How many years have I enjoyed eating Chicken Satay skewers and not made them myself ? About 12. How many years have I made plans for trying and cooking this dish in my kitchen (groceries ready in the pantry), and backed out ? Well, about 7. Today is the day. I am starting 2017 with the resolution to cook more of these world food deliciousness and to challenge myself harder than ever, starting with this amazing (though very personal and adapted) version of the Indonesian Chicken Satay with peanut sauce.
Chicken Satay basically is chicken pieces marinated in a wide mix of spices, condiments, lime juice and coconut milk , before they’re mounted on skewers and grilled. If you do have a barbecue stove, this is the best. If you have an oven and want to give it a shot, make a proper preparation so that you don’t spend hours cleaning your oven afterwards. I simply used a grill pan and thought it gave a very nice and colored outcome. I also opted for mounting the chicken pieces on skewers only after I was done grilling them, as it is much easier if like me you choose to grill on a pan. The original recipes I have found almost all indicate that coconut milk is part of the marinade, but I think it makes too rich a composition, and when health matters, the addition is not necessary, so I replaced 200 ml of coconut milk by only 3 tbsp of regular milk. It is enough by far, for a 2 servings marinade, and now I am pretty sure 200 ml of coconut milk would be pure waste anyway.
The peanut sauce usually is made of a combination of ingredients that includes again coconut milk. If I had some in my pantry, I would definitely have used it this time, unfortunately I had to modify the recipe at the last minute and use a mix of regular cow milk, water and grated coconut. It gives a little texture to the sauce but it’s okay. Also, instead of oil and peanuts, I replaced by peanut butter, which is a great idea as it adds some creaminess to the sauce, that particular creaminess that was lacking from the absence of coconut milk. All in all, I did pretty well, I think!
For the chicken satay (for 6 skewers)
- 2 chicken breasts
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1 shallot
- 1 tbsp of ginger powder
- 2 tbsp of ground coriander
- 1 tbsp of cumin
- 1 tbsp of curcuma
- 1 tsp of curry
- 1 tbsp of fish sauce
- 1 tbsp oh honey or brown sugar
- t tbsp of vegetal oil
- 1 tsp of salt
- 3 tbsp of milk
For the peanut sauce
- 1 tbsp of vegetal oil
- 1 tsp of red curry paste
- 2 tbsp of peanut butter
- 1 tsp of salt
- 1 tsp of sugar
- 1 tbsp of soya sauce
- 2 tbsp of lime juice
- 100 ml of coconut milk and a bit of water, or regular milk + water + 50 of grated coconut
- Prepare the marinade for the chicken. Very thinly chop the garlic & shallot, and if you want to avoid keeping pieces when grilling the chicken, crush them well with a pestle in a mortar in order to make it a paste. Add all other ingredients of the marinade list and combine.
- Cut medium size pieces of chicken, and coat with the marinade. Reserve in the fridge. It is optimal to let it sit for 4 hours, but I had no such time ahead, and a half hour made already a great marinated chicken.
- Pour the chicken pieces and the marinade together over a pre-heated grill pan, and cook for about 4 minutes on each side, till the chicken pieces start having a grilled look.
- Stop the heat and let cool down a bit. When you can start touching the pieces safely with your fingers, prepare the skewers by piling chicken pieces one after another.
- Display skewers on a serving plate, along with a slice or two of fresh lime.
- Now get to the peanut sauce. In a small saucepan, heat oil with the red curry paste so that the fragrances develop.
- Pour water, cow milk and 3 tbsp of grated coconut. Bring to a boil.
- Reduce the heat and add all other ingredients.
- The sauce is supposed to thicken. Stop the heat when the texture and thickness suit you. If it gets to thick, slowly add water or milk.
- Wait for the sauce to cool down a bit, and serve in a bowl or ramekin along with the chicken satay skewers. Drizzle lime juice when ready to eat. Eat happily!
Created and Written by Sophie Rebibo-Halimi. © 2017 All Rights Reserved.