Spicy Chicken Teriyaki Bowls

Bowls are, as the kids say these days, the new hotness.

I attended my youngest sister’s college graduation this past weekend. While joyfully celebrating, something very real was obvious: My parent’s generation still considers me young, while my sister’s generation certainly considers me the opposite. I was straddling the fence between “oh, you’re still young,” and, “is your old sister going to make it out?” Heck, the truth is I’ve been atop this figurative ‘age fence’ for a while now.

 

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What does any of this have to do with spicy chicken teriyaki bowls, you ask?  Well, I was just attempting to justify the use of the term “new hotness” in that opening sentence.

So, lately I’ve been using my Sunday afternoons to prep meals for the upcoming week. I’ll fire up a few different proteins like chicken, shrimp, salmon and chicken sausages. I’ll cook up some grains (farro, quinoa, rice, couscous).  I’ll roast all the veggies in my crisper drawers. I’ll make a few sauces/condiments (tzatziki, hummus, pico de gallo, pickled onions), and I’ll prep any other veggies to be eaten raw (shred cabbage, clean lettuce, slice bell peppers). Each night that week I’ll whip up a different bowl combo.  A weeknight dinner in 10 minutes. Added bonus, one dish to be cleaned after a busy day. I’ll be sharing a few of my favorite combos soon.

What does all of that weekly prepping have to do with spicy saucy chicken teriyaki bowls, you ask? Well, it doesn’t take much to elevate the weekly prepped ingredients to the next level for a Saturday or Sunday night dinner … just like I did here. These delicious bowls are perfect for the kids, the parents, and those of us on the ‘age fence’ … and they’re comin’ in HOT!

 

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Ingredients:

For the chicken:

  • 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tbsp ginger root, grated
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

For the veggies:

  • 1 lb broccolini, stem ends trimmed
  • 5 baby bok choy, cut into quarters
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 4 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tsp red pepper flakes (less if you don’t want it too spicy)
  • 1/4 tsp salt

For finishing:

  • 1 1/2 cups jasmince rice, cooked according to package instructions
  • finely sliced green onion
  • toasted sesame seeds

Directions:

In a mixing bowl, combine soy sauce, granulated sugar, light brown sugar, garlic, ginger, black pepper, and cayenne. Whisk until combined.  Place chicken in a separate bowl and pour over the sauce. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside.

Meanwhile, prep the veggies and pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F. In a small mixing bowl, combine olive oil, sesame oil, low sodium soy sauce, garlic, red pepper flakes and salt; mix well.  Place broccolini and baby bok choy on a large rimmed baking sheet and drizzle with sauce. Be sure to get the sauce into all the small crevices of the baby bok choy. Reserve veggies and place in the oven when you begin reducing the teriyaki sauce below. Don’t worry, I’ll remind you. (See below underlined text.)

In a small bowl, combine corn starch with 2 tbsp water.  Mix well and set aside.

Place 2 tbsp of olive oil in a large pan over medium high heat. Remove chicken pieces from marinade and add to skillet.  (I did this with tongs as to not add too much of the marinade to the pan).  Cook the chicken in two batches as to not overcrowd the pan. Reserve marinade. Cook until chicken is just cooked through, 6 to 8 minutes. Remove chicken from pan and set aside. (At this point add your veggies to the oven and cook for 15-20 minutes at 400 degrees F.)  Add reserved marinade to the pan you cooked the chicken in and bring to a boil over high heat, cook for 10 minutes stirring often. Add cornstarch mixture, reduce heat to a simmer, and stir continuously for an additional 5 minutes until sauce is thickened. (Be sure to keep your eye on the sauce. it can easily burn. Your sauce is done when it can coat the back of a wooden spoon.) Add the chicken back in the sauce, and cook 2-3 additional minutes to heat through.

Assemble bowls – Add a scoop of rice, a heap of teriyaki chicken, residual sauce, and veggies, and finish with green onion and sesame seeds.

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