Grandma’s teriyaki chicken (gluten-free, soy-free, paleo, aip)

My grandmother used to make a dish that to me, is so quintessentially her. Every time I make it, I am transported to her kitchen, watching Jeopardy on a little TV while we eat dinner together at a tiny kitchen table. She passed away when I was 17 and she meant so much to me, so any time I can feel like I’m back with her is always a great thing.

So over the years I’ve made her teriyaki chicken. It’s a very simple recipe – a whole chicken, salt, pepper, garlic and basted in teriyaki sauce. So easy and so unbelievably delicious and the smell that fills the kitchen comforts me. But I don’t eat soy anymore so I hadn’t made her chicken in over a year. Until now.

I recently wrote how excited I was to find coconut aminos and made a delicious stir-fry with it that amazed me. It is an absolutely delicious soy-free alternative that tastes just as good. I’m talking zero compromise.

So the other night I decided to give my grandma’s teriyaki chicken a try but with coconut aminos instead. And it came out flawless. I don’t know if it’s my adjusted palate talking, but I tasted zero difference from using actual teriyaki sauce. It brought me right back to grandma’s kitchen table, which is a beautiful gift. I thought I would never be able to have the comfort of this dish again.

You’d think this would be served with rice, but that’s not how my grandmother did it. She served with a baked sweet potato and steamed broccoli. The perfect paleo/clean eating/detox meal. She was ahead of the curve in a million other ways, too.