How to Cook Small-Game Yakitori

This freezer-raid recipe is a perfect use for a season’s worth of organ meat and offal

Small-Game Yakitori kebabs
If you like the taste venison heart, you’re going to like this small-game offal skewers.Cosmo Genova

I’m what you’d call a wild-game hoarder. Some folks probably aren’t interested in duck tongues and venison testicles, but as a former professional cook, I try to find new and interesting ways to prepare nearly every usable piece of an animal, fish, or foraged plant. It usually turns out tasty.

But after a hunting season or two, I find myself buried in random bits of things like squirrel and rabbit hearts, turkey livers, and grouse gizzards that, separately, don’t constitute enough for a composed meal. So, one thing I’ve started doing is saving various offal and organ meats together until there’s enough to make Yakitori.

Yakitori are Japanese skewers, typically made with chicken, grilled over an open fire and brushed with a glaze such as Teriyaki sauce. It’s a delicious way to utilize all those small edible organs that would otherwise go to waste.

Ingredients

  • 1-2 lbs. of various small-game organ meat
  • 1-2 bunches of scallions
  • 1 bottle teriyaki sauce
  • Bamboo or metal skewers

Directions

  1. Clean and trim all the connective tissue from the organs. Cut the larger pieces into bite-size chunks. Leave the smaller organs whole. Marinate the meat overnight in teriyaki sauce.
  2. About an hour before you’re ready to grill, soak skewers in water to prevent them from catching on fire. (If you’re using metal skewers, you can skip this step.)
  3. Load the skewers, alternating between meat and scallions.
  4. Grill the skewers over wood or charcoal, occasionally basting with sauce until the meat is cooked through.