Best Shoyu Chicken

Having lived in Hawaii my whole life, I have always had a love for Japanese and Chinese food. One of my favorites: shoyu chicken, and while I have made it many times, I never made it ‘right’.

So when there was a recipe in the Star Advertiser food section for the Best Shoyu Chicken, I got to work. Luckily I had all the ingredients including the fresh ginger root.

Here we go. Now this can be made in the oven, or a crock pot, but I don’t have a crock pot and so this is the oven method. First the recipe called for four or five pounds of skinless chicken thighs with the bone in. I had six boneless, skinless organic chicken thighs and that is what I used. So whatever amount of chicken is fine.

I think it is better with the bone in. Jucier and more authentic.

Make the marinade using 1/2 cup soy sauce, 1/4 cup mirin, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 3 cloves of garlic crushed and minced, 1 inch piece of ginger root, crushed and minced and 1/2 cup chopped cilantro leaves and stems (one bunch).

I put marinade in a plastic zip lock bag, added the chicken thighs and put in fridge (in bowl) for four hours. Now here is the important part.

Get a big skillet and bring to a high heat on top of stove. Remove the chicken from the marinade but save the marinade for the next step. Add a little oil and brown the chicken very well till almost charred. Remove chicken and place in baking dish. Add 1/2 cup water to skillet and stir all the little browned bits into the water. This is called deglazing the pan. Pour this all over the chicken and then pour all the marinade over the chicken also.

Bake at 350 for 45 minutes, less if you are using boneless thighs, turning the chicken several times to bake evenly. If you are using a crock pot, cook on low for four or five hours and turn chicken half way through. If you are using boneless thighs, cook a little less.

If you want to thicken the sauce, after the chicken is done, remove from pan. Thicken on top of stove, mixing with three tablespoons of cornstarch disolved in 1/4 cup water. Good over rice.

To be very authentic, serve with chopsticks.

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