Baked Crispy Chicken with Citrus Teriyaki

This morning as I was flipping through The Steamy Kitchen cookbook getting ready to type up this recipe, I found the receipt tucked between two of the pages. September 11, 2010 – the date I purchased the book; I can’t believe it took me nearly 9 months to finally make something! I remember bringing the book home and flagging at least 10 recipes I wanted to try but I quickly realized my pantry was not well-stocked with Asian ingredients. Here, it was the mirin and sake in the teriyaki sauce. The mirin was easy to find (the bottle might also say “sweet cooking rice wine”). I didn’t go out of my way to find sake, as Jaden noted that dry vermouth (which I already had on hand) was an acceptable substitute. (Side note – one of my favorite things about this book is the ingredient guide, which lists common Asian ingredients and explains a little about them (including how to shop for them)).

This dish was a winner all around – quick and easy to throw together, and really delicious. Plus, it’s baked and not fried so none of the mess of frying, or, for that matter, the calories! For some reason my breading didn’t brown much in the oven, but it was still nice and crispy. The only thing I’d do differently the next time I make this dish is to halve the sauce. We loved it, but I guess we’re just not big dippers as we ended up throwing quite a bit away.

Crispy Baked Chicken with Citrus Teriyaki Sauce
adapted slightly from The Steamy Kitchen Cookbook by Jaden Hair

Chicken
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 large eggs
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts
nonstick cooking spray

Sauce
3 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
3 tablespoons dry vermouth
3 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons mirin

Preheat oven to 475 F.  Place a wire rack inside a rimmed baking sheet.  Spray the rack with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.

To make the sauce: combine all of the ingredients in a small saucepan.  Bring to a boil then reduce the heat and simmer for about 6 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened slightly.

Line up three shallow bowls on your work surface.  Add flour to the first, the eggs to the second and the panko to the third.  Beat the eggs to break them up.

Place each chicken breast between two pieces of wax paper or plastic wrap.  Use a mallet or heavy pan to pound until each is about 1/4 to 1/2-inch thick.  Season both sides with salt and pepper.

One at a time, dredge each chicken breast in the flour (coating both sides thoroughly and shaking to remove excess), in the eggs then in the panko (pressing to make sure the breadcrumbs adhere to the chicken).  Transfer to the prepared wire rack.  Repeat with each piece of chicken.  Spray the tops of the chicken breasts with nonstick cooking spray.

Bake for about 15 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through.  Let the chicken rest on the rack for about 5 minutes before serving.