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Taste the World: Chicken Yakitori

chicken yakitori on skewers

Experience what the world has to offer with a recipe from acclaimed Chef Federico Zanellato. As part of our Taste Dining at Home series, in partnership with Taste Festivals, we’ve invited globally renowned chefs to create recipes to help you make the most out of every day at home.

To follow along with Chef Federico as he makes the full recipe, watch the video below. And to find Chef Chase’s Tuna Tataki recipe also featured in this video, click here.

chef frederico zanellato
chicken yakitori overhead view

chef frederico zanellato and chef chase kojima cheers

Chicken Yakitori

By Chef Federico Zanellato

What You’ll Need (Serves 2)

Hibachi grill (or a charcoal BBQ)
Bamboo skewers

For the yaki tare:
100 g sake
100 g mirin
150 g soy sauce
75 g brown sugar
Dry shitake
150 g roasted chicken bones

For the chicken yakitori:
Either 1 whole chicken to break down into the below cuts or see tips for alternatives:
Chicken breast
Chicken thigh and scallion 
Chicken tender 
Chicken skin 
Chicken wings 
Chicken tail
Chicken cartilage 
Chicken heart 
Chicken liver 
Chicken gizzard 
Chicken thigh

For the chicken wing filling:
100 g koshikari rice
500 g porcini stock or chicken stock
20 g parmesan
15 g butter
50 g minced chicken

How to Prepare It

For the yaki tare:
In a small saucepan, add mirin, soy sauce, sake, water, brown sugar, the green part of 1 scallion and the roasted chicken. Bring it to a boil over high heat.

Once boiling, reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, until the liquid is reduced by half. It will take about 30 minutes. The sauce will thicken with a glossy shine, then strain through a chinois.

Let it cool to room temperature before using. Reserve ⅓ of the sauce in a small bowl for final coating (use this sauce after the chicken is cooked). Note: You can make the sauce ahead of time. Put only the sauce (no green onion) in a mason jar. Store in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 months in the refrigerator.

To make the stuffed chicken wing:
Debone the first part of the chicken wings only.

Cook the koshikari rice like a risotto by adding a ladle of bone stock, one at the time.

Toward the end, add the minced chicken and then add parmesan and butter.

Let it cool down completely and put the rice inside a piping bag.

Fill the chicken wings, making sure you leave a gap to close the wings on top.

Steam the wings for 30 minutes at 195° F.

Cool down.

Grill over charcoal from cold while brushing with the tare until golden.

For the chicken yakitori:
Brush the chicken with the yaki tare before and while cooking.

Soak the bamboo skewers in water for 30 minutes before threading the ingredients.

Get the charcoal hot for the hibachi grill.

Cut all the chicken in 1-inch cubes.

On the chopping board, fold each slice of the chicken at a 45° angle and press down on the skewers to pierce trough the center.

Alternate the chicken with big pieces of scallion on skewers, and make sure they are tightly snugged to each other.

Tips from Chef Federico:
If you don’t have a hibachi grill at home, you can use a charcoal BBQ.

If you don’t want to break down a whole chicken or use all the different cuts, use boneless, skinless chicken thighs. They stay juicy and more flavorful compared with breasts.