Here’s another Hawaiian island favorite that I remember eating a lot while growing up – Shoyu chicken. I think this meal is an island favorite because it’s quick, easy, and can be made in basically one pot. Just keep in mind that this chicken is meant to be eaten with rice to tone down some of the salt flavor from the soy sauce. If you aren’t a big rice eater, add 3/4 cup more water to the pot.
This is such an island favorite that almost everyone in Hawaii has their own version of this recipe. Really, you can’t mess this recipe up so long as you have soy sauce, water (low sodium chicken stock), and some sugar…it’s that easy and pretty much foolproof. It’s one of those meals that you dump everything into a pot and it produces a fantastic flavorful meal.Easy one pot Shoyu Chicken Recipe
To make this super simple meal, grab a large pot and dump all the ingredients for the cooking liquids into it. Heat this liquid on medium high till the sugar is dissolved and place the chicken pieces into the pot. The liquid should come almost to the top of the chicken. Bring to a boil.
- Boneless, skinless chicken may be used and cook times may be reduced. I normally use bone-in FROZEN chicken thighs, but I also use boneless too.
- Chicken broth can be substituted with water, but use reduced sodium soy too avoid the sauce being too salty.
- If you do not have dark soy sauce, use all regular soy sauce and increase the brown sugar slightly to your taste
- Rice wine and pepper flakes are optional
Turn the heat down to medium, cover the pot, and cook the chicken for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, turn each chicken piece over and cook for another 20 minutes. Turn chicken once more and cook for another 20 minutes – total cook time should be 50 minutes. *Keep chicken covered while cooking and add more water if too much has evaporated.*
Do you see the wonderful dark color of the chicken? That’s all that shoyu yumminess soaking into each chicken piece.
Okay. Now, this next part is totally optional and can be skipped if you don’t want a glaze, but why wouldn’t you want a glaze? Just sayin’ 🙂 So, using the liquid that the chicken was cooked in, measure out about a cup of it and place into a smaller pot. Make sure to skim off any chicken fat and just get the sauce. Taste, if it’s too salty, add a bit of water to the mix. Heat the sauce on medium high heat. To thicken the sauce, mix 2 tsp. of cornstarch with a few spoonfuls of the heated sauce to make a slurry. Add this slurry into the pot and stir until the sauce thickens and lightly coats a spoon.
Place chicken on a serving platter and dress with glaze. Sprinkle with green onions and sesame seeds. Now, sit down, open wide, and enjoy the yumminess.
- glaze can be used on rice or cooked veggies (broccoli/cauliflower)
- 3 - 4.5lb Chicken (I use frozen or partially frozen bone in chicken thighs)
- 1/2 cup Soy Sauce
- 1/2 cup Dark Soy Sauce (If you don't have dark soy, use regular soy)
- 1/2 cup water (sub with low sodium chicken stock)
- 1/4 cup Brown Sugar (If using all regular soy sauce, you may want to increase the brown sugar up to 1/2 cup)
- 1/2 - 3/4 teaspoon Grated fresh ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon Onion Powder
- 1/2 teaspoon Garlic Powder (Fresh garlic can also be used)
- CHICKEN (OPTIONAL)
- 2 tablespoons Rice wine
- 1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon Red pepper flakes (optional)
- GLAZE (OPTIONAL)
- 2 teaspoons Cornstarch
- 1 cup Shoyu chicken sauce
- TOPPING (OPTIONAL)
- 2-3 stalks green onions (optional)
- sesame seeds (optional)
- Step 1 - Put all the ingredients, including the chicken into a large pot. Heat the pot on medium high until it just starts to boil. Cover and lower the heat to medium and cook for 10 minutes. *The rice wine and pepper flakes are optional and do not need to be added.*
- Step 2 - Flip chicken over, cover, and cook for another 20 minutes. Flip chicken over again, cover, and cook for another 10 minutes.Sauce
- Step 3 - Take one cup of the shoyu sauce out of the pot and put it into a small pot. Set heat to medium high. *Make sure to skim off any of the fat and just take the sauce.*
- Step 4 - In a small bowl, add 2 tsp. of cornstarch. Take a few spoonfuls of the hot shoyu sauce from the pot and mix it into the cornstarch to create a slurry.
- Step 5 - Add the cornstarch slurry to the hot shoyu sauce in the pot and stir until the sauce thickens and it lightly coats the spoon.
- Step 6 - Place chicken on a serving platter and spoon sauce onto chicken.Topping
- Step 7 - Sprinkle with green onions and sesame seeds over the chicken for garnish (optional).
- Use FROZEN chicken to help dilute the sauce as it cooks. If using fresh or defrosted chicken, add 3/4 cup additional water.
- This is meant to be eaten with rice. If you are not eating with some type of starch, add 3/4 cup water to the pot to help reduce the salt flavor.
- Liquid may not completely cover the frozen chicken, but as the chicken cooks, it should cover the chicken.
- If using boneless chicken, cook time can be reduced. Check chicken at 40 minutes.