With an ironic, braggadocios hue, "Chicken Teriyaki" is an ode to New York City. Rosalia brags about splashing out on dinner and jewelry and skating to Washington Heights. She also namedrops Tribeca and Queens.
Rosalia conceived "Chicken Teriyaki" during a stay at New York City's Mercer Hotel. According to the Spanish star, the staff don't complain about the music being loud, so she had the speakers on high volume. "It has a vibe," she told Zane Lowe on Apple Music 1 about the song. "When you go to the street, you see some fashion, then you go back to the hotel. New York in general, I would say New York, though. New York, everybody dresses amazing."
Rosalia added she was "just really laughing while I was writing lyrics" and "having fun with it."
Rosalia's boyfriend, Puerto Rican singer-songwriter Raúl Alejandro, is credited with co-writing the lyrics with her.
Chicken Teriyaki is a Japanese dish made by grilling or broiling chicken that has been marinated in a sweet soy sauce-based sauce called teriyaki. The chicken is typically served with rice and vegetables.
It's unclear why Rosalia chants "Pa' ti naki, chicken teriyaki" ("For you, naki, chicken teriyaki)" in the chorus. Some Rosalia fans have suggested it's a reference to New York artist Jean-Michel Basquiat's 1981 painting Arroz con Pollo ("Rice with Chicken"). When Rosalía opened her secret account, @holamotomami, to the public, the first image she published was Arroz con Pollo.
Rosalia recorded "Chicken Teriyaki" at Electric Lady studio in New York. The Spanish singer and Alejandro completed the Latin trap song there with the songwriting help of rapper Q Tip, Qukaracho, Kamaal Fareed, El Guincho, Michael Uzowuru, and Sky Rompiendo. The last three were also the producers along with Rosalia and Noah Goldstein.
Q-Tip also handled the backing vocals.
Ukrainian director Tanu Muino filmed the video in a single November 2021 day in a Madrid dancing studio. A red-haired Rosalía, accompanied by other dancers, goes from one routine to the next. It marks the second collaboration between Rosalia and Muino after her 2020 single "Juro Que."