All campfire food doesn’t need to taste like something you’d find on a cattle drive. You’re allowed to mix it up on occasion. This camp stove teriyaki chicken recipe helps you change things up and it tastes excellent all at the same time.
If you buy a decent bottle of sake, you’ll also get bonus points for having something worthy of sipping around the campfire.
By preparing the sauce at home and storing it in a tightly sealed container (we like screw-top disposable plastic containers), this recipe is super quick to make at the campsite.
Just pan-fry your chicken thighs, add your sauce, some cornstarch, and it’s ready to toss on your plate with some toppings.
I highly recommend not skipping out on the lettuce, radishes, sesame seeds and green onions. It’ll end up tasting too sticky sweet without it.
The sesame seeds will add a nice toasty flavor, the romaine a fresh garden crunch, and the radishes a peppery, earthy flavor.
This isn’t just a recipe we like at the campsite. It’s one of our go-to recipes for weeknight meals at home since it’s so quick and easy.
Tips for Cooking Teriyaki Chicken at the Campsite
1. We recommend using a nonstick skillet for cooking this. Sugar cooked on a higher heat can caramelize and stick pretty quickly. The non-stick surface will make clean-up a breeze.
2. When cooking your chicken, put it in your pan and leave it alone. Just let it sit. If you continually flip it back and forth and move it around, it won’t brown as well.
That browning is called the Maillard Reaction and is a critical element to excellent tasting food.
3. You can adjust the sweetness of the teriyaki. We don’t like it so sticky sweet, so we only use one-eighth of a cup of white sugar. If you want it sweeter, you can adjust it up to as much as a quarter cup and still maintain a balance with the rest of the ingredients.
4. A fine mesh strainer is a helpful tool to remove the solids from your sauce. It’s handy to have one around the kitchen for a variety of tasks.
5. It is very important to cook the chicken to the proper temperature. It should be 165 degrees for dark meat chicken.
I use an instant read thermometer at home when cooking meat (especially pan frying), and I’m far more accustomed to using my range at home than I am my portable cook stove.
With variables at your campsite such as ambient temperature, wind speed, and relative humidity, it is impossible to judge whether a piece of meat is properly cooked.
Poking a piece of chicken with your finger to test how done it is is Voodoo. There is no way to know the internal temperature by doing this. All meats vary in internal structure, so one piece of chicken may feel different to the touch than another.
Anybody that tests poultry this way then serves it to you is putting your health at risk.
Don’t take a chance on food poisoning in the wilderness. Buy and religiously use an instant-read meat thermometer. It is the most important tool in your kitchen kit.
If you are the cook, food safety is your responsibility.
Camp Stove Teriyaki Chicken
- 1/4 cup Soy sauce
- 1/4 cup Mirin – (sweet rice wine)
- 1/4 cup Sake
- 1/8 cup White sugar
- 1/4 cup Yellow onion – (chopped)
- 1/2 inch Piece of fresh ginger – (roughly chopped)
- 1 Garlic cloves – (peeled and roughly chopped)
- 1 sm. bunch Radishes
- 4 Green onions – (green parts only)
- 1 1/2 lbs. Chicken thighs – (boneless and skinless)
- Salt and black pepper
- 1 tbs. Vegetable oiil
- 2 tsp. Cornstarch
- Romaine lettuce
- Sesame seeds – (toasted)
Before You Leave Home
- Combine the soy sauce, mirin, sake, sugar, onion, ginger, and garlic in a saucepan.
- Bring to boil over high heat, stirring constantly.
- Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for about ten minutes.
- Strain out and discard solids.
- Put liquid into a sealable, leakproof, container.
- Thinly slice radishes on a mandolin. Store in a resealable plastic bag.
- Finely chop green onions. Store in a resealable bag or container.
At the Campsite
- Trim fat off of chicken and season both sides with salt and pepper.
- Heat oil in a skillet over high heat until it starts to shimmer. Cook chicken undisturbed on one side for about 5 minutes.
- Lower heat to medium, flip chicken and cook for an additional 5 minutes.
- In a small bowl, mix two teaspoons of cornstarch with two teaspoons of water.
- Pour teriyaki sauce (that you made at home) into the pan with your chicken, along with cornstarch slurry. Stir with spatula and continue cooking, continually flipping the chicken in the teriyaki/cornstarch mixture until well coated and mixture has thickened (1 to 2 minutes).
- Chop romaine into 1 inch ribbons. Top with sliced radishes, then cooked chicken. Add additional teriyaki sauce, then sesame seeds and green onions.
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