Quick Teriyaki Chicken

This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

Of course, this title is a play on words. If you really want quick teriyaki chicken, you should make it on the stove. If you want “quick” teriyaki chicken, make it with boneless, skinless chicken pieces in your slow cooker. (If you want even slower teriyaki chicken, make it with bone-in chicken thighs, drumsticks, or wings.) Julie learned several teriyaki tricks incorporated here from Atsuko Ishii, a California friend from Tokyo. Atsuko likes to use the domestically produced Hakusan sake for cooking. Mirin is a sweet Japanese cooking wine. Atsuko cautions you to be sure to read labels so that you buy genuine mirin, not the so-called imitation mirin that is also sold. The difference in flavor is dramatic. Low-sodium soy sauce works fine in this recipe. Be sure to buy naturally brewed soy sauce (sometimes called fermented). Serve this with steamed medium-grain rice.

NotesCooker: Medium or large round or oval

Setting and cook time: HIGH for 2 hours for breasts, 3 hours for thighs


Cooking Methodslow cooking



Total Timeunder 4 hours

Make Ahead RecipeYes

Kid FriendlyYes

OccasionFamily Get-together

Recipe Coursemain course

Dietary Considerationegg-free, gluten-free, halal, kosher, peanut free, tree nut free

Equipmentcrock pot

Five Ingredients or LessYes


Taste and Texturemeaty, savory


  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, or 6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • ¼ cup sake
  • 2 tablespoons mirin
  • 4 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon light or dark brown sugar


  1. Coat a cast-iron skillet or another heavy skillet with nonstick cooking spray, then spray it a second time. (For this recipe, it is best to avoid a pan with a nonstick coating.). Heat the skillet over high heat. When it is very hot, add the chicken in one single layer, with the smooth side (formerly the skin side) down. If necessary, do this in batches. Allow the chicken to cook until it is a deep golden brown, 2 to 4 minutes. Turn and brown the other side. Transfer to the slow cooker, smooth side up.

  2. Return the skillet to the stove, lower the heat to medium, and add the sake, mirin, soy sauce, and brown sugar. Cook, scraping up any browned bits stuck to the pan. Pour the liquid over the chicken. Cover and cook on HIGH for 2 hours for breasts, 3 hours for thighs.


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I love that this teriyaki chicken only have 5 ingredients. Can't wait to try it!

What is mirin? I have heard the name, but I have no idea what it is or where I can find it? What does it do for the chicken? The teriyaki recipes I normally use have brown sugar, soy sauce, and honey. Teriyaki is one of my favorite flavors to use, especially in stir fry.

Hi SissieSass! Thank you for reaching out. Mirin is a sweet rice wine from Japan. I would think any good-sized grocery store would carry it.


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