Teriyaki Chicken

Blogging to: “Chess in Concert

I was originally trying to come up with a clever name for this recipe. I had my heart set on “faux”-riyaki chicken, but managed to convince myself that it’s utterly ridiculous to expect people to call it that, let alone expect people to type it out into a search engine. Therefore, this is just plain ol’ teriyaki chicken here. But it’s so deceptively simple, I felt I had to add some “fake” aspect to the name.

Dude, the whole recipe is three ingredients. Das it. Thank you and good night….

In all seriousness, I kind of stumbled upon this marinade quite by accident and when I was finished, I kind of felt it tasted like teriyaki. Now, I have no idea what is actually in a teriyaki sauce, but this could happily fool my taste buds into being none the wiser. Without further adieu, let’s grab the vinegar.


Apple cider vinegar is up there with my all-time favorite vinegars, coming in as a close second only to balsamic.

For this recipe, we’re going to stick with the rule of threes: everything you put into this marinade can be scaled to whatever quantity you’d like, so long as you use all three ingredients in equal parts. For the purposes of the chicken I cooked here, I found 1/4 cup of everything made the right amount of marinade. Next, the soy sauce.


I like to use the reduced-sodium stuff, but I’m sure you can use the regular strength.


Once you throw those kids into a pot, toss in 1/4 cup of brown sugar. Turn the heat on medium and just warm everything up so the sugar dissolves. After that, let this whole thing cool down to as close to room temperature as you have the patience for. (It’s best to let it cool at least somewhat because if you don’t, when you throw the chicken in the marinade, it’ll start to cook slightly. Also, the high temperature of the hot marinade will bring down the temperature of your cold fridge when you throw it in there. It’s a tightrope walk for sure.)


The marinade makes enough for 1 lb. to 1 1/2 lbs. of chicken (or whatever bland protein you have lying around). I marinate this over night, turning the bag o’ chix half-way through so everything’s evenly absorbed.


Then get to cookin’! My usual MO is to just saute the chicken up in a pan until done. Now, a word of warning: because there is sugar in the marinade, the outside will get a nice char from the sugar burning. Just keep an eye on it to make sure it doesn’t get too black. Just the right amount of char gives you a pleasantly sweet and smokey flavor. Again, another tightrope.


There you have it. Yummy “faux”-riyaki chicken! (Sorry, I know I said I wasn’t going to do that.)

Teriyaki Chicken

Prep Time: 24 hours

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 24 hours, 15 minutes

Serving Size: 4

Teriyaki Chicken

My version of a teriyaki marinade only has three ingredients and is a dead ringer for the real thing.


  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 lb. to 1 1/2 lbs. chicken breasts or tenders (the thinner, the better here)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil


  1. In a pot, combine the apple cider vinegar, soy sauce, and brown sugar. Heat the ingredients over medium heat just until the sugar dissolves. Give it a stir, turn the heat off, and let the mixture cool down to room temperature.
  2. Meanwhile, place the chicken into a Ziploc bag. Once the marinade is cool, pour it onto the chicken, squeeze the air out, and refrigerate overnight (turning half-way through to ensure even marinade absorption).
  3. In a large pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Once the oil ripples and smokes, add the chicken. Cook for about 5-8 minutes on one side, until brown. Flip over and cook on the second side for another 5-8 minutes until chicken is cooked all the way through. The outside of the chicken will start to char and turn black. Just keep turning the chicken to make sure one side doesn't get too black. Serve sliced over rice and enjoy!


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  1. Yum! I can’t believe you got that kind of color from a pan saute. I am putting this on my menu for next week =)

    • Enjoy! The color is all from the brown sugar in the marinade. Just keep an eye on it so it doesn’t get too dark/burned. Let me know how it turns out!

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