It’s officially grilling season here in Connecticut, and that puts a serious pep in my step. It’s funny how every May, when the grilling starts to ramp up, I am once again reminded of how enjoyable and convenient it is to. I don’t know how I forget for six months every year, but I do. It’s like a breath of fresh air every time.
With Memorial Day and July 4th coming up, recipes like this one are great to have in your back pocket. I’ve been making a version of this marinade for years and it remains my all time favorite grilled chicken. Miso lends that amazing umami sweetness it always does, vinegar and ponzu provide that acidic pop, and you get that subtle zing of ginger that rounds it all out really nicely.
The chicken goes in the marinade a few hours before grilling along with some scallions, the whole thing goes on the grill all at once and you’ve got juicy, super flavorful grilled chicken that people cannot get enough of. If you’re missing maple syrup, use a little honey, brown rice syrup, or sugar. If you’re missing fresh ginger, use dried or omit it. Miso does a lot for depth of flavor, but if you don’t have it just leave it out, or add some mirin in its place. It’ll go in a slightly different direction but be delicious anyway. If I may be miso’s PR person for a moment, I encourage you to buy some if you don’t normally stock it. It’s useful in everything from dressings to sauces to baked goods, I’m looking at you Miso Chocolate Chip Cookies. It also lasts a lifetime in the fridge, though I always find ways to use it pretty quickly.
No grill? No problem. Throwing this under the broiler makes it an easy dish to make year round. Truthfully, I leave this one for the warmer months, after another blustery New England winter I like earning my summer, and earning my Miso Teriyaki Chicken. It’s well worth waiting for.
Miso Teriyaki Chicken aka The Best Grilled Chicken
3 large chicken breasts, cut horizontally through the middle to create 6 pieces
¼ cup grade B maple syrup
2 Tablespoons ponzu (soy sauce or coconut aminos works for a sub)
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
2 Tablespoons miso – red or white works
2 Tablespoons water
1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger (or ¼ tsp dried)
1 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of fresh cracked pepper
2 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
6 scallions, rinsed and roots intact
Combine syrup, ponzu, vinegar, miso, water, and ginger in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Whisk and simmer for 5 minutes until slightly thickened. Let cool.
Salt and pepper the chicken, rub with olive oil, then add to a large ziplock bag or bowl along with the scallions and marinate it all with the reserved, cooled miso marinade for 2-4 hours.
Grill chicken and scallions over medium high heat on a preheated grill or grill pan, grilling the chicken 3 minutes or so a side until cooked through, and just a minute or two for the scallions.
Serve 1-2 chicken breasts and 2 grilled scallions per person.