This recipe proved to be like most Asian recipes I try- full of things I don't have on hand! In particular, coconut milk, fish sauce, and sesame oil. Coconut milk was out- I'm allergic (I think) to coconut. I decided to just substitute with regular milk. Now fish sauce, that's just plain scary. The words "fish" and "sauce" should not be together. I expected some slimy, gray oily paste when I arrived in the Asian section of my supermarket. However, once I finally located said fish sauce, it was a rather innocent looking brown liquid- no more off-putting than, say, soy sauce. So it's made out of anchovies- who's to know? Other than me. Oh, well. Moving on. The last special ingredient I needed was sesame oil, but, even though I did locate it, when I spied the price tag I ended up deciding to use regular oil. I knew I wouldn't use it often enough to warrant the cost. Maybe those of you who use sesame oil on a regular basis can tell me if it's worth the extra dough!
All the fun ingredients in hand (okay, so I guess we just narrowed it down to the fish sauce), I prepared the marinade and let the chicken soak for a few hours. Then I threaded them on skewers and hubby grilled them. While he was manning the grill, I prepared the dipping sauce. The dip was a promising concoction of peanut butter, soy sauce, fresh ginger and other yummy additions. Due to my bland-food-loving-anglo-saxon roots, I decided to halve the amount of cayenne pepper. I couldn't resist snagging a sample- it was delicious! Sweet and smooth, with just the right amount of zing on the tail end.
Paired with rice and grilled asparagus, this made a fantastic meal. We thoroughly enjoyed dipping the curry and cilantro flavored chicken in the flavor-packed peanut sauce. If you feel the need to take an exotic journey to the east, look no farther than your backyard grill and a fabulous chicken satay!
Chicken Satay with Peanut Dipping Sauce
adapted from AllYou Magazine
serves 6-8 (I halved it for us!)
1/2 cup coconut milk (or regular milk)
1 TB fish sauce
2 tsp curry powder
1 tsp sugar
1 TB chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into thin strips
3 TB soy sauce
2 TB rice vinegar
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (more to taste)
2 TB sugar
1 tsp fresh grated ginger
1 TB sesame oil (or regular oil)
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
1/2 cup low sodium chicken broth
Whisk marinade ingredients together. Put chicken in a large ziplock bag; pour in marinade. Seal bag; rub marinade into chicken. Chill for 3 hrs, turning occasionally.
If using bamboo skewers, don't forget to soak them in water for 30 min. prior to using!
Make sauce: combine all sauce ingredients in a pan and bring to boil over med. heat, whisking until smooth, about 2-3 min. Thin with more broth if desired. Remove from heat, let cool.
Preheat grill to medium. Remove chicken from marinade; discard marinade. Thread each piece of chicken onto a skewer. Grill for 5 to 7 min., turning once, or until chicken is cooked through and no longer pink. Serve with sauce.