I got to choose this week's recipe for CEiMB, and I picked the Chicken Saté with Spicy Peanut Dipping Sauce. I had a hard time choosing, of course, but since this one was on my short list back in January when I picked for the first time, when I saw that it was still available, I decided to go for it. After I sent my email to Sara, I suffered some picker's remorse and commenced serious hand wringing and second guessing. The ingredient list is so long! We just recently (like last week!) made recipes that had an Asian flair - is this redundant?! What will the vegetarians do?! What if everyone hates it?! But once I made it, I relaxed and felt really good about this pick. Let's face it: there's just something fun about food on a stick.
Despite the long ingredient list, both the marinade and the sauce came together pretty quickly. The chicken marinates for an hour in a marinade of chicken broth, light coconut milk, soy sauce, shallot, garlic, fish sauce (or more soy sauce, which is what I used), dark brown sugar, lime zest, and ginger. Then Ellie says to thread the chicken on skewers and grill in a grill pan, but when I tried them in a grill pan, the chicken would not lie flat because the long skewers came up over the rim of the pan. So I moved them over to a regular grill:
I'd skip the skewers next time I want to do this in a grill pan. Skewers or no skewers, this one is going to end up being a finger food - fair warning.
The chicken gets garnished with peanuts, basil and cilantro (except if you hate cilantro, then for the love -- don't use it!)
The chicken was great on its own. But hubs and I agreed that it was the peanut sauce that made this dish really outstanding. I mixed up all of the sauce ingredients with my trusty immersion blender: creamy peanut butter, chicken broth, soy sauce, dark brown sugar, lime juice, ginger, garlic, red pepper flakes, red curry paste, and a shallot.
The sauce was sweet, spicy, smooth, creamy and utterly irresistible. I was so glad that it was just hubs and I eating this so any bowl-licking that took place could be overlooked. As good as the chicken was, next time I'm likely to just make the sauce and serve it with simple chicken grilled with salt and pepper - I felt like the sauce is what gave this dish most of its flavor, anyway. Ellie mentions that it's a "sublime" dip for raw vegetables, and I think it would be wonderful with grilled vegetables or tofu as well, or in a Thai noodle bowl -- so I really hope that the non-meat eaters in the group were able to find a way to enjoy this fabulous peanut sauce.
I hope that everyone enjoyed this recipe as much as we did!
Chicken Saté with Spicy Peanut Dipping Sauce, 2006 Ellie Krieger, All Rights Reserved
1/2 cup low-sodium chicken stock
1/2 cup lite coconut milk
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
1 shallot, sliced thin
1 clove garlic, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons Thai fish sauce (or 2 additional teaspoons low sodium soy sauce)
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon lime zest
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast pounded slightly and cut into 1-inch strips
8 (8-inch) bamboo skewers, soaked for 20 minutes
3/4 cup Spicy Peanut Dipping Sauce, recipe below
2 tablespoons minced fresh basil or cilantro leaves
1/4 cup chopped toasted peanuts
In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the chicken stock, coconut milk, soy sauce, shallot, garlic, fish sauce, brown sugar, lime zest, and ginger. Add the chicken strips and marinate for 1 hour. Remove the chicken from the marinade and discard the marinade.
Spray a nonstick grill pan with cooking spray and preheat over a medium-high flame. While pan is heating, thread chicken onto skewers. Grill 2 to 3 minutes per side, until meat is cooked through and has light grill marks.
Serve chicken skewers with Peanut Dipping Sauce, and garnish with basil or cilantro and chopped peanuts.
Yield: 4 servings (2 skewers and 2 tablespoons peanut sauce per serving)
Spicy Peanut Dipping Sauce:
1/2 cup natural creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon chili flakes
1 teaspoon red curry paste
1 shallot, peeled and roughly chopped
Place all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth.
Sauce can be made 1 day ahead of time, and will keep 3 to 4 days in the refrigerator.
Yield: about 1 1/4 cups
2 hours ago