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Thursday, March 17, 2011

Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce

I love chicken satay/sate, no matter how you spell it. The chicken is really just a vehicle for the peanut sauce, the real star. My sister and I cannot let peanut sauce just sit on the platter after the chicken is gone. We find spoons; don't watch if you are offended. And if you are the server, don't try to take it away too soon. There are skewers and we know how to use them.

This is a great version. The original recipe is James McNair's, from his Chicken cookbook. It's one of a great series of one-topic cookbooks he did, all of which are excellent.
 I've included my tweaks (I like less lemon juice, more ginger and add coriander, for example).

Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce

1 tbsp. light brown sugar
1 tbsp. curry powder
2 tbsp. peanut butter (smooth or crunchy)
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup lime juice
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp. ground coriander
Crushed, dried red chili peppers (optional for those with heat-impaired spouses)

6 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, cut into long strips about 1/2-inch wide

Peanut sauce:
2/3 cup crunchy peanut butter
1 can unsweetened coconut milk (light is fine)
2 tbsp. lemon juice
2 1/2 tbsp. brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp. grated or minced fresh ginger root
2 tbsp. soy sauce
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp. ground coriander
1/4 tsp. cayenne or to taste
1/4 cup cream (you can use fat-free "half and half")

Soak bamboo skewers.

To make the marinade,combine ingredients in a shallow dish. Thread the chicken on bamboo skewers, weaving skewers in and out of meat lengthwise. Place in marinade and cover. Refrigerate for at least two hours or overnight (for most flavor).

To make peanut sauce, combine ingredients except cream in saucepan. Cook over moderate heat, stirring constantly, until sauce is as thick as heavy cream, about 15 minutes. (McNair calls for pureeing it at this point, but I find that step unnecessary.) Stir in cream and reserve. Sauce can be made ahead and refrigerated. Return to room temperature before serving. If it's too thick for you, thin with more cream or a little chicken broth.

Grill (or broil) the chicken, turning several times and basting with the marinade, until done but still moist. (Because the marinade had raw chicken in it, don't baste the last minute or so.) Serve with the room temperature peanut sauce for dipping.

Makes about 18 skewers; allow two per serving as an appetizer, four or more as a main course.

Don't forget the spoons.

1 comment:

Kim said...

We don't always look for a spoon, you know. Sometimes we just glance around the restaurant and then, pick up the plate. I believe it is an actual law that one cannot waste peanut sauce!