Yakitori Chicken

Oven baked and skewed Yakitori Chicken Hearts, Liver and Thigh meat.

Easy Yakitori Chicken

One thing I’ve learned about Yakitori Chicken, it isn’t just Shish Kebabs you find at your local Chinese buffet. In fact, it isn’t Chinese at all, it’s Japanese. Much like Sushi, American Chinese restaurants are just adapting adding to their menu’s because of the popularity they’ve gained over the years. Truthfully, both the Sushi and Yakitori aren’t prepared very well and, are generally, “okay” at best. If you’ve decided you like or even hate these recipes from a buffet, understand that your opinion is most likely skewed and based on your lack of experience. The food hasn’t been prepared right. Therefore, most folks wouldn’t know an authentic recipe if it hit them in the face and wiggled. So, since that’s what you’re probably used to, I’m going to help you stomp out a buffet style recipe but with some more pep.

Raw Yakitori Chicken ingredients: liver, hearts and chicken thigh meat.

Traditional Yakitori Chicken

There truly is an art to Yakitori Chicken. One of my favorite things about the Japanese culture is their dedication to perfection. Even famous chefs like Gordon Ramsey are intimidated by sushi and noodle chefs and, I’d be willing to bet, Yakitori chefs are no different. Yakitori Chicken is barbecue that uses the entire bird and doesn’t leave anything to waste. Though I don’t use a whole chicken in this recipe, I’ve picked out a few things that are commonly used for it. Boneless chicken thigh meat, chicken liver and hearts. Each are prepared just a little differently.

Skewed Yakitori Chicken thighs, liver and hearts, ready for the oven.

Yakitori Chicken Skewers

I like to use disposable wooden skewers for the Yakitori Chicken, instead of metal, because they stay cool and make it easier to flip back and forth. The Chicken thighs are cut into bite size pieces and marinated. I like to use my Teriyaki Sauce recipe because it’s practically the same thing as basic Yakitori sauce. The main difference is just the quantities of each ingredient vary but this is a really great and simple alternative to make this recipes easy. I brush olive oil on the hearts and liver portions to keep them moist. There’s also a splash of liquid smoke but if you’re going to grill, you won’t need it but you should salt and pepper to taste.

Yakitori Chicken Ingredients:

4 Boneless Chicken Thighs
1 lbs Chicken Liver
1 lbs Chicken Hearts
1/3 cup Teriyaki Sauce
2 tbsp Olive Oil
1/2 tsp Liquid Smoke
Salt and Pepper to taste

I use Himalayan Salt and White Pepper. You’ll also need about a dozen Skewers to make this Yakitori Chicken on the Grill or baked in the oven at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes.

Teriyaki and Mesquite Shish Kebabs

Shish KabobsGrilling Shish Kabobs!

I love Shish Kabobs!  It’s all in the marination.  Okay, so the meat cut matters too, but if you have a great Teriyaki or Mesquite marinade, you’re already half way there.  Here I’m using Yoshida’s and McCormicks for the Meat, and a little Olive Oil and Herb blend I like to whip up for the vegetables.  Oh, you don’t normally marinate the veggies?  No big surprise.  Most people don’t even think about it.  But, if you do, kuddos!  If not, you’re going to want to pay attention to this little tutorial, because this recipe is off the hook!  😉

Shish Kabobs MarinadesIf you’ve had Yoshida’s before, then you know they make a real fine Teriyaki sauce that just melts anything you put in your mouth.  And if you didn’t know, well, you do now.  I like it best with beef and chicken, but in my opinion, it’s better with chicken.  The McCormicks I’m using here is the Mesquite I mentioned.  But on the back of the package it gives a suggestion to mix ketchup and honey with the standard ingredients.  McCormicks is just one of those 98 cent dry rubs you mix with water and oil so the other two ingredients were a no-brainer because I was planning on using the Mesquite on the pork Shish Kabobs.  The Olive Oil marinade I mentioned has several different herbs in it, both dry and fresh.  Just a little something I picked up from my Italian studies.  In fact this marinade is great with bread.  I only recommend you add Balsamic Vinegar to it if you’re going to use this for that; what ever you decide. Just remember to use it for the Vegetables in this recipe.  The tip of the day is Wrights Liquid Smoke.  If you’re not able to grill outside but you still what that Hickory flavor when you are cooking indoors, just add a few drops of this Liquid magic to your marinades and no one will be able to tell the difference, I promise!

 

Olive Oil and Herb Marinade for Shish Kabobs:

1/2 cup Olive Oil
3/4 tsp Salt
3 chopped Garlic Cloves
1 tbsp Italian Seasoning
1 tbsp Oregano
1 tbsp fresh chopped Parsley
1 tbsp fresh chopped Basil
a few shakes of Black Pepper

Mix thoroughly and poor over the cut vegetable chunks before you skew the Shish Kabobs, and marinate for 20 minutes.