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Chicken Satay with Thai Peanut Sauce
About Chicken Satay...
Go into any good Thai or Southeast Asian restaurant and you're sure to find chicken satay on the menu. Chicken satay is basically a chicken skewer that has been marinated and grilled over a hot flame then brushed with a spicy-sweet peanut sauce. Traditionally, dark meat chicken is used (thigh meat usually) because it grills up faster than breast meat and has a tendency to be juicier however there's no rule against using white meat. In fact, some cooks prefer using white meat because it's easier to skewer. In the streets and canals of Bangkok, you can find vendors cooking up chicken satay over portable wood-burning grills and though it's considered "street-food", it's sought after by tourists in-the-know and locals alike. Whether you use dark meat or white, follow the recipe below for an authentic taste of Thailand. Bon Appetit!
What you'll need
For the Marinade:
- 4 lbs Boneless Chicken Breast or Thigh Meat
- 1 Cup Soy Sauce
- 1/2 Cup Sesame Oil
- 1/2 Cup Sugar
- 2 Tbsp BBQ Spice Rub
- 1/4 Cup Fish Sauce*
- 2 Tbsp Sriracha (Rooster Sauce)**
- Approximately 50 6" Bamboo Skewers
For the Thai Peanut Sauce:
- 1 Cup Creamy Peanut Butter
- 1 12 Oz Can Coconut Milk*
- 1/2 Cup Honey
- 2 Seeded Jalepenos
- 1/4 Fresh Cilantro
- 2 Limes
- 2 Tbsp Chopped Green Chives or Green Onion
- 1 Tsp Kosher Salt
* Items available in Asian food stores.
** You can subsitute your favorite hot sauce for Sriracha or leave out for less spicy skewers.
- Cut the chicken meat into strips approximately 1" thick and carefully work onto the bamboo skewers. Once finished, set aside covered in the fridge.
- Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl combine the soy sauce, sesame oil, sugar, BBQ spice rub, fish sauce and sriracha and stir until the sugar disolves completely. Take the chicken skewers and place them into baking pan or flat storage container and add the marinade. Make sure to spread the skewers out as much as possible and coat every one completely. Ideally, you'll want the skewers to be covered with the marinade but if they aren't completely covered, it's no big deal just as long as they've all been completely coated. Wrap the dish in plastic and place in the fridge for at least 6 hours.
- Next, place the peanut butter, coconut milk, honey, jalepenos, cilantro and chives or onions into a food processor or blender and puree together. Squeeze in the juice of the limes taking care not to get any seeds in the mix and season with salt.
- Get a hot grill going (I prefer charcoal to gas) and place the skewers towards the front of the grill with the ends of the bamboo skewers hanging off the side (to avoid them catching on fire). Keep an eye out for flare-ups because the sesame oil will drip.
- Cook for about 5 minutes on each side (depending on how thick the meat is). You can always check for doneness with a good meat thermometer but you should be able to tell by feeling the chicken with your fingers.
- Right before removing from the grill, brush both sides with the Thai peanut sauce and cook for another minute or so.
- Serve immediately. These skewers also store well in the fridge for up to 3 days and reheat beautifully.
These skewers are great alone but here are a few delicious condiments.
- Sticky rice
- Shredded cabbage
- Fresh cucmber slices
- Black bean sauce
- Lime wedges
- Hearts of palm
- Pickled carrots
- Oyster sauce
- Pho (Vietnamese oxtail soup... delicious!)
- Bamboo shoots