Primal Grill with Steven Raichlen
Season 3 in High Definition
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Primal Grill is filmed at Esplendor Resort in Rio Rico.
Episode: 212 :: ON THE WING
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YAKITORI
Source: How to Grill, pg. 252
Method: Direct Grilling
Serves: 6 to 8 as an appetizer, 4 as a main course
Advance
Preparation: 
Category: Fowl
Ingredients:
For the yakitori:

2 bunches scallions, trimmed
1-1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts

For the yakitori sauce:

1 cup soy sauce
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup mirin (sweet rice wine)
1 scallion, trimmed, white part gently crushed, green part thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, gently crushed with the side of a cleaver
1 slice peeled fresh ginger (1/4-inch thick), gently crushed with the side of a cleaver
1 strip lemon zest (1/2 by 2 inches)
Toasted sesame seeds for garnish

Other Items Needed:
32 small bamboo skewers or 16 double-pronged skewers
Heavy duty aluminum foil folded into thirds, like a business letter, to make a grill shield


Directions:
Trim any sinews or excess fat off the chicken breasts and discard. Rinse under cold running water, then drain and blot dry with paper towels. Cut the scallions and chicken breasts into uniform 1-1/2 inch pieces and double skewer them (run two bamboo skewers through the meat and scallions). Refrigerate, covered, until ready to cook.

Prepare the sauce: Place the soy sauce, sugar, mirin, scallion white, garlic, ginger, and lemon zest into a nonreactive saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Let the sauce simmer until thick and syrupy, 5 to 10 minutes, stirring often to prevent scorching. Strain the sauce into a nonreactive bowl and let cool to room temperature. Set some aside to serve as a dipping sauce, if desired.

Set up the grill or hibachi for direct grilling and preheat to high. When ready to grill, brush and oil the grill grate. Lay the aluminum foil grill shield parallel to the front edge of the grill. Place the yakitori on the grill, arranging in a line so the exposed bottoms of the skewers are protected by the foil shield.

Grill the yakitori, turning after 2 minutes, to cook the outside of the meat. Begin basting with the sauce, and continue basting and turning until the chicken is cooked, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Alternatively, put the sauce in a shallow dish. When partially cooked, dip the yakitori in the sauce and continue grilling. The sauce should cook to a shiny glaze and the meat should feel firm to the touch when done.

Transfer the yakitori to plates or a platter and sprinkle with the scallion slices and sesame seeds. Although its not strictly traditional, I like to serve a little reserved glaze in a tiny bowl as a dipping sauce.
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