Chef Benzamon Presents: Chicken Skin on Skewers, Yakitori Style!

Well, sorta. While my prowess in the kitchen is probably questionable at best, I’m not sure what compelled me to the great outdoors. I can’t imagine why anyone would want to grill anything the old-fashioned way WITHOUT proper control over the fire intensity (or an industrial hood, for that matter). Never mind the fact that I’m probably the only human being who doesn’t know how to start a fire properly, and all the bugs in my backyard apparently have fangs the size of a baby T-Rex. Seriously, there are days when I’m glad I’m not a neanderthal, because my Lil Monsters would probably freeze to death before I figured out how to start a simple fire. Today would be one of those days.

I was inspired by a recent trip to Oh! Taisho (Karis’ favorite hole-in-the-wall restaurants in the city). Chicken skin on skewers? Seemed simple enough. SIMPLY DELICIOUS THAT IS! One of the benefits of spending the better part of my life surrounded by chicken parts allowed me unbridled access to anything I needed. Chicken skin would be one of those specialty items.

Okay, that’s only half true. I peeled these off approximately 20 lbs of whole legs. I filleted the skinned legs for the more “traditional” skewers on the menu, and saved the other 20 lbs of poultry goodness for a rainy day. So the recipe called for neck skin. But skin is skin, right? The reason why the recipe called for neck skin is because the fat “interferes” with the taste. I mean, hello? The fat’s the best part…of any animal!

I’ll have to admit, it took about 5 years of working in a chicken factory to get used to icky-ness of chicken skin.
Throw in some scallions and asparagus and we’ve got something magical. Seriously, looks pretty darn yummy to me!

These were my test batch, before the real deal this weekend.
So it took me a good 15 minutes to figure out my coals weren’t burning. 5 USPS boxes and a women’s magazine later, we got FI-YAH!!!

Okay, maybe a little bit too much fi-yah.
(Note to self: grease the foil before BBQing this weekend.)

So 1 out of 5 ain’t bad! Yes, the other 4 were outright terrible – but at least we know what to do this weekend :). Taste-wise, they were right on point. Texture-wise, they could’ve used some more direct heat, with some frequent flipping to get some extra crispiness without going cajun style.

Fortunately for all our guests this weekend for Lil Monster’s 3rd birthday, we do have other items on the menu that are kinda dummy proof: ribs, fruit salad and water, to name a few :).

Hope everyone is having a great summer, and faring much better on the grill!

Ben & Karis

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Northern NJ, NYC documentary Wedding Photographer, Educator & All-Around Nice Guy

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