If you’ve ever dined at any one of the variety of restaurants in David Chang‘s empire, you know that he always does it right. I have had the Momofuku cookbook for many years. And as much as I have treasured it and taken pride in the fact that I frequented the original East Village noodle bar when it first opened around the corner from my apartment, I have been wary of the cookbook. The photographs are stunning but the myriad of new ingredients and daylong preparations, though salivating, had me resorting back to my usual books.
But a recent pickle obsession has made me revisit the lovely wood and peach covered volume. Despite previously embarking on the art of Japanese pickles, I just couldn’t stop thinking about them, or more accurately, how to make them better. Sure enough on page 66, there is a recipe called “Vinegar Pickles, Master Recipe.” For some reason the words “master recipe” just made me SO happy. It’s like I could hear David Chang’s voice speaking to me “Look no further Heather, you have found the ONLY pickle recipe you will ever need.” I felt confident that it would be. And it is.
Teriyaki chicken is not in the Momofuku cookbook. This is my quick and easy weeknight recipe for the busy home cook. Serve it with those Momofuku master pickles and it will not disappoint. The pickles can be made up to a month in advance or served immediately. Chang recommends up to a week for “optimum flavor.”
- 4 bone-in skin-on chicken thighs
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup soy sauce
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/4 cup mirin
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Place the chicken thighs between two pieces of plastic wrap on a work surface. Pound the chicken to a 1/2 inch thickness. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and set aside.
Place the soy sauce, water, mirin, sugar, ginger and garlic in a small saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Reduce the heat to medium-low and let it simmer and reduce until slightly thickened and syrupy.
Heat a large cast iron skillet over high heat. Add olive oil and swirl to coat the pan. Add the chicken skin side down and cook until the skin is dark brown and crispy, about 10 to 15 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium-low and flip the chicken. Using a basting brush, brush the skin of the chicken with the reduced teriyaki sauce so that all of the pieces are smothered. Let the chicken cook for a few more minutes and remove from pan.
Serve with white sticky rice, Momofuku pickles and drizzle with remaining sauce.