Negima Yakitori Skewers

By Chef Rachel Bayes



Superior Outdoors


Do you have random chicken parts you want to use up, or just want to boast about making an appetizer using cartilage, gizzards, and livers? Here’s the recipe for you. At izakaya (Japanese tapas-style pubs), traditional yakitori can be made with up to 30 different chicken parts (including the tail, the skin, wings, and various organ meats). Some chefs will even source chicken from specific regions, using special butchering, skewering, and grilling techniques to showcase the bird’s unique flavour and texture. And yakitori sauce is as customizable as a basic barbecue sauce or salad dressing recipe. Here, we’ll be using a pound of boneless, skinless chicken thighs, but feel free to make up that pound of chicken using livers, gizzards, or whatever else floats your chicken-on-astick boat. Typically, teppogushi bamboo skewers (“gun skewers,” on account of their shape) are used, and must be soaked for 30 minutes prior to use. Alternate the chicken pieces with large pieces of green onion, snugging them tightly together, grill, and brush with sauce. Easy-peasy. The sauce, tare, is a sweetsalty mix of soy sauce, mirin, sake, and sugar. If you like, you can add garlic or ginger, or nix the sauce altogether and simply season the chicken with salt before grilling. And, if it’s still -30°C outside while you’re reading this, you can skip the grill and use your oven’s broiler instead. ½ c soy sauce (can substitute tamari) ½ c mirin (can substitute ½ c water + 2 Tbsp sugar) ¼ c sake (can substitute dry sherry, but not rice wine vinegar) ¼ cup water 2 tsp packed brown sugar Separate of the remaining glaze for making cooked chicken skewers pretty and to avoid cross contamination, using of the glaze for brushing on chicken while it’s cooking. 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs 9 green onions Canola or vegetable oil Cut remaining green onions into 1” pieces (white and green parts). Cube chicken into 1” pieces. To assemble on a soaked skewer, fold a piece of chicken in half, and skewer, then add a piece of green onion, perpendicular to the skewer. Alternate chicken and green onion— each skewer should hold about 4 chicken and 3 onion pieces. Cover a baking sheet with foil. Place a wire rack over top and brush with canola oil. Place skewers on top and preheat the broiler to high. Slide skewers under broiler and broil for 5–6 minutes. Carefully remove the pan from the oven and liberally brush the skewers on both sides with the yakitori glaze. Continue to broil about 3–4 minutes to caramelize the sauce. When the internal temperature of the chicken is 165°F, remove from the oven and turn off the broiler. Remove the skewers to a serving plate. baste the top of the chicken skewers with the If you goof and accidentally dip the same brush you used on the under-cooked chicken, you’ll have to boil the sauce again. Itadakimasu! With a clean brush, reserved sauce.