Recipe: Chicken Yakitori

By Annabel Karmel, July 8, 2009
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I like to make these chicken skewers using the thigh meat as it is moister and has a better flavour than the breast. It is also more nutritious, containing twice the amount of iron and zinc as white meat.

Interestingly, when I make roast chicken, my children only like the breast, but they love these skewers. You need to grill the skewers until almost cooked before brushing with the glaze or they will burn.
This is good served with rice and a Japanese-style carrot and cucumber salad. Use a vegetable peeler to make thin strips of carrot and cucumber. Mix together 1 tbsp each of soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, sunflower oil, honey and one tsp of mirin and sesame oil. Mix with the carrot and cucumber and sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds.

Makes 6 skewers

Ingredients
● 4 large skinless boneless chicken thighs
● 2 spring onions (optional)
● 4 bamboo skewers soaked in water for 20 minutes
● 2 tbsp sunflower oil

Yakitori Glaze
● 3 tbsp soy sauce
● 3 tbsp mirin rice wine
● 3 tbsp clear honey
● 2 tsp rice vinegar
● Half tsp grated fresh root ginger
● 1 small garlic clove, crushed

Method
● To make the glaze, combine all the ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to the boil.
● Reduce the heat to moderate and simmer stirring occasionally for 4 to 5 minutes or until reduced to a fairly thick glaze (it thickens as it cools so don’t cook for longer than this).
● While the glaze cooks, trim away the excess fat from the chicken. Cut each thigh into three – they will be about 2 cm wide — and cut each spring onion into four pieces.
● Preheat the grill and line a baking sheet with foil. Thread the pieces of chicken concertina fashion onto the soaked skewers alternating with the spring onions (if using).
● Place the skewers on the foil and brush all over with oil and season.
● Grill for 3 to 4 minutes on each side, then turn the skewers and brush with half the glaze.
● Grill for about 2 minutes, then turn over again and brush with the remaining glaze.
Grill for a final 2 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.
● It is difficult to give exact timings as it depends on how close to the grill the chicken is placed and how hot the grill is, but watch carefully to ensure the skewers don’t burn.
● If barbecuing, cook the chicken skewers for 3 to 4 minutes each side or until almost cooked through. Brush with the glaze for the last few minutes. Turn halfway through and brush the other side.

Annabel Karmel’s Family Cookbook Summer Edition £5.99 and is on sale in Tesco, Sainsbury’s, WH Smith Asda and Boots. Next week: Judi Rose

    Last updated: 4:07pm, July 16 2009