One of my favorite Chinese take out items is what my local Chinese restaurant calls 'chicken sticks'. They are very inexpensive and very tasty. These are pieces of chicken (usually the thigh) marinated in a sauce and grilled on a kabob skewer. I recently found out that the proper name for this dish is yakitori. It is fairly easy to prepare and uses few ingredients. Leeks, sake, sugar, honey and soy sauce.
It is my understanding that there are yakitori stands and restaurants all over Japan and that they are favorite 'stop by' spots office workers. 9 to 5'ers stop by stands or restaurants to get yakitori and a cold drink before heading home.
5 tablespoons of soy sauce
2 tablespoons of sugar
1/2 cup of chopped leeks
1/2 cup of honey
1/2 cup of sake*
1 tablespoon water
6 or 7 medium sized chicken* thighs with bone, skin and fat removed.
Wooden Skewers that have been soaked in water.
1. Combine the first six ingredients and mix thoroughly. Warm the mixture (do not boil) and use as marinade for chicken. Since I like heat I add a little chile paste to the marinade.
2. After deboning and removing the skin from the chicken, cut into 1 inch or bite sized pieces and place into the marinade. Refrigerate for at least 1/2 to 1 hour.
3. Place chicken on wood skewers which have been soaked in water and are thoroughly wet. This will keep them from burning while grilling. Place on a hot grill until done.
You can bake these in a 375 degree oven until done also. You may want to use metal skewers for the oven or wrap foil around the wooden skewers so they won't burn in the oven. Either way keep those oven mitts handy.
Great with beer.
Serve this chicken with a simple sauteed spinach dish. Use 1-10 or 12 ounce bag of pre-packaged spinach (baby or regular torn.) Wash spinach and place in large saute pan, no extra water is needed. Cover the pan and cook spinach over low heat until it wilts. If desired add a pinch of sale. Add 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil or butter, stir and cover again. Keep covered until you are ready to plate.
Makes about 4 small servings.
*Sake: Japanese rice wine.
*You can make these with beef also. Use a cut like flank steak.