When I was browsing through the Aloha Kitchen cookbook, it was such a challenge to pick a protein to go with my mac salad!
Do I go with chashu? Spam? Maybe some mochiko chicken, or beef teriyaki? So many good choices, so little time!
I ended up choosing this shoyu chicken, because it’s got everything I want in a recipe:
- I already have all the ingredients on hand, and they’re easy to find
- it’s an easy, mostly hands-off recipe
- and it looks tasty!
We’ll start by braising the chicken.
As the name suggests, the main sauce ingredient is shoyu, or Japanese soy sauce.
A good bit of water, to thin out the sauce – otherwise it’ll be super salty.
Honey and brown sugar for sweetness.
A bit of sliced ginger.
And a few cloves of garlic. Since they’re just smashed, we’ll use whole fresh cloves this time.
Nestle your bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs into the sauce, and bring it to a boil.
Add in some sweet Maui onion wedges, and green onion pieces.
And it’s time for a hot girl simmer!
Let the chicken simmer for an hour, flipping halfway through.
Then we’ll broil the chicken, just really quick, to get a nice brown on the skin.
While the chicken is broiling, we’ll add a bit of cornstarch to the sauce, and cook it a little longer, to get a nice thick sauce to serve with the chicken.
And there you have it! Serve with white rice, and that mac salad we made last time, and you’ve got a perfect plate lunch.
from the Aloha Kitchen cookbook
- 3/4 cup shoyu
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 2 tbsp honey
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- one 2″ piece ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
- 2 or 3 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
- 2 lbs bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
- 1/2 Maui onion, peeled and cut into 3/4″ wedges
- 2 or 3 green onions, white and green parts, cut into 2″ pieces
- 1 1/2 tbsp cornstarch
- 3 cups steamed rice, for serving
- In a heavy Dutch oven or pot, mix the shoyu, water, honey, brown sugar, ginger, and garlic together. Nestle the chicken thighs in the sauce, skin-side up, submerging the meat as much as possible. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat. When the sauce comes to a boil, add the Maui onion wedges and green onion pieces and turn the heat to a medium-low. Cover the pot with a lid and let simmer for 30 minutes. Using a pair of kitchen tongs, gently turn all the chicken pieces over. Cover the pot again and simmer for another 30 minutes. Check the tenderness of the meat with a fork; if you can easily insert the fork into the meat, the chicken is done. Remove the cooked thighs from the sauce, reserving it, and place them on a rimmed baking sheet.
- Preheat the broiler.
- In a small bowl, whisk the cornstarch with 1/4 cup of the sauce until smooth, then add the cornstarch mixture back to the pot with the remaining sauce and cook over medium heat for 4 to 5 minutes, until the sauce has thickened. Broil the chicken thighs for a minute or two, watching carefully to make sure you do not burn the skin. The goal is to just quickly brown the skin.
- Serve the chicken with the thickened sauce and rice.
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