Tender chunks of seasoned chicken breasts sauteed with fresh asparagus in a homemade teriyaki sauce – this healthy dinner is quick, easy, and delicious!
This is one of those recipes that I threw together for myself one night and loved it. Sometimes, I swear, I put more thought into what I’m going to prepare for John.e than I do myself. Being that he’s a vegetarian, it requires more thought and more planning.
One particular night I had dinner all planned. But I forgot about what I was going to have. I had chicken and asparagus in the fridge. There was also a jar of my homemade 10 Minute Teriyaki Sauce. That’s pretty much all I needed to make this delicious stir fry.
Let’s talk a little bit about the ingredients, and then I’ll tell you all about my homemade teriyaki sauce. You should have a jar of it in your fridge at all times. It’s so versatile!
CHICKEN BREASTS AND OTHER CONSIDERATIONS
Our fridge is never without boneless and skinless chicken breasts. Yes, I know they can be quite boring. But, they’re also quite fast to cook. Chicken breasts have a bad reputation for being dry. But, that’s only because they were not prepared properly.
Chicken breast meat is very lean, healthy, and high in protien. That leanness is exactly why the cook up very fast. Because they cook fast, they’re also very easy to over cook. Nothing is worse than over cooked chicken breasts. That’s why they get dry!
The secret is to preheat and to cook over a very hot heat. When baking chicken breasts, I season them and place them on a baking sheet. I preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Chicken goes in for exactly 25 minutes. If they’re really big, I leave them in for 30. But, never longer than that!
If I’m frying them, the pan is really hot. I toss them in and move them around. And, I never overcrowd the pan, because they will not brown fast enough, which means I have to cook them longer to get the desired look.
You can use chicken thighs for this recipe. They’re great with this! I used chicken breast only because it’s what I had and they’re leaner and healthier.
CHOOSING THE RIGHT ASPARAGUS
For this dish, you want asparagus that is not too thick and not too thin. A thick asparagus will take longer to cook in order to get rid of the woodiness. Too thin and it’s going to over cooked and limp. This is exactly how I choose the right asparagus.
I find a bunch with very thin spears. Then, I find a bunch with the thickest spears I can find. Lastly, I look for something right smack dab in the middle. This is always my go-to approach for buying the right asparagus. It works for almost every recipe.
The only time I choose thin asparagus is if I’m wrapping it in something before I cook it. I will choose thick asparagus if I’m roasting or grilling it at high temperatures.
THIS TERIYAKI SAUCE WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE!
A few years ago, someone gave me a recipe for homemade teriyaki sauce. I made it and it was good. But, it wasn’t great. I added some of this and took away some of that until I got it just right. The teriyaki sauce you see used in these photos is my homemade version.
You can buy teriyaki sauce in a jar if you wish. But, the homemade version is very easy and the taste is incomparable! Besides, once you spend the 10 minutes to make it, you can use it all week! The recipe is right below the chicken and asparagus recipe!
Since my 10 Minute Teriyaki Sauce can be frozen and thawed quite easily, there’s really no excuse. This recipe makes about two full cups of sauce, which is a lot of teriyaki sauce!
Use up what you need to, but freeze the rest and just thaw it and re-heat it later. You can even portion the leftover sauce out into ice-cube trays and freeze them that way. When completely frozen, pop them out and save them in a freezer-friendly resealable bag. Take out one or two when you need them and keep the rest frozen for up to three months.
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Chicken and Asparagus Teriyaki
- 4 large chicken breasts, cut into 1 1/2 inch cubes
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 12-16 spears asparagus, cut into 1-2 inch lengths
- 1/2 tablespoon butter
- 1/2 teaspoon dried red chili flakes, optional
- 1 cup teriyaki sauce
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- parsley for garnish, optional
- Preheat a skillet over medium heat. Add the olive oil, chicken, salt, and black pepper. Stir to combine and saute until the chicken is cooked through and started to brown just slightly. This step should take 5-7 minutes.
- Next, add the asparagus and butter. Stir to combine into the chicken. Saute until the asparagus is just tender – about 3-5 minutes depending on the thickness of your asparagus.
- At this point, add the dried red chili flakes, if using. Pour in the teriyaki sauce and stir to combine. Cook until the sauce is heated through.
- Turn off the heat. Add the sesame seeds and sesame oil Stir to combine.
- Serve immediately. Garnish with parsley.
10 Minute Teriyaki Sauce
- 2 cups water
- 1/4 cup corn starch
- 1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce
- 1/2 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
- 4 tablespoons honey
- 2 teaspoons fresh ginger, minced
- 2 teaspoons fresh garlic, minced
- Add the water and corn starch to a sauce pan and whisk until the corn starch dissolves.
- Whisk in all remaining ingredients. Turn the heat to medium and allow the mixture to come to a boil.
- Continue to whisk. Sauce will thicken quickly. Remove from heat and use immediately, or cool and transfer to a mason jar to refrigerate for later use.
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