A few weeks ago, I went to a great Garden Party at my local Home Depot, and got a number of delicious recipes and tips for summer gardening. I was very impressed by how delcious the recipes was, and we are now including the Yakitori recipe in our regular spring/summer grilling repertoire. I wasn’t completely sure what Yakitori was, but a little research revealed that Yakitori is Japanese skewered, grilled chicken. I’m sure that there are number of different sauces that can be used to baste the chicken, but this is a version that I modified slightly from the version that Weber introduced at the Home Depot Garden party. It has good flavor, and a bit of bite and tang.
This probably include one ingredient that you don’t usually have at home– a sweet saki. Again, look for one that is sweet, rather than dry. The original recipe called for Mirin, but I had the darnedest time finding it. After going to three stores, including a very comprehensive liquor store, I was told that sweet saki would have much the same flavor. If you find Mirin anywhere, please let me know!
- 2 pounds of boneless and skinless chicken breast, cut into 1-ish inch pieces
- 2 Tablespoons Sesame Oil
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 3/8 cup soy sauce
- 3/8 cup Sweet Saki
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1/8 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/8 cup fresh sesame seeds
- 1/8 cup finely chopped green onion
After cutting the chicken breast into cubes, put the chicken in a bowl and add in the Seasame oil and salt, and mix with the chicken until all of the pieces are covered. Then place the chicken together on the skewers. (I’ve found that 2 pounds of chicken breast make between 10-12 skewers, which for our family is enough for one dinner, and lunch for me and Mellow Man the next day.) Set the skewered chicken aside.
Combine the chicken broth, soy sauce, saki, lemon juice, brown sugar and black pepper together in a bowl. Then pour the sauce into a shallow pot, and bring to a boil. Let the mixture cook down. It should go from being nearly 2 cups of liquid to 3/4 to 1 cup of liquid and be a thicker, saucier combination.
Turn the grill on low, and cover with heavy-duty aluminum foil. Place the skewers on the foil, and baste with the sauce. I turn them over every 2 minutes and baste them again. Since I’m cooking it on low, and keep uncovering it, it takes a while, and the Yakitori gets a golden brown, crisp coating of the sauce on them. When I am nearly done cooking the skewers, I sprinkle the sesame seeds and green onions over the skewers. They add a little flavor and zest, but I don’t want them to be over-cooked.
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