Teriyaki Chicken Marinade



When I grill chicken, I usually use a bottled marinade to flavor and tenderize the meat.  Well, this week I ran out of my favorite supermarket brand and decided to revisit an old recipe of my own.  I often pair this marinade with a few finely chopped slices of pineapple to give it a Hawaiian flair.  A hearty helping of rice and vegetables works great with this teriyaki grilled chicken dish.

Teriyaki Chicken Marinade

1 cup soy sauce

1 cup water

3/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce

3 tablespoons white vinegar

 3 tablespoons vegetable oil

1/2 medium onion, minced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon fresh ginger, graded

1/2 cup finely chopped pineapple, optional

In a medium bowl, mix the soy sauce, water, sugar, Worcestershire sauce, vinegar, oil, onions, garlic, and ginger. Whisk together until sugar is dissolved. Add optional pineapple.  Using a plastic bag or covered container.  Pour mixture over chicken pieces and marinate for 3 hours or overnight.  Grill or bake chicken until a minimum internal temperature of 165 degrees is reached.

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Queso Blanco Chicken and Salsa

On a recent Saturday outing, my family and I stumbled upon a quaint new restaurant in the middle of our town square featuring Mexican cuisine.  As we were seated in the festive dining room, a heaping basket of freshly made chips and salsa was delivered to the table.  Looking over the extensive menu, I was excited to find a chicken dish that seemed fresh and flavorful with simple ingredients.  I immediately requested the dish and continued to munch on the crispy chips and spicy salsa while listening to the sounds of the lively Mexican music streaming through the sound system.  

As we waited for our meal to arrive, we chatted about our desire to visit a local farmer’s market to find lots of fresh produce to make our own salsa when returning home for the day.  

Alas, our meals arrived and as the waitress placed the scrumptious looking dish in front of me, I realized how simple it would be for me to replicate the flavors at home and quickly made a note of all of the items on the plate.  After a lovely meal, we headed out to the farmer’s market located a few short blocks through the town square. We enjoyed a lovely walk through the bustling scene teaming with a variety of fresh vegetables and quickly scooped up the ingredients needed to replicate my chicken dish.  This is how I assembled my own version of the delicious meal…

Queso Blanco Chicken and Salsa

6 chicken breasts

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 (15 oz.) jar Queso Blanco Dip

1 1/2 cups Fresh (or store bought) Chunky Salsa (see recipe below)

6 ears corn, shucked and cleaned

2 avocado, sliced

Season chicken breasts with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.  Bake or grill for 30-45 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.  In the meantime, place ears of corn on outdoor grill or indoor grilling skillet, roast until tender.  Slice corn off of the cob.  Season to taste with butter and salt, if desired.  In a microwave safe bowl, heat Queso Blanco Dip until warm and pourable.  To serve, place a chicken breast on each plate, drizzle with Queso Blanco Dip and garnish with fresh cilantro. Next,  add to the plate, a couple of heaping spoons of roasted corn, fresh salsa, and slices of avocado.  Simple and delicious!

Homemade Chunky Salsa

2 cups ripe plum tomatoes, diced 

1/4 cup white onion, chopped

3 tablespoons fresh cilantro, finely chopped

1 1/2 teaspoons lime juice, bottled or fresh

3/4 teaspoon kosher salt (or to taste)

1 small garlic clove, minced

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl.  Cover tightly and refrigerate before serving.



Marinated Grilled Salmon

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Yesterday, while grocery shopping with my youngest daughter, we spotted some beautiful looking salmon steaks in the meat market case. M suggested that we buy a few steaks to grill for dinner. We also picked up some squash, (to make our Autumn Squash and Apple Bake) salad fixings, and potatoes.
I’m happy to say that we had the perfect fall grilling weather. For the marinade, I use Marzetti’s brand Italian salad dressing because it has a little sugar in it. This caramelizes during the grilling process and gives the salmon a great texture.
We enjoyed a lovely Sunday evening meal together and all agreed that we should add more fish to future dinner menus.

Marinated Salmon Steaks

3/4 cup Marzetti’s Sweet Italian Dressing
4 salmon steaks, about 1-1/2 inches thick (about 2-1/2 lbs.)

Add salmon and marinade to large, shallow non-aluminum baking dish or plastic bag; turn to coat. Cover, or close bag, and marinate in refrigerator, turning occasionally, up to 30 minutes.
Remove salmon, discarding marinade. Grill or broil salmon, turning once, cook until salmon flakes with a fork (about 3-5 minutes per side on high heat).image

BBQ Honey Teriyaki Chicken

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Recently, we had an open house graduation party for my oldest daughter. We were expecting 75-100 people and had made arrangements with a Chicago pizzeria to come to our home with a pizza oven to cook made-to-order pizza upon request. We have had this particular pizzeria here several times over the years because everyone raves about the flavor of their pizza and I love that most of the work is done for me when preparing for a party. I usually make a few salads and desserts while the pizza is taken care of by our pizza guy.
Well, this year things didn’t go so smoothly. We had told the pizzeria that the party was set to begin at 1:00pm and that we would set up an area with tables for pizza preparation and serving. Well, about one hour before the party, I sensed that something was wrong when no one was here to start the oven and prep for the party. I called the restaurant and got no answer. I called a friend of the owner next, looking for a cell number to talk directly to the owner. After a confusing conversation, we realized that the pizzeria had booked us for the wrong date! I was panicked trying to think about how I would manage serving all of our guests with just the salads and desserts I had prepared. Here it was 25 minutes before the party was to begin and we were without our unique main dish. Well, I spent no time worrying and put myself in damage control mode. I opened my huge freezer and found 6 – 3 lb. bags of frozen chicken breasts. I ripped open the bags and threw the chicken in as many roasting pans as I could find. I instructed my oldest son to turn on the outdoor gas grill at the highest heat possible. I have 3 indoor ovens so I turned them all on and popped the pans of chicken in. While my son grilled the first batch of frozen chicken, I tried to thaw the remaining chicken in the oven. I sent my daughter on a hunt to find any kind of bottled marinade available in the pantry. She found Sweet Baby Ray’s Teriyaki Marinade Sauce. I poured it into a bowl and gave my son a brush to slather it on the barbecued breasts. As he pulled the finished breasts off of the grill. I pulled another batch out of the oven and threw them on the grill to finish cooking. We made a fabulous team and within 25 minutes we had made quite a few breasts that were ready for initial serving. I sliced each of the breasts in bite sized pieces to fit on bakery rolls that we had purchased to go with the salads. All the while, my husband was manning the beverage area, greeting guests and refilling drinks. My sister jumped in the car with her husband heading to the local grocery store to fill the shopping cart with an assortment of foods suitable for the buffet. You can ‘t imagine how quickly we worked together. And oh how surprised and delighted we were when our guests praised our efforts and raved about the great tasting flavor of the chicken. After all of the guests said their good-byes and I had a chance to catch my breath, I was thankful for the help of family and friends, good company, and relieved that it was all over. Things have a way of working out. When the going gets tough…family and friends pull together and help each other out. …Can’t wait till next year as we will do it all over again when our twins graduate!

Marinated Teriyaki Chicken

1 3 lb. bag frozen chicken breasts
Sweet Baby Ray’s Honey Teriyaki Marinade

Preheat barbecue on high heat and carefully oil barbecue rack. Lower the temperature to a medium- low setting and place thawed chicken breasts on the grill. Continue to grill flipping breasts to cook evenly. When meat has reached desired internal temperature, remove from grill and slather with marinade to coat completely.

My Little Secret Steak Seasoning Mix

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This week, a local market had a great sale on lean steaks so I bought a boatload of them…some to freeze and some to season and grill. Yesterday, after a local charity run and a beautiful day, I fired up the grill for a delicious steak dinner.
I used to buy expensive pre-mixed meat seasonings but soon realized that mixing my own seasonings was certainly more economical but also so much better when tailored for my families taste. This “secret” recipe is a bit like a Montreal steak seasoning and it makes meats tender and flavorful with a bit of a spicy twist. Sprinkle the seasoning on anything that you might be grilling. I’ve even sprinkled it on grilled pineapple and peaches. …So good!

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My Little Secret Steak Seasoning

2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons hickory smoked sea salt
4 teaspoons paprika
2 1/2 teaspoons ground black pepper
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon coriander
1/2 teaspoon turmeric

Mix all seasonings together and store in a tightly lidded container in a cool, dry place. Use as a rub for steak, pork, chicken, and shrimp. Sprinkle over grilled fruit or vegetables.