This marinated chicken is delicious when grilled, and the char-grilled flavor takes it to a whole new level. Serve Grilled Teriyaki Chicken with your favorite stir-fried vegetables, rice, or side dishes for a fantastic meal!
Teriyaki chicken is a Japanese dish that is marinated in a sweet and savory sauce before being cooked. The marinated chicken is traditionally cooked using a method called yakitori, in which small pieces of chicken are skewered and grilled over hot coals.
This version of teriyaki chicken is marinated in a homemade teriyaki sauce that is both sweet, salty, and savory. Once marinated, the chicken is grilled to perfection, giving it a delicious char-grilled flavor.
Grilled teriyaki chicken is a great option for lunch or dinner because it's flavorful! It can also be served in various ways, including on a bed of rice, with noodles, or even as part of a wrap.
The key to making this dish is to marinate the chicken in the sauce for at least 30 minutes but no longer than 24 hours. This will allow the chicken to absorb all of the flavors in the marinade and become extremely tender, making this chicken irresistible!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- The chicken gets tenderized as it marinates in the sweet and savory teriyaki sauce.
- It’s grilled to perfection, giving it a delicious char-grilled flavor.
- This dish is so versatile and can be served in various ways to change it up every time.
- The homemade teriyaki sauce is easy to make with simple ingredients.
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs - This cut of chicken is perfect for marinating and grilling as it's full of flavor and extremely tender with a higher fat content.
Teriyaki Chicken Marinade
- Orange Juice - Adds an acidic pop of citrus flavor that helps tenderize the meat.
- Low Sodium Soy Sauce - Makes up the salty umami portion of the sauce.
- Rice Vinegar - Adds a touch of acidity and sweetness.
- Honey - A key ingredient in any teriyaki sauce, it adds the perfect amount of sweetness.
- Sesame Oil - Gives the teriyaki sauce a hint of toasted sesame flavor.
- Minced Garlic - Adds a bold garlic flavor throughout the sauce
- Green Onions - Adds a pop of fresh green color along with a mild onion flavor.
- Ground Ginger - Gives the sauce a kick of natural heat that pairs well with the rest of the Asian ingredients.
- Cornstarch Slurry - A mixture of cornstarch and water is mixed together to help thicken the teriyaki sauce, so it coats the chicken perfectly.
How To Make Grilled Teriyaki Chicken
Prepare the teriyaki marinade: To a medium-sized mixing bowl, add the orange juice, soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, ginger, garlic, honey, and green onions. Whisk until well combined. Reserve ½ cup of marinade in a sealed container to thicken later.
Prepare the chicken: Trim any excess fat off of the chicken thighs and pat dry with a paper towel. Place chicken thighs in a gallon-sized freezer bag. Pour the remaining marinade over the chicken. Transfer to the refrigerator and marinate for 2-8 hours.
Grill the marinated chicken thighs: When ready to grill, Preheat the grill to medium and lightly oil the grates. Grill chicken for 5-7 minutes on each side until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165°F.
Assemble the thickened sauce: Add 3 tbsp of water and cornstarch to a small bowl while the chicken is just finished. Whisk until there are no lumps. Continue to whisk while pouring in reserved marinade. Brush the marinade on the chicken and continue to grill for 30 seconds.
Garnish and serve: Garnish with sesame seeds and green onions and serve while hot. Enjoy!
- The safe internal temperature for chicken is 165°F. Use a meat thermometer to check the temperature of the chicken to ensure it is cooked through.
- Be sure to marinate the chicken for at least 30 minutes but no longer than 24 hours for best results. Marinating too long can tenderize the chicken too much.
- If you don’t have a grill, you can cook the chicken in a grill pan on the stove over medium-high heat.
Variations & Serving Suggestions
- Rice: Slice the chicken and serve over a bowl of rice.
- Noodles: Cook your favorite noodles and toss in the grilled chicken.
- Vegetables: Serve with grilled vegetables on the side.
- Use a wrap: Place chicken and your favorite toppings in a wrap for an easy lunch or dinner.
- Make a stir fry: Cube the chicken and add it to your favorite stir fry recipe.
- Garnish ideas: Sliced green onions, sesame seeds, or microgreens make the perfect topping for this grilled teriyaki chicken recipe.
- Chicken breast: Instead of chicken thighs, you can use chicken breast. Just be sure not to overcook the chicken, or it will become dry.
- Spice it up: Add a pinch of cayenne pepper to the marinade for a little bit of heat.
Storing & Freezing
Storing: Once cooled, store grilled chicken in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
Freezing: Freeze raw marinated chicken in a freezer bag for up to 2 months. When ready to cook, thaw overnight in the fridge and grill as directed. Freeze cooked chicken in an airtight container for up to 3 months.
Reheating: Thaw frozen cooked chicken overnight in the fridge and reheat on the grill over medium heat until warmed through, about 5 minutes per side. Alternatively, you can reheat in the oven at 350°F until warmed through, about 10-15 minutes.
Yes, you can cook the chicken in a grill pan on the stove over medium-high heat. Alternatively, you can chop it up and cook it in a hot skillet until it is browned.
Yes, you can use chicken breast. Just be sure not to overcook the chicken, or it will become dry.
It can be both! Teriyaki marinade is used to flavor and tenderize the meat, while teriyaki sauce is used as a glaze or dipping sauce. This recipe uses a marinade, which is then thickened to make a glaze.
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Grilled Teriyaki Chicken
- 2½ lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs (trim fat off)
- ⅓ cup orange juice
- ⅓ cup low sodium soy sauce
- 2 tbsp rice vinegar
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 2 tsp ground ginger
- 2 tsp garlic (minced)
- 2 tbsp honey
- 2 green onions (sliced)
- 3 tbsp water
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- Add orange juice, soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, ginger, garlic, honey, and green onions. Whisk until well combined—Reserve ½ cup of marinade in a sealed container for later.
- Place chicken thighs in a gallon-sized freezer bag. Pour the remaining marinade over the chicken. Transfer to the refrigerator and marinate for 2-8 hours.
- Preheat the grill to medium and lightly oil the grates.
- Grill chicken for 5-7 minutes on each side until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165°
- Meanwhile, add 3 tbsp of water and cornstarch to a small bowl. Whisk until there are no lumps. Continue to whisk while pouring in reserved marinade.
- Brush the marinade on the chicken and continue to grill for 30 seconds.
- Garnish with sesame seeds and green onions. Enjoy!
*All nutrition information provided is automatically calculated and is an estimate and will vary based on ingredients, brands, and changes in cooking methods listed in the recipe. If you need exact numbers on your ingredients, I would recommend calculating them with your prefered nutrition calculator.
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