Champagne Chicken Teriyaki | Oh, the infamous Teriyaki (or how we say it, TERIAHHHKEEEE, as we karate chop the air). A staple in the Asian food courts. It needs no introduction. We’ve all met it. But surprisingly not many people know what’s in it. Are you ready for the super complex formula? Soy sauce + booze + sugar. Tough right? Sake usually fills the booze role, but since we don’t want you getting bombed and Ubering it to your kid’s soccer game, we replaced it with mirin, a gentler cooking wine…wait a minute, I take that back. We also add champagne and marsala, so I guess get Uber on speed dial after all. Heck while we’re at it, why not throw in our other favorite ingredients from the East side – gochujang and hoisin. This is the Panda Express to flavor city.
In this recipe, we get our chicken nice & moist with an overnight brine bath before we sear it to perfection alongside a host of powerhouse flavors. Then we round out this beautiful dish with a simple a pimento Lo Mein. Make this one.
* You can speed this way up by skipping the brine, but we don't recommend it!
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- Water - 8 cups
- Balsamic Vinegar - 2 tablespoons
- Hoisin - 2 tablespoons
- Soy Sauce - 2 tablespoons
- Ginger - 4 thin slices
- Garlic Cloves - 4, smashed
- Bay Leaves - 2
- Fennel Seeds - 1 teaspoon
- Peppercorn Melange - 1½ tablespoons
- Red Pepper Flakes - 1 teaspoon
- Onion Powder - ¼ teaspoon
- Sugar - 2½ tablespoons
- Salt - ½ cup
- Olive Oil - 1½ tablespoons
- Butter - 2 tablespoons, cubed
- Lo Mein Egg Noodles - 7 ounces
- Pimento Peppers - 2 ounces, jarred, minced
- Scallions - 3 tablespoons, thinly sliced
- Salt - ¼ teaspoon
- All-Purpose Flour - ½ cup
- Cornstarch - 3 tablespoons
- Chicken Breasts - 4, fat trimmed
- Poblano - 3 tablespoons, brunoise, deseeded
- Roasted Red Bell Peppers - 2 tablespoons, minced, [i[garnish[/i]. optional
- Scallions - 2 tablespoons, thinly sliced, [i[garnish[/i]. optional
- Poppy Seeds - 1 tablespoon
- Salt - ¾ teaspoon
- GROUP A:
- Dry Champagne - ½ cup
- Marsala - ½ cup
- Mirin - 3 tablespoons
- GROUP B:
- Gochujang - 1½ tablespoons
- Hoisin - 2 teaspoons
- Soy Sauce - 3 tablespoons
- Apple Cider Vinegar - 2 tablespoons
- Brown Sugar - 1½ tablespoons
- Pour 4 cups of water into your dutch oven.
- Slice your ginger and smash your garlic cloves with the side of a knife.
- Get all your other ingredients together.
- Plug your sink and fill it with a few inches of cold water.
- Add all the other ingredients to the dutch, put it over high heat, and bring it to a boil.
- Whisk the liquid well and boil for just 3 minutes until the salt and sugar are dissolved.
- Take the dutch off the heat and pour in 4 more cups of cold water.
- Rest the dutch in your plugged sink and let it cool completely.
- Now just add the chicken breasts, cover, and toss the dutch in your fridge overnight (for 12 hours).
- Thinly slice your scallions and set them aside.
- Get all your other ingredients together.
- Fill your sauce pot up with 5 inches of water and salt it heavily.
- Bring the water to a boil over high heat.
- Then add the noodles and cook them until they're al dente - about 4 minutes.
- Strain them and add them back to the empty sauce pot.
- Then toss in the oil, butter, pimentos, scallions and salt. Give it a gentle stir to separate the noodles. Keep them in a warm place while you cook the chicken.
- While the Lo Mein is working, rinse the brine off the chicken and let them come up to room temperature. This is important!
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Put the rack in the middle.
- Mix the flour, 1 tablespoon of the cornstarch, pepper and ½ teaspoon of the salt on a plate. Break up any clumps.
- Deseed and brunoise 3 tablespoons of your poblano. Set it aside.
- Pour all the ingredients from Group A into one bowl.
- Whisk all the ingredients from Group B together in another bowl.
- Film the bottom of your large saute pan with just enough oil to cover. Put the pan over medium-high and let the oil get very hot until it's about to smoke - about 2 minutes.
- While the oil is heating up, dredge all sides of the chicken breasts in the flour plate and knock off any excess.
- Then go ahead and lay the breasts in the pan and give the pan a quick shake so the chicken doesn't stick.
- Let the breasts cook 3 straight minutes. Don't disturb them.
- Now grab your cut up poblano and sprinkle it around the pan along with ¼ teaspoon of the salt (this will help draw out the poblano's moisture so they don't burn). Keep the chicken as is (i.e. don't flip them) and toss the whole pan in the oven for 4 minutes.
- Take the pan out, flip the breasts, and pour in all the ingredients from Group A.
- Toss the pan back in the oven for 3 more minutes.
- Now remove the breasts from the pan to a warm place. Put the pan over a high burner and pour in the Group B bowl.
- Give it a good stir and bring the sauce to a boil, and let it reduce by at least a third - about 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, whisk together 2 teaspoons of cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of water in the ramekin.
- After 10, stir in the cornstarch slurry and cook for 1 more minute until it thickens nicely. Season to taste with any remaining salt.
- Now add the breasts back to the sauce to coat & warm through for 1 more minute. That's it! Take the pan off the heat.
- Take the chicken out of the sauce and thinly slice it on the bias.
- Add a small portion of the Lo Mein to a plate or to the bottom of your favorite serving bowl.
- Then lay on a few slices of the chicken breast.
- Spoon over some of the warm teriyaki sauce.
- Garnish with the red bell pepper, poppy seeds and any extra scallions. Well done Iron Chef!
* When you buy chicken breasts at the store, always buy ones that are as evenly flat as possible so they cook at the same rate.
* Don't leave the chicken in the pan too long after you remove it from the heat or else it will overcook. 3-4-3 minutes is our chicken cooking rule.
* Believe it or not, all these ingredients serve a purpose. This is a complex dish with a lot of brain power behind it, so follow it closely for the best results!
If you’ve read this far, then you need to check out Braised Marsala Lamb + Goat Crostini and Lucky Valentine’s Day Scallops.
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