Chicken Skewers with Peanut Sauce

Summer is nearly over. We just have time for one more barbecue before the kids are back to school.

This recipe is based on an Indonesian dish called satay, popular throughout Southeast Asia. The meats and seasonings change by region, but the basic principle of thin meats skewered and grilled remains constant.

Cilantro is included in this marinade. It is an herb most associated with Mexican cuisine, so many folks are surprised by its use throughout Asia. It’s a common herb worldwide, often marketed under the name Chinese parsley or fresh coriander. In fact coriander is a spice made from the dried seeds of this herb.

For the most successful skewers, pound the meat to a uniform thickness so that they cook evenly, then marinade as long as you can. It’s not a juicy marinade so it needs a little more time. I like to start it a full 24 hours before I need it.

If you are sans BBQ, make this under the broiler. You can use any kind of skewer, but the wooden ones are the more authentic. Just be sure to soak them so they don’t ignite.

INGREDIENTS

1-1/2 lb. chicken breast, cut into long strips 1/2-inch thick
2 TB. fresh ginger, grated
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 TB. curry powder or paste
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, minced

20 wooden skewers, soaked in water 30 minutes

1 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tsp. Tabasco sauce
2 TB. brown sugar
1/4 cup lime juice
1/2 cup hot water

METHOD

  1. Pound chicken strips to a uniform thickness of about 1/4-inch. In a large zipper bag combine ginger, garlic, curry, cilantro and chicken. Seal, rub marinade into meat, and refrigerated at least 2 hours or overnight.
  2. Combine peanut butter, soy sauce, Tabasco, sugar, and lime juice in a blender. With machine running, drizzle in hot water until the sauce is the consistency of heavy cream. Set aside.
  3. Preheat grill on high (or wait until the coals are white-hot). Thread chicken onto skewers, working skewer in and out down the middle of the piece of meat. Place skewers on the grill and cook until brown and sizzling, about 5 minutes per side. Serve hot with peanut sauce for dipping.
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