Federico Zanellato’s Chicken Yakitori

Recipe Information

Preparation time
1 hour
1 hour


  • Hibatchi Grill
  • Bamboo skewers

For the Yaki Tare:

  • 100 gr Sake
  • 100 gr Mirin
  • 150 gr Soy sauce
  • 75 gr brown sugar
  • Dry Shitake
  • 150gr Roasted Chicken bones

For the chicken Yakitori:

  • Either 1 whole chicken to break down into the below cuts. (see notes for other alternatives)
    • Chicken Breast (mune, むね)
    • Chicken Thigh & Scallion (negima, ねぎま)
    • Chicken Tender (sasami, ささみ)
    • Chicken Skin (kawa, 皮)
    • Chicken Wings (tebasaki, 手羽先)
    • Chicken Tail (bonjiri, ぼんじり)
    • Chicken Cartilage (nankotsu, 軟骨)
    • Chicken Heart (hatsu, ハツ)
    • Chicken Liver (rebā,  レバー)
    • Chicken Gizzard (sunagimo, 砂肝)
    • Chicken Thigh (momo, もも)

For the Chicken Wing Filling:

  • 100 gr Koshikari rice
  • 500gr porcini stock or Chicken stock
  • 20gr parmesan
  • 15 gr Butter
  • 50 gr Minced Chicken


To make the Yaki Tare:

  1. In a small saucepan, add mirin, soy sauce, sake, water, brown sugar, and the green part of 1 scallion and the roasted chicken and bring it to a boil over high heat.
  2. 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 chinoise.
  3. 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:

  1. Debone the first part of the chicken wings only
  2. Cook the koshikari rice like a risotto by adding a ladle of bone stock one at the time
  3. Towards the end add the mince chicken and of the heat add parmesan and butter
  4. Let it cool down completely and put the rice inside a piping bag
  5. Fill the chicken wings making sure you leave a gap to close the wings on top
  6. Steam the wings for 30 minutes at 90 degrees
  7. Cool down
  8. Grill over charcoal from cold whilst brushing with the Tare until golden

To make the Chicken Yakitori:

  1. Brush the chicken with the Yaki tare before and while cooking
  2. Soak the bamboo skewers in water for 30 minutes before threading the ingredients.
  3. Get the charcoal hot for the hibatchi grill (or you can use a charcoal BBQ)
  4. Cut all the chicken in 1inch cube
  5. On the chopping board fold each slice of the chicken at 45 degrees angle and press down on the skewers to pierce trough the center
  6. Alternate the chicken with big pieces of scallion on skewers, and make sure they are tightly snugged to each other.

Tips and notes from Federico on his Chicken Yakitori recipe:

  • If you don’t have a hibatchi 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 to breasts.
  • Click here to watch the full episode which shows Federico removing the chicken wing bone