This is a great weeknight 30-minute meal that every family enjoys. Teriyaki is a Japanese cooking technique where foods are broiled or grilled in a sweet soy sauce marinade. I use chicken tenders which, because of their size, absorb the flavor of the teriyaki sauce nicely and they are inexpensive. You can use a pre-made teriyaki sauce (I like the Kikkoman Teriyaki Takumi Collection - Garlic and Green Onion) or you can make your own. You can make a good long-grain wild rice or you can use a rice box mix.
I start the rice first, because it takes the full 30 minutes. I use a long-grain wild rice and add some sliced almonds because I like a little crunchy texture with this dish. While the rice is cooking, you simply spray a baking dish with food release and add the tenders. Place these in a 375F pre-heated oven and bake for 20-25 minutes.
While the chicken and rice are cooking, I quickly prepare the fresh asparagus and place it on a cookie sheet with some olive oil and salt/pepper. I'm often asked if it is necessary to peel the asparagus. I typically peel asparagus that has a thicker stock. A thick stalk on asparagus is typical of the freshest, first cut of the plant. I usually avoid asparagus that is very very thin, as these are typically from later cuttings although you certainly don't need to peel the stalks. So with that said, I often do peel the asparagus after first cutting off the bottom dried out end. This is easily done with a potato peeler as shown in the photo. This ensures a tender, non-stringy asparagus that your family will enjoy. You can see it removes the more fibrous outer edge. (Never ever serve canned mushy asparagus.) I add the asparagus to the 375F oven during the last 10-12 minutes of cooking time for the chicken, so it all comes out at once.
Finally, I like to serve this dish family style with the rice underneath the chicken. Then I finely chop some celery to sprinkle on the top, because it both adds color and provides yet a little more texture to the dish. And the entire meal is on the table in about 30 minutes.
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