When I barbecue whole chickens, I usually discard the neck, gizzards and liver which are packaged in paper and tucked inside the cavity. (These are usually meant for making the American classic gravy-with-giblets). This time, I used the liver to make this small Yakitori while we are waiting for the whole chickens to finish cooking.
Since the Webber grill was otherwise occupied with the whole chickens and the mosquitos were still around making me reluctant to stand around outside tending the grill, I cooked these Yakitori in the toaster oven in “Hi-broil”.
Chicken liver: I removed attached fat, vessels etc and soaked them in sake for 20-30 minutes. I used a flat metal skewer. From two whole chickens, there was enough liver to make two small skewers (picture below).
Sauce: I made quick “tare” たれ or dipping sauce. It is a mixture of sake (1 tbs) mirin (1 tbs), sugar (2 tsp) and soy sauce (1 tbs). I first heated the sake and mirin mixture to boil, then dissolved sugar and added soy sauce. I then made a potato starch slurry (katakuriko 片栗粉 or potato starch plus sake). I streamed it in until the sauce was slightly thickened.
Chicken tenderloins: This is a variation of shiso and salted plum roll 梅しそ巻き which I previously posted. Instead of making it into a roll, I butterflied the chcken tenderloins, lined it with 1 or 2 leaves of perilla and smeared bainiku 梅肉 (I removed the meat of umeboshi 梅干 plum and minced it into paste with a small amount of mirin to make it a paste consistency). After closing the butterflied portions, I used a sawing motion to thread the skewer (see below).
I cooked the skewers on Hi-broil in the toaster oven (with the upper heating elements about 1 inch from the skewers) turning once or twice for 10-15 minutes. For the liver, I coated the surface of the cooked liver with the dipping sauce and broiled it for one more minute turning once. I put on one more coat of “tare” sauce and sprinkled “sansho” 山椒 or powdered Szechwan pepper corn on the liver.