, if you do happen to be using skinless chicken, you may need to add a little oil to your pan.)  Cook until the skin has browned, then flip over.  Cook until the bottom has browned, then flip the chicken back to skin side down.  Put a lid on the chicken and cook 2-3 minutes, flip the chicken over, put the lid back on, and cook another 2-3 minutes.

Mix the soy sauce, sake, mirin, and brown sugar.  Remove the lid from the chicken and add the sauce.  It should start to froth, but be careful to not let it burn.  Continue to cook the chicken, turning every 2-3 minutes until the juices from the meat are no longer pink and the meat is nicely glazed in the sauce.  Remove the chicken from the pan, but do not cut yet.

Cut the asparagus spears into four pieces each and add to the remaining teriyaki sauce in the pan.  Cook until the asparagus is thoroughly reheated/cooked and glazed in the sauce. 

Cut the chicken into four pieces.  Sprinkle the rice with sesame seeds.  Serve with the asparagus and simmered vegetables.  Pour the remaining sauce in the pan over the chicken and asparagus, if desired.

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