This recipe from NYT Cooking uses a pan-steam method to cook skinless, boneless chicken breasts quickly while keeping them moist. You can use water, but the soy sauce, honey, garlic and coriander in this recipe infuses the meat with flavour. While the chicken cooks, make a quick side dish of pickled cucumbers, using cucumber, shallot, vinegar, salt and pepper. Cook’s note: This would be great with steamed rice; I served with the pickled cucumbers and green beans.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

I used Marukan rice vinegar and tamari instead of soy sauce.

Pickle the cucumbers

Pan steam the chicken

Soy-glazed chicken breasts with pickled cucumbers


1 English cucumber, thinly sliced

1 shallot, peeled, halved and thinly sliced lengthwise

¼ cup (60 ml) rice vinegar

Kosher salt and black pepper

¼ cup (60 ml) ow-sodium soy sauce or tamari

2 tablespoons (30 ml) honey or maple syrup

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (1 ½  to 2 pounds/680 to 900 g)

2 tablespoons (30 ml) vegetable oil

2 garlic cloves, smashed

1 teaspoon (5 ml) coriander seeds, roughly smashed with the side of a heavy knife

Cilantro leaves and tender stems, for serving

Steamed rice, for serving


In a medium bowl, toss to combine the cucumber, shallot, vinegar, 1 teaspoon salt and ¼  teaspoon (1.25 ml) pepper; set aside while you make the chicken.

In a shallow dish, stir soy sauce and honey together; add chicken and turn to coat.

In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high. Add garlic and coriander and stir to coat. Add chicken breasts (reserve the marinade) and cook until browned on both sides, about 3 minutes per side. (Browning happens a little faster than usual here because of the honey and soy; if the marinade is getting too dark, lower the heat slightly.)

Add reserved marinade and ¼ cup (60 ml) water to the skillet. Bring to a simmer, reduce heat to medium-low and cook, covered, until cooked through, 4 to 5 minutes more per side.

Uncover the skillet, increase heat to medium-high and cook, turning chicken occasionally, until liquid is reduced and chicken is glazed, about 5 minutes.

Depending on the size of the skillet you use, the sauce may reduce a little slower or faster than the time indicated. When you swipe a rubber spatula across the bottom of the skillet, the sauce should hold a spatula-wide trail that fills in with liquid pretty quickly. If you happen to reduce too much, whisk in water one tablespoon at a time until you’re back to a shiny sauce that can be drizzled.

Serve chicken drizzled with any leftover glaze over rice with cucumber salad and cilantro. Serves 4.

From NYT Cooking