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Kitchen Mailbox Countdown to Dinner Dining
Countdown to Dinner: Marinated chicken bursts with flavor

Thursday, December 09, 1999

Tested by Nancy Anderson

Today's Countdown recipe (repeat) winner is Teriyaki Chicken, a versatile entrée which is delicious served with white or fried rice, sliced into a salad or nestled on a crusty roll for a juicy, tender sandwich.

It comes from Pat Mountin of Brookline, who invented the dish. "I had something like it at Steak & Ale once, but I didn't have a recipe so I made it up," she said. "Everyone in my family loves it."

The beauty of the recipe for Countdown purposes is just how quickly boneless, skinless chicken breasts cook in the broiler. We set the temperature for 450 degrees and the chicken was done in 15 minutes, juices sealed inside.

Overnight marinating in a teriyaki-based sauce added a tangy, exotic flavor.

"It's a gourmet treat that is so simple you hate to share the recipe," said Mountin, a writer of horror and science fiction stories who is working on a psychological thriller.

"In the winter when I make it for a crowd, I fill a roaster pan and bake it in the oven. It's every bit as good -- just takes longer."

Mountin, who sent us her Quick and Easy Turkey Devonshire a few months ago, is gathering recipes for a cookbook. Teriyaki Chicken is sure to be in it.

Teriyaki Chicken

1/2 cup teriyaki sauce -- she uses Kikkoman brand
1 (16-ounce) can pineapple slices with juice
2 tablespoons honey
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon or more brown sugar to taste
6 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves

The night before, poke chicken with a fork every 1/4 inch on both sides to allow marinade to enter and put in a large glass casserole or baking dish. Combine all other ingredients (including pineapple and juice), stirring with a fork. Pour over chicken, cover and refrigerate.

The next morning, turn chicken pieces over. Return to refrigerator.

At dinnertime, preheat broiler or grill.

Spray a 12-by-18-inch piece of heavy duty aluminum foil -- for grill -- or foil-lined broiler pan with nonstick vegetable oil cooking spray. Transfer chicken and pineapple slices to foil.

Pour marinade into a small saucepan. Set stovetop burner to medium low. Stir occasionally.

Broil or grill chicken, turning every 5 minutes, until done, about 15 minutes.

Pineapple may be removed sooner to prevent burning, but it should be charred a little bit.

Sauce is done when it boils.

Serve over white or fried rice, found in the frozen food section, with sauce on the side. Garnish with pineapple slices.

Do you have an entrée, salad or vegetable side dish recipe (no desserts, please!) that can be made in 30 minutes or less from six ingredients or fewer (not counting water, salt and pepper)? Share it with Countdown to Dinner.

The PG tests all recipes and if we select your recipe for publication, you'll receive a free selection from our cookbook grab bag of current releases.

Send your recipe to Countdown to Dinner, Post-Gazette Food, 34 Blvd. of the Allies, Pittsburgh, PA 15222, or fax to 412-263-1313. Please include your name, neighborhood and daytime phone number. Or e-mail to: nanderson@post-gazette.com Questions? Call 412-263-1760.

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