Chef Silla Bjerrum's new book, Robata, is an excuse to try a different kind of grilling this summer. It teaches you all about using binchotan charcoal, a no-steam burner often used in Japanese cooking that helps make a crispier and juicier final product than you're used to. This grilled chicken recipe uses yogurt and juice from yuzu, a Japanese citrus, to make a tender and flavorful main course. Just make sure you set this up to marinate the day before you want to serve it.
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Grilled Yuzu Chicken
Excerpted from 'Robata,' by Silla Bjerrum, published by Jacqui Small 2018
Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes, plus marinating time
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes, plus marinating time
For the Sake-Mirin Spray:
½ cup cooking sake
½ cup mirin
1¼ cups water
For the Chicken:
2 cups full-fat natural yogurt
Scant ½ cup yuzu juice
2 tablespoons runny honey
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
8 pieces chicken (legs and thighs)
Zest and juice of 1 pink grapefruit, plus extra wedges to serve
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 tablespoons soft brown sugar
3½ tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons mixed sesame seeds
1. Make the sake-mirin spray: Combine the sake, mirin and water in a food-safe spray bottle, and set aside.
2. Make the chicken: Combine the yogurt with the yuzu and honey in a large mixing bowl, and season with salt and pepper.
3. Rub the chicken pieces in the yogurt marinade, place in a container and pour the remainder of the marinade on top. Marinate in the refrigerator for 24 to 36 hours.
4. Start the robata grill. Put the grapefruit juice into a bowl and combine with the soy sauce and sugar.
5. Rinse the yogurt off the chicken and dab dry with a paper towel, then dress the chicken in a little olive oil. When the coals are ready, place a wire rack over the robata pit, brush with oil and place the chicken on top. Seal the chicken, controlling the heat by moving the chicken from hotter to colder areas and vice versa. Use the sake-mirin spray to control the flames and reduce the heat. When the chicken is cooked through and the skin is nice and crispy, place on a serving dish. Drizzle with the grapefruit juice mixture, sprinkle with the chopped zest and sesame seeds, and serve with a few wedges of grapefruit on the side.