The world’s most popular meat sizzling on a skewer over a smokey high end charcoal fire. Yes and YES. We’ll take our chicken yakitorized any day. Originally popularized in the 1950’s after Americans introduced broiler chickens to Japan, (Leave it to us to blow up portions and popularize the American food dream) this street food was initially shamed because the smell and act of cooking meat was shunned in much of Japanese culture. Thankfully the tasty sticks proliferated and once popular enough on Tokyo corners they moved into restaurant setting and spread beyond Japan. Our first encounter with the delicious, and often obscure, chicken parts was at, now shuttered, Yakitori Torys, a semi-secret second floor spot off a random street in Hell’s Kitchen. The second feasting came shortly after on a quick 48 hrs pitstop in Tokyo. This provided us the authentic experience we craved after our NYC introduction. A decade later chicken on sticks have become much more popular and prevalent. When we saw Yardbird Chicken on Charcoal published by chef Matt Abergel we jumped on it. Having never been to his famed Hong Kong spot YardBird, we brought the restaurant to us through his award winning recipes. This bird bible is packed with easy moves to grill all summer long. Quick recipes, many with that weird stuff we mentioned before, make for goodness on any page. Chicken hearts, butts you name it, Matt cooks beak to tail. He explains more here. Most of you won’t be on your way to Hong Kong anytime soon so turn your backyard or balcony into a 1950’s Tokyo street stall for a night with the help of Matt and his cookbook. It’s as close to international travel as you’ve been in months. Enjoy the trip. And, if you jump to Yardbird’s site you can grab one of these awesome souvenir shirt.