Tebasaki (手羽先) means ‘chicken wings’ in Japan. The most popular part of the wing is not the tip, which is best saved to add its collagen to a soup or broth, nor is it the meaty drummette! The middle section with two bones (equivalent to the radius and the ulna) and plenty of fatty skin is favored for yakitori skewers. Nagoya City in Aichi Prefecture (central Japan) is famous for its deep-fried spicy chicken wings. This yakitori is enjoyed all over Japan, sometimes simmered then grilled, other times, simply grilled with a little salt the better to savor its crispy skin.
The crispiness of the skin is enhanced by skewering the wings to expose as much surface to the heat as possible. To do this, Ms. Shimbo describes a method for removing the smaller bone. The skin and meat is butterflied so it resembles a trapezoid (or kite). A skewer is inserted into one corner, behind the large bone, and into the opposite corner. Use two wings per skewer/serving. (Ms. Shimbo suggests using two skewers to prevent the wings from turning on a single axis.)
|To remove the smaller bone from the wing,
cut along the smooth unruffled edge.
|Cut into the wing on the smooth edge to reveal the thin bone. Cut the cartilage to release the bone.||The ruffly fatty skin should be in the middle of each skewered wing.|
Chicken Wings on Skewers
4 appetizers, light meal for 2
- 8 chicken wings: second joints, the part with 2 bones
- 1 yuzu or lime cut in wedges
Soak 4 bamboo skewers in water for at least an hour. Heat a grill or broiler. Lay the wings flat on a work surface to remove the smaller bone as described above. Thread 2 wings on each skewer. Salt the chicken liberally on both sides, and cook until golden. Serve with yuzu or lime wedges.