The sweet, salty tang of teriyaki and the tender texture of chicken combine for a true taste sensation in this recipe for Baked Teriyaki Chicken.
Four ingredients, three hours of time, and you have an easy to make meal or appetizer. Perfect for a small group, this recipe is easy to scale as long as you have a big enough oven.
This recipe came out of the need to feed unexpected guests. One Sunday, I was having a few guests come over to watch football. I get a call from one of them a few hours before the game. He asked if he could bring his brother and two nephews along, since they came to visit unexpectedly. He knew I loved a crowd and wouldn’t complain about extra guests. No problem, bring them along.
Then, I remembered. His nephews were teenagers and likely had big appetites. While I was already planning on a large spread, I knew I needed to something else to the table. I didn’t have time to go shopping or cook anything elaborate.
A quick glance in the freezer found a package of chicken wings. I had soy sauce in the fridge and some brown sugar in the pantry. Teriyaki chicken, anyone?
Since I had a few hours, I decided low and slow in the oven was the best option. I cooked them for about 2 1/2 hours that first time. They didn’t come out quite as crispy as I had hoped, but perfectly fine for eating.
My first try was a semi-success. Besides not getting crisp enough, I added too much soy sauce, and the wings ended up a bit too salty. My guests didn’t seem to care. The wings were gone in the first 15 minutes and I got a few compliments on them.
I’ve made this recipe multiple times since, tweaking it a bit here and there. This is my latest version.
What Makes a Good Teriyaki Chicken Recipe
The biggest decision in making teriyaki chicken is which part of the bird you use and how you portion it. The beauty of teriyaki is the scrumptious flavor you get with every bite. When you select a larger part of the bird, you won’t get that consistent flavor and that can detract from the experience.
For example, if you coat a large chicken breast with teriyaki marinade, you will get the rich flavor when you bite into the skin. However, when you take a bite from further into the interior, the flavor is going to be less.
The better option would be to select a smaller part of the bird, such as the wing, or to cut the breast into cubes and then marinade. That way, you get the teriyaki flavor with every bite.
Another tip for good teriyaki chicken is to use quality soy sauce. The brand you choose should be rich with umami flavor with a smooth taste. Some lesser quality soy sauces are overly salty and have little umami present.
Baked Teriyaki Chicken Wings
- 12 pcs Chicken Wings
- 1/2 cup Soy Sauce
- 1 cup Light Brown Sugar
- Sesame seeds (garnish)
- Preheat oven to 300°F.
- In a small bowl, combine soy sauce and brown sugar, stirring until sugar dissolves.
- Coat inside of baking pan with cooking spray.
- Wash chicken wings and pat dry with paper towel.
- Place wings into baking pan. Don't let wings crowd each other.
- Pour sauce over wings. Make sure each wing gets a good coat.
- Bake in preheated oven for 3 hours.
- Top with sesame seeds before serving.