This classic Asian Yakitori recipe is made with grilled sake-marinated chicken and green onions, cooked and served on a skewer. A very festive, easy and attractive chicken appetizer that can certainly double as an entree.
Sake is Japanese "rice wine," but it's actually brewed, like beer. Sake makers are brewers. For Yakitori you don't need the expensive, high-rated stuff, you just want the flavor. Get the cheaper, cooking sherry variety. It is readily available in places you probably already shop. I usually find it in the Asian section of my grocery store.
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 dozen green onions
1/2 cup sake
1/2 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
1 tablespoon sugar
Short bamboo skewers
Yakitori begins with the marinade:
To prepare the marinade, combine the sake, soy sauce, ginger and sugar in a medium bowl and set aside.
Cut the chicken into 1" cubes, approximately, and add to the marinade. Marinate the chicken in the refrigerator for about 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
In the meantime, trim the green onions and cut them into 1-1/2" pieces.
Remove the chicken from the marinade, reserving the liquid for basting. Alternately thread the chicken and green onions onto the skewers. (About three each makes a nice size hors d'oeuvre; you can cover the ends of the skewers with foil so they won't burn.)
Place the skewers on a broiler pan or medium-hot grill and broil/grill, basting often and turning occasionally, until the chicken is just cooked through, about 6 minutes. Serve hot.
Makes about 24 appetizers.
Yakitori for a Crowd
Tip: Keep the prepared Yakitori skewers in their marinade, on ice, by the grill. Plunk as many onto the grill as you need at a time, always serving them fresh and hot.