When the air starts warming and the grass starts greening, we all start planning and prepping for summer nights with dinner eaten outside in the middle of our backyard gardens. I have been devising ways to make the process easier, and to refrain from balancing plates on knees and trying to cut food with dull knives. The solution? Put everything on a skewer.
Yakitori is a marinated meat that's grilled at fairly high temperatures on the grill. The skewers make it a perfect outdoor dining food with no utensils needed. We serve ours alongside skewered and grilled pineapple and vegetables.
Note: I opt for free-range chicken breast and all organic ingredients, and encourage you to do the same.
1/3 cup soy sauce
3 tablespoons molasses or buckwheat honey
2 tablespoons mirin
2 tablespoons fresh ginger, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
2-3 lbs free-range chicken breasts, cut into strips (or chicken tenders)
Mix together soy sauce, molasses/honey, mirin, ginger, garlic and white pepper in a shallow dish or zip-top bag. Add chicken breast pieces and marinate for at least four hours and up to 24 hours in the refrigerator.
When you're ready to grill the chicken, soak the bamboo skewers in water for 10 minutes. Heat the grill to 400 º F (medium-high setting). Remove the chicken from the marinade and slide the chicken pieces onto the bamboo skewers. Place the skewered chicken on the grill and cook for 2 minutes. Flip the skewer and baste with leftover marinade, grilling for an additional 1-2 minutes. Flip again and continue until chicken is cooked through and no pink remains when you cut into a piece. Total cooking time should be around 7-8 minutes, but will depend on the thickness of your chicken pieces.
Remove chicken skewers from the grill and allow them to rest for a few minutes before serving.
Photo by Shaina Olmanson
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