In Episode 043 we’re making grilled teriyaki chicken thighs using boneless skinless chicken. While this recipe happens to be gluten-free and soy-free, it certainly packs on the flavor! Taryn shares several great kitchen tips for prepping and cooking the chicken that will help you get this meal ready in a flash for your family.
These are some of the recipes mentioned in the episode, all of which are on Hot Pan Kitchen.
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Taryn Solie: Hello grillers, and thank you for tuning in today! I am your host, Taryn Solie, and I am here to give you some grilling inspiration. Today I will be going over one recipe in detail from my recipe website, Hot Pan Kitchen, as well as some serving suggestions to make it a complete meal. The goal is to give you complete directions and helpful tips so you can make this dinner for your loved ones.
In today’s episode we’re going to make grilled teriyaki chicken thighs. I say teriyaki, but really this recipe is teriyaki-inspired as it has similar flavors but different ingredients. I am gluten free and typically teriyaki sauce is made with soy sauce, which is made from wheat, which contains gluten. This recipe instead uses coconut aminos, which are both wheat and soy free. If you haven’t bought them before, they’re pretty widely available at most grocery stores, typically located near other sauces or sometimes in the natural foods section. If you or someone you’re cooking for avoids gluten or soy, then this recipe is great to make for them.
It’s also a great recipe because you only marinate the chicken for 25 to 30 minutes. You certainly can marinate it for longer if that’s more convenient – making the marinade in the morning before leaving for work, then cooking the chicken when you get home. You’ll get a more saturated flavor if you do that, but you don’t have to to still get a great-tasting dinner.
So let’s go over the ingredients. You’ll need:
- ⅓ cup coconut aminos;
- ⅓ cup balsamic vinegar;
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil;
- 2 garlic cloves;
- ½ tsp kosher salt – I like to use Diamond Crystal, and I’ll tell you why in a minute;
- ½ tsp ground ginger;
- 5 scallions; and
- 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs, about 7 or 8 thighs
I have several tips for this recipe. Most of these are tips I’ve said before, but they bear repeating.
First, my note for kosher salt: I like Diamond Crystal brand as it’s less salty by weight than other salts, which leaves a little more room for error when you’re salting your dishes. If you have a different brand of kosher salt I would use a little less salt in this recipe, like a scant ½ teaspoon, which just means it’s not quite filled to the top of the measuring spoon. Or if you’re using table salt I would use about ¼ teaspoon.
Now a tip about garlic: if you have a hard time peeling garlic you can smash the cloves to help the skin come off more easily. I actually like to take my garlic press, turn it on its side and give each clove a wack or two on a cutting board. This breaks the clove up a bit and helps the skin come off really easily. If you don’t have a garlic press you could do something similar with a large knife where you turn it on its side and place the garlic cloves underneath, then kind of press the palm of your hand down on the knife to break the clove up. It has the same effect.
For the green onions: I don’t know about you, but my green onions always seem to wilt really fast. If you want to perk them back up (as long as they’re not all brown and shriveled), then put them in a flat container with water and ice cubes and let them sit overnight in the fridge. This is usually enough time for them to perk right back up, then you can chop them up for whatever recipe you’re using them in. Just don’t leave them in the water for too long as they will get slimy if you do.
The last tip for this recipe, and this goes for grilling any meat, is you want to cook to temperature. I’m going to mention cooking time as I walk through the recipe, but really you want to cook the chicken until it reaches an internal temperature of about 165 degrees F. To do this you will need a meat thermometer. If you don’t have one, there are a lot of options out there. I have an article on my website all about measuring internal temperatures, including the meat thermometer I recommend, that I’ll link on the show notes page for this episode.
To make this recipe, you’ll want to start off with the marinade. Wash the scallions and remove any pieces that are shriveled or brown. Then you want to slice the dark and light green portions into small pieces; kitchen shears are really good here, or you can use a sharp knife on a cutting board. Dump them into a medium container or jar with a lid – I like to use a medium or large mason jar for this.
Next you’ll measure out the coconut aminos, balsamic vinegar, sesame oil, kosher salt, and ground ginger and pour those into the mason jar. Finally, peel the garlic and put it through a garlic press, scraping it into the mason jar with the rest of the ingredients. If you don’t have a garlic press, you can also just mince the garlic with a knife.
Put a lid on the container and give it a good shake, enough to combine all of the ingredients. Really the ground ginger is what you want to watch out for as sometimes it can clump up a bit. If it does, just take a spoon or small whisk and stir it up until it’s combined.
Next, take the chicken thighs out of their packaging and put them in a large sealable plastic bag. You can cut away any large bits of fat before you do that, if you have kids – or adults – who don’t like to have bits of fat on their chicken. But they will mostly burn off when you put them on the grill. Pour the marinade over the chicken thighs, seal the bag, and massage it a bit with your hands to make sure all the thighs are covered in the marinade.
Place the bag flat in the fridge and let it sit for 20 minutes. Once the 20 minutes are up, remove the bag from the fridge and let it rest on the counter for 5 to 10 minutes to warm slightly.
While the chicken is warming, you want to start heating up your grill. I’m going to give instructions for both a wood pellet grill, like a Traeger, and a gas grill, but in both cases the important thing to remember is to cook your chicken until it hits an internal temperature of around, say it with me, 165 degrees F.
On my Traeger I like to cook the chicken at around 350 to 375 degrees F to let it get some of the smoky flavor. So set your Traeger to that temperature and let it heat up, then put the chicken thighs on the grill with a pair of tongs and let them cook for about 10 minutes per side. You can discard the bag with the marinade in it.
I would start checking the thighs after about 5 minutes on the second side after you’ve flipped them because smaller ones will cook faster than larger ones, or you may have a hot spot that cooks one thigh faster than another.
For my gas grill I tend to cook the thighs at a higher temperature – I usually do this when I want dinner on the table fast. I’ll set the temp to around 475 to 500 degrees F and cook the chicken for 3 to 5 minutes on each side, again checking to make sure that the internal temperature hits 165 degrees F.
Once the chicken thighs are done cooking, remove them from the grill and serve right away! You can also garnish them with fresh cut green onions if you have some left over.
Some side options to go with this recipe are white or brown rice – that’s what my family usually eats with this dish. You could do cauliflower rice if that’s more your thing. We also like to eat grilled veggies with the chicken, like grilled zucchini, bell peppers, or onions, those would all be good.
I’ll include a link to the full printable recipe for these teriyaki chicken thighs, as well as other recipes I’ve mentioned, on the show notes page. To get to it you can either go to my main website at Hot Pan Kitchen dot com and click on podcast in the main menu, or you can click on the link provided in whatever podcast app you’re listening on.
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That’s it for today, thank you so much for listening, and until next time, keep grilling like a mother.