Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Chicken Satays with Spicy Peanut Sauce

A fabulous marinade for poultry, this fragrant Asian-inspired recipe is perfect for satays, cornish hen or bone-in chicken breasts or plump juicy thighs. With a sweet delicate flavour, the marinated chicken caramelizes beautifully on the grill, allowing the intoxicating character of the marinade to shine through. Basting the chicken while on the grill ensures that the chicken stays moist and flavourful, as well as producing attractive grill marks for lovely presentations. A delicious appetizer served on its own or with a spicy peanut sauce, this recipe is one of my absolute favourite marinades fabulous all year round.

Sliced chicken thighs marinated with black pepper, cumin, ground coriander, turmeric, minced garlic, 
sugar, soy, lemon juice fish sauce and vegetable oil

Two or three bit size pieces of marinated chicken are threaded onto the bottom of each skewer

Asian Chicken Satays
Makes about 60 appetizer skewers 

4 lb chicken thighs, boneless, skinless
4 tsp black pepper
4 tsp cumin
4 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp turmeric
4 tsp garlic, minced
4 tbsp white sugar
4 tbsp vegetable oil
4 tbsp soy 
4 tbsp lemon juice
4 tsp fish sauce

Spicy peanut sauce:
2 tbsp vegetable oil
3 scallions, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tbsp finely grated fresh ginger
1 cup water
1/2 cup creamy or chunky peanut butter
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup white vinegar
3 tbsp brown sugar
1/4 tsp dried hot red pepper flakes

In a saucepan heat the oil over medium heat until hot but not smoking and cook the scallions, garlic and ginger, stirring until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in the remaining ingredients and bring to a simmer, stirring until smooth and then cool to room temperature. The sauce, which makes 2 cups, may be made up to 3 days ahead and chilled, covered. If the sauce is too thick after chilling, stir in 1 to 2 tablespoons of hot water until the sauce reaches the desired consistency.

Slice the chicken into bite size pieces and place in a bowl with all of the other marinade ingredients. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to a day ahead. Thread 2-3 small pieces of marinated chicken onto long wooden skewers and grill on the BBQ for about 3 minutes per side, or until golden brown and they have nice grill marks, basting with the leftover sauce while grilling; or cook in a preheated 400°F oven for 8-10 minutes, turning the skewers over half way, until cooked through. Serve warm or at room temperature with the spicy peanut sauce for dipping.