This simple Japanese style chicken and leek skewers are inspired by Yakitori, Japanese chicken skewers. We simplified the recipe by substituting certain ingredients often in Yakitori with gluten free ingredients to come up with a celiac and gluten friendly recipe. Enjoy the sweet and savory flavor of chicken with the crunchy texture of leeks! While this is a perfect appetizer that serves four, you can add some rice on the side and make it into a meal as well! —Carving a Journey
Before cooking, soak the wooden skewers in water for 30 minutes. This prevent the skewers from burning when they go on the grill.
Add all the ingredients for the sauce (soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, garlic, and ginger) into a small saucepan, and bring it to boil. Once it starts boiling, reduce the heat to low and let the sauce simmer for 20 minutes. The sauce should be thicker and reduced by half; if not, add 1 tablespoon of corn starch, mixed with 1 tablespoon of warm water, to the saucepan.
While the sauce is simmering, cut the chicken thighs into 1-inch cubes. Cut the leek in half lengthwise, and chop each half into 1-inch long pieces. Wash the leek thoroughly, as there might be dirt between the layers of the leek. Alternate the chicken and leek on the skewers.
Place the skewers on the grill. Cook each side for about 2 minutes, until the chicken thighs are crispy on the outside. Make sure to not overcook the chicken at this step.
Every thirty seconds, brush the sauce on the top side of the skewers. Repeat until you brush the sauce 4 to 5 times on each side. When the chicken is cooked thoroughly, remove the skewers from the grill. Before serving, brush the sauce once more. If you want richer flavor, sprinkle 1 tablespoon of toasted sesame seeds on top.
If you have leftover sauce, place it in a small serving dish. This can then be used as a dipping sauce during your meal.
The sauce has a tendency to remain on the grill, so if you are doing more than one batch of skewers, we recommend cleaning the grill after each batch.