Chicken Yakitori is a Japanese BBQ classic and so simple to cook, it literally means 'Grilled Chicken'. As with sushi chefs, you can train in Japan to become a 'Yakitori Chef', such is it's popularity. Often eaten as a snack in bars and restaurants, it's particularly good with sake or beer and is perfect for al fresco eating.
The Japanese will use almost every part of the chicken, including heart, liver and neck, however, I'm playing it safe and using thigh meat which has more flavour and stays juicy on the BBQ. Cooking over charcoal will give you the best Yakitori, however it works really well on a ridged griddle pan or simply under a conventional grill.
With Yakitori, there's no lengthy marinating, the sauce acts as the perfect seasoning that you brush on once the chicken is 80% cooked. It's so simple and super tasty.
1. Soak the wooden bamboo skewers in cold water for around 30 minutes.
2. Slice the chicken thighs roughly into 1'' sized cubes.
3. Cut the spring onions into 1'' lengths. You can only really use the white part of the onion, so keep the green ends for a salad.
4. Thread the chicken into the skewers, with a piece of spring onion every 2nd or 3rd piece. You want the chicken and the spring onion to be tightly packed together. You can get everything up to this part done in advance.
5. Drizzle a little oil over the skewers to lightly coat and then grill on the BBQ for around 8 - 10 minutes. Turn the skewers over every couple of minutes to get a nice browning on all side. You don't want your BBQ to be at maximum temperature, otherwise you'll end up with burnt chicken on the outside with raw chicken in the middle!
6. Once the chicken is about 80% cooked, using a pastry brush, start brushing on the Yakitori Sauce. Be reasonably generous. For this final part, you will need to turn the skewers more frequently to avoid the sauce burning on the chicken but some nice caramelization is what you're after.
7. Once the chicken is cooked and looking irresistible, just leave them to rest for a couple of minutes before devouring.
Enjoy! And don't forget to tag us @somerset.foodie (instagram) @SomersetFoodie (facebook) if you do make this at home.
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