There's something about a Donburi that gets me every time. One of my favorites is Teriyaki Chicken Don. It's such a simple dish that I never get tired of.
Donburi, often referred to as "don" for short, is a Japanese dish consisting of meat, fish or vegetables served in a bowl over rice. Donburi literally means "bowl" in Japanese and also translates to a rice bowl dish. You may be familiar with Katsudon (deep fried pork cutlet over rice), Oyakodon (chicken and egg over rice) or Gyudon (beef over rice).
Chicken Teriyaki Don is another great one to add to your collection of Donburi recipes. This isn't just any ordinary Teriyaki Chicken. This recipe comes with a succulent juicy piece of chicken thigh, features beautifully cooked crispy skin, topped with a sweet and savory teriyaki sauce. Got your attention yet?
Which Cut of Chicken Can I Use for Chicken Teriyaki Donburi?
For Teriyaki Chicken Donburi, I recommend using boneless chicken thighs with the skin on. There are not many things I love more than crispy chicken skin. There's something about the taste and texture that's impossible to get enough of. So don't skip out on the skin! Chicken thighs also stay incredibly juicy and is very hard to overcook.
If you prefer white meat, chicken breast would be okay but be sure it includes the skin. You'll need it to keep the meat juicy and flavorful. Since chicken breast is less forgiving, you'll need to keep a close eye on the cook time so it doesn't overcook.
How to Make Chicken Teriyaki Don with Crispy Skin
This method is my favorite way to make Chicken Teriyaki Don. Frying chicken thighs this way not only makes the skin crispy, it also keeps the meat super juicy.
1) Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. When the pan is hot, add a thin layer of oil, just enough to coat the bottom. Carefully place the chicken thighs skin side down in a single layer.
2) Loosely cover the chicken (not the pan) with foil. This holds in moisture and cooks the meat while allowing the skin to crisp up. Cook over medium-high heat for about 10 minutes.
3) Remove the foil and flip the chicken thighs over. Continue cooking the other side uncovered. Allow the bottom side to lightly brown.
4) Move the chicken to the side then add ginger and sake to deglaze the pan. Be sure to scrape up the browned bits stuck to the skillet. Simmer until the sake has reduced by about half.
5) Add teriyaki sauce and mix well. Be careful not to get any liquid on the crispy skin.
6) Allow the sauce to thicken until the desired consistency, stirring occasionally.
How to Jazz up Teriyaki Sauce
For the teriyaki sauce, you can use any brand you like, or you can use your own homemade sauce. I love using J-Basket's yakitori sauce when I'm not making my own. While it's not teriyaki sauce per se, the flavor profile is quite similar and I prefer it for the lighter and thinner consistency than most store bought sauces.
To jazz up store bought teriyaki sauce and to elevate it to a new level, we take three simple steps. Dilute with sake for a slight acidity, add grated ginger for brightness, and simmer with pan drippings for depth. When you're done, you won't be able to convince anyone that the teriyaki sauce came from a bottle.
Assembling Teriyaki Chicken Donburi
To complete this dish and to make it a true Chicken Teriyaki Don, it needs to be served in a bowl of freshly steamed rice. Fill a medium-sized bowl halfway full of rice. Top with one chicken thigh cut into strips. Drizzle a generous portion of teriyaki sauce over the chicken and the rice.
For this Teriyaki Chicken Donburi, I topped it with browned scallions and toasted sesame seeds. You can also add a side of broccoli, cucumbers, or edamame to make it a complete meal.
For a quick and easy version of Teriyaki Chicken Don, try making Air Fryer Teriyaki Chicken instead of the pan fried method we used here.
- 3-5 skin on boneless chicken thighs
- 1 tablespoon ginger, grated or finely minced
- ½ cup sake
- ½ cup teriyaki sauce
- 8-10 stalks of scallions, cut into 2 inch pieces (optional)
- Heat a large skillet to medium-high heat. When it begins to get smoky, add a tiny bit of oil, just enough to lightly coat the pan.
- Add the chicken thighs skin side down. Use a piece of foil, loosely cover the chicken thighs only, not the pan.
- Cook for about 10 minutes over medium-high heat. About halfway through, shuffle the chicken pieces around the skillet to ensure they brown evenly.
- When the skin is nicely browned and crispy, flip the chicken thighs over and lightly brown uncovered. From this point on, we no longer need to cover the chicken.
- While the chicken continues to cook, brown the scallions in the same skillet. Once they're caramelized, remove and set aside.
- Move the chicken thighs to one side of the skillet and add grated ginger and sake. Be sure to scrape up the browned bits at the bottom of the pan to deglaze. Simmer until the sake has reduced by half. Be careful not to get sake on the skin. We want to keep it nice and crispy.
- Stir in teriyaki sauce and simmer until the sauce reduces to your liking. Again, be careful not to get any sauce on the skin.
- Turn off the heat. Cut the chicken thighs into strips with a knife or kitchen shears.
- Prepare a bowl of steamed rice and place chicken strips (skin side up) over the rice. Garnish with green onions and drizzle teriyaki sauce over the top. Serve immediately.