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Grilled Chicken with Soy Sauce Tare
In the Japanese kitchen, tare (pronounced tah-reh) is a multipurpose seasoning liquid made by combining high-impact ingredients to create deep, concentrated, umami-rich flavor. The base might be miso, sesame paste or even salt, but soy sauce (shoyu, in Japanese) is the most common. Among its many uses, tare can be added to broths for noodle soups, mixed with other ingredients to make dipping sauces or brushed on as a basting sauce for grilled foods such as yakitori (chicken skewers). In this recipe, we make a simple shoyu tare for seasoning grilled bone-in chicken thighs that have been slashed to allow fat to render and the seasoning to soak in. The recipe makes about ¾ cup of tare but you will need only ½ cup for the chicken; the remainder will keep in the refrigerator for up to three weeks.
For the tare:
01To make the tare, in a medium saucepan over medium-high, combine the mirin, sake, ginger, garlic, mushrooms and sugar. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until reduced by about half, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the soy sauce and return to a simmer, then remove from the heat and cool to room temperature.
The flavor was outstanding, and I didn't have the typical burnt sugar issues I normally do with glazes. I used my BGE and no flare ups:) But I think I should have left the skin side down a little longer, because I wish a little more of the skin fat had rendered. That said - my picky husband who normally turns his nose up a bone-in skin on chx thighs thought they were great, and both kids liked them too - so winner winner chicken dinner.
Is it really necessary to use both mirin and sake? What changes in the dish using both as opposed to one or the other?