Skip the takeout and stay at home with this easy Baked Teriyaki Chicken Thighs recipe. Teriyaki is a savory favorite in our house, and I think it’s at its most delicious on chicken thighs. The great thing about cooking with chicken thighs — besides the flavorful nature of dark chicken meat — is that thighs stay moist and tender in the oven and are far less likely to dry out than chicken breasts. In fact, many restaurants use chicken thighs for their chicken Teriyaki recipes, so this may make your homemade version taste even more like your favorite takeout.
This Teriyaki sauce recipe is simple and easy, using incredients you most likely have on hand. If you don’t regularly cook with soy sauce, it can be worth the trouble to try both low sodium and regular sodium varieties to find out which you prefer. Soy sauce comes in a wide varieties of flavors and varies in taste from region to region. Testing out different soy sauce varieties is a fun reason to try different dishes!
While traditional Japanese Teriyaki sauce includes mirin for sweetness and sake for acidity, sugar and rice wine vinegar are excellent substitutes and more likely to mimic the American version of Teriyaki sauce you’re accustomed to. Rice wine vinegar and sugar are also ingredients an American cook is more likely to have on hand. If you don’t have rice wine vinegar, you can substitute apple cider vinegar for good results.
Chicken is the name of the game with this particular recipe, but this Teriyaki sauce is very versatile and can be used with any number of proteins. Try it with sliced beef, salmon, pork, or even tofu. The sauce can even be made ahead and kept in the refrigerator for a week. Or, if you’re really ambitious, you can freeze it for even longer.
One great thing about making your own Teriyaki sauce is that you have extra to put on other things. We love to eat our Baked Teriyaki Chicken Thighs over plain white rice with some fresh steamed carrots cooked al dente and some raw shredded cabbage. This recipe makes a lot of extra sauce so it can coat additional rice and veggies for a well-rounded meal. Teriyaki chicken can also be served over noodles, like yakisoba noodles or rice noodles. And it’s also good just plain with vegetables or salad on the side.
For those who want to add a lot of extra vegetables, consider making double the sauce and only pouring half over the chicken and reserving the rest to be used on the rest of your meal. Fresh scallions or sesame seeds make great finishing touches when scattered on top of Baked Teriyaki Chicken Thighs — it’s both beautiful and tasty. Your kids will take pictures and post them on social media because it will look so delicious!