If Yan Could Cook. . .

Teriyaki Chicken Sandwich

with one comment

Today, biking through the Ville Mont-Royal, the back alleyways of suburbia meets industrial wasteland, I was struck by a feeling I often have, that I can only call placesickness. Like homesickness, it’s a longing to be somewhere else, but not a specific place. A longing for the concept of home, of a place where you can lie your head near the sleeping head of someone else, a place of better times, a place where you are loved. A place that exists geographically nowhere. A place – sometimes you’re sure – that exists somewhere in your past.

I started keeping my bike in my apartment, and it feels like I tried to domesticate one of the large, territorial cats – a tiger or a puma. My bike constantly needs more landmass to run free in than I can provide. We hit the northern edge of the island on an afternoon ride, shocked at how small the bounds of the city are.

When you search for “teriyaki” on Google or Epicurious, you get lots of recipes that feature bottled teriyaki sauce. Some of them are recipes that include nothing else: marinate chicken in teriyaki marinade. Baste chicken in teriyaki baste. Grill. How is this a recipe?

I find myself increasingly turning to Wikipedia. That is what I’m more interested in, anyway: generally what goes into a dish, what flavours are associated with it, disambiguation on its name, how its eaten in its native country, popular variations. On teriyaki, Wikipedia said: soy sauce, sugar or honey, and sake or mirin. Much better!

Because it was what I had, I used soy sauce, honey, rice wine vinegar (it’s surprisingly difficult to find mirin in my dominantly Asian neighbourhood), sesame oil, and orange juice (ginger would have been nice, alas). A solid few tablespoons of soy sauce, a big dollop of the honey, and tiny splashes of everything else, heated on low in sauce pan.

I used a whole, smallish chicken breast. Even while I was doing it, I knew it was a bad idea – every time I have made a chicken sandwich at a restaurant, I have butterflied the breasts or pounded them flat with a tenderizing hammer. As it was, it was way, way too thick for a sandwich. I let it marinate in the sauce mixture for as long as it took the oven to preheat, at 400 degrees F.

I put the marinated chicken breast in the oven for fifteen minutes, in a foil-covered tray. The sauce runs off the chicken, caramelizes, and burns pretty quickly, so it helps to keep basting it with its own juices plus any leftover sauce. I had it on a crusty ciabatta bun with daikon shoots (somewhere between spicy and that sandy feeling raw spinach leaves in your mouth) and tomato slices.

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Written by skimfu

September 11, 2008 at 5:28 pm

Posted in Asian, Chicken

One Response

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  1. I hope that place exists somewhere in my future.

    stephanie

    September 12, 2008 at 3:13 pm


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