Sunday, June 3, 2012

Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce

This is another one of my favorite Thai recipes.  After tasting this recipe, you will forever be disappointed by the satay you eat in restaurants.  Sorry about that. 

A note about the ingredients:  you can easily find fish sauce and Thai red curry paste in the Asian Foods section of any grocery store.  Be sure you get the THAI curry paste, which is very different from Indian or other curries.  As for tamarind paste, you should read the note about it on my previous post.  If you absolutely cannot get tamarind paste, you can substitute lime juice, but it's not the same, so don't do that and then tell me you hate this recipe.  I personally think that it's worth it to spend a few hours hunting down the right ingredients, because it's just that good.  And once you have them, you can make this lots of times in the future, which I guarantee will make you happy.

Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce
Recipe adapted from "Thai" by Lesley Mackley

2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips that are 1/4"-thick and 1"-wide
2 Tbs vegetable oil
2 Tbs soy sauce
2 tsp tamarind paste
1 tsp lemon zest
2 cloves garlic, minced (about a teaspoon)
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 Tbs lime juice
1 tsp brown sugar

For the Peanut Sauce:
2 T smooth peanut butter
1 cup coconut cream or coconut milk
2 tsp red Thai curry paste
1 Tbs fish sauce
1 Tbs brown sugar

First make the marinade.  Combine oil, soy sauce, tamarind paste, lemon zest, garlic, cumin, coriander, lime juice, and brown sugar in a food processor or blender.  Blend to make a thin paste.  Transfer to a ziplock bag or a bowl and toss in the chicken, making sure everything gets well coated. Refrigerate for at least one hour, or up to 4. 

Meanwhile, make the peanut sauce.  In a small saucepan combine the peanut butter, coconut milk, curry paste, fish sauce, and brown sugar.  Heat over medium heat, stirring with a whisk, until sauce is warm and smooth.  Sauce can be set aside and reheated when ready to use.

Remove the chicken from the marinade and thread onto skewers.  Grill over medium-high heat for 3-5 minutes per side, or until chicken is cooked through.  You can also cook it under a broiler, though it will take a few more minutes. 

Serve with the warm peanut dipping sauce.
Makes 8 appetizer servings, or 4 main dish servings.

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