Sunday, June 10, 2012

Chicken Satay

Satay is a common ‘street meat’ in Thailand, Indonesia, and several other Asian countries.  It’s simple, easy and fun to make and has a nice, exotic taste that will delight time after time.  I fell in love with it at a local Thai restaurant, but now I generally make it at home on my grill.  Here’s how.

Chicken Satay

2 Large Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts, cut into strips. 
1 Teaspoon Salt
1 Teaspoon Sugar
2 Tablespoons Curry Powder
½ Cup Coconut Milk
Bamboo or other type of Wooden Skewers, soaked for several hours in water

First, cut your chicken into strips. 

I usually get five strips out of a breast, but if you want to make sure your Satay is nice, thick and juicy, you might just go with four strips per breast.

Next, make your marinade.  Mix the salt, sugar, curry powder and coconut milk in a small bowl.  

Make sure to use a good curry powder.  I’m fond of Ship Brand Madras Curry Powder.

If you don’t regularly keep curry powder on hand, I’d recommend seeking out a can of Ship Brand at your local Indian grocery.  It’s really flavorful, and will inspire you to flights of all sorts of culinary experimentation. 

Once you’ve mixed up the marinade, dredge the chicken strips in it, then lay them out on a tray.  

Cover them with any leftover marinade, then refrigerate for a few hours to let the marinade work in. 

When you’re ready to cook, light a medium-hot fire on your charcoal grill.  This will best replicate the way the street vendors cook Satay in Asia.  While your charcoal is getting going, skewer the chicken on the wooden skewers, one or two strips to a stick.  When the charcoal is ready, lay them out on the grill.  I usually grill them with the lid off of the grill, as this better replicates the technique used by the Asian street vendors.  To protect the ends of the skewers, I’ll lay a little foil under them on the grill. 

After a few minutes, flip the Satay.  It should have a nice char on the cooked side.  

Let the second side cook for a few more minutes, then it should be ready to go.  If you want, test a piece by pulling it apart to make sure the chicken is cooked all the way through. 

Serve with some white rice and a side of Thai Peanut Sauce.  Definitely don’t skip the Peanut Sauce (recipe here on last month’s An Eatin’ Man).  It makes the dish.