I remember being a slow eater too, but I remember hating vegetables (especially cooked carrots) more than meat. Both my son and I are/were really motivated by a timer and the promise of dessert and/or the threat of losing dessert. As I type this, he has 8 minutes left to finish his last 3 bites. He just shoved all 3 in his mouth.
Atta boy. Ice cream tonight!
Anyway, it was easy, chicken thighs stand up better than breast meat to high-heat grilling and are REALLY tender, and everything was super tasty! We'll be making this again, even though bamboo skewers scare me - I invariably give myself at least 1 splinter.
Japanese Chicken Yakitori
- 1/4 cup plus 2 T soy sauce (I use reduced sodium stuff)
- 1/4 cup plus 2 T mirin (in the Asian food aisle)
- 4 T sake OR substitute rice wine vinegar (I substituted)
- 2 T sugar
- 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 bunch scallions (apparently different than green onions, which is what I used, to everyone's satisfaction), sliced into 1-inch lengths, using both white and green parts
- 12 9-inch bamboo skewers, soaked in water for 30 minutes
In a small saucepan, combine the remaining 1/4 cup each of the soy sauce and mirin, and 2 T each of the sake/rice wine vinegar and sugar. Bring the mixture to a boil, lower the heat, and let it simmer until the glaze is slightly thickened and glossy, about 15 minutes. (I did this too far ahead, let the glaze cool... and it solidified. Better do it when your hour of marinating is almost up!)
Prepare your grill or heat a grill pan to medium-high. Lightly oil the grates or pan.
Thread 4 chunks of chicken and 3 pieces of scallion onto each skewer, alternating the meat and the vegetable. Discard the marinade.
Grill the skewers until seared on both sides and just cooked through, about 10 minutes, turning every 2 to 3 minutes. During the last 3 minutes of cooking, brush the skewers with the glaze on both sides, turning them often so the glaze doesn't burn (move the skewers to a cooler part of the grill if necessary). Brush the skewers with the glaze a second time in the final minute of cooking. When finished, the chicken and scallions should be deeply glazed. Serves 4.
(side note: using numerals rather than typing out the numbers for this whole post was really hard for me!)