I found this great recipe in the “How to Grill” cookbook. This recipe is so tasty and is always the talk of the bbq events when served. It’s savory salty-sweet chicken dish will please the pallets of even the most pickiest guests.
Not only is it fun and easily made it is easily handled on the skewers so guest can just grab and enjoy off the sticks. It looks great on fancy platters. And the taste is just a ‘taste-bud’ awakening with it’s fresh ginger, lemon zest and sweet rice wine marinade.
The ingredients are quite energetic and also are healthy. I personally would replace the sugar with organic blue agave which is easy to find. I use the organic blue agave so it adds a deeper flavor and also no sugar spikes if any of my guests may be diabetic. Also instead of the soy sauce I would replace it with liquid aminos; the flavor is similar and also again more healthier.
Tip: you will need approximately 32 6″ small skewers.
Serves: 8 as an appetizer/4 as a meal.
FOR THE YAKITORI
2 bunches scallions, trimmed
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
FOR THE SAUCE
1 cup of soy sauce (may use liquid aminos) 1 clove garlic, gently crushed
3/4 cup of suger (may use agave) 1 slice peeled fresh ginger
1/2 cup mirin (sweet rice wine) (1/4 inch thick), gently crushed
1 scallion, trimmed, white part gently with the side of a cleaver
crushed, green part cut into rings. 1 strip lemon zest (1/2 by 2 inches)
Toasted sesame seeds for garnish
- Trim any sinews or excess fat off the chicken breasts and discard. Rinse the chicken breasts under cold running water, then drain and blot dry with paper towels. Cut the scallions and chicken breasts into uniform 1 1/2 inch pieces and double skewer them or have skewers as shown. Refrigerate, covered, until ready to grill.
2. Prepare the yakitori sauce: Place soy sauce, sugar,
mirin, scallion white, garlic, ginger and lemon zest in
a non-reactive saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Let the sauce simmer until thick and syrupy, 5 to 10 minutes, stirring often to prevent scorching. Strain the sauce into a nonreactive bowl and let cool to room temperature. Set some aside as a reserve for a dipping sauce.
3. Set up the grill or hibachi for direct grilling keep from direct heat. Preheat grill on high. When ready to grill, brush and oil the grill grate. Place the yakitori at the edge of the hot grate so the skewers are away from the heat. Grill the yakitori, turning after 2 minutes, to cook the outside of the meat. Begin basting with the sauce, and continue
basting and turning until the chicken is cooked, 3 or 4 minutes per side. Alternatively, put the sauce in a shallow dish. When partially cooked, dip the yakitori in the sauce and continue grilling. The sauce should cook to a shiny glaze and the meat should feel firm to the touch when done.
4.. Transfer the yakitori to plates or a platter and sprinkle with the scallion rings and sesame seeds. Although it’s not strictly traditional he likes to keep the reserved glaze and use it for dipping. (Don’t use the glaze that the under-cooked/raw chicken had touched) Always practice food safety so not to get sick.