Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce, Coconut Rice and Pineapple Daiquiri

I actually remember where I first had Thai food. It was when Thai 55 first opened on 55th and Everett in Chicago sometime in the 90’s. By then there were few good Asian cuisines around. Though sushi had taken off. But, before the likes of PF Chang, a higher end Chinese restaurant chain, which was founded in ’93, Chinese food had basically deteriorated to a fat greasy mess. So, Thai was a refreshing change.

In the early days, one of the proprietors, who was heavily pregnant at the time  would sit in the back of the tiny restaurant threading endless ribbons of raw chicken onto skewers for the satay. The Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce was my absolute favorite starter (appetizer) at the friendly shop.

The food was so fresh tasting and with so many different converging on the palette all at once. It was a celebration of sweet, salty and hot in every bite.

The sweetness of the chicken marinade balanced the smoky almost curry like taste. And, I just loved the spicy sweet kick from the peanut sauce and the refreshing zing from the coriander (cilantro). I really miss Tahi 55. I have had Chicken Satay in many cities over the years since, but none come close to the freshness and delicate yet exotic spices on this favorite Thai 55 staple.

I have crafted a menu of Chicken Satay, Peanut Sauce, Coconut Rice and a Pineapple Daiquiri. To make it all in one day may be a bit overwhelming. So, at the end of the post are some suggestions on what can be made ahead of time.

I hope you enjoy these renditions.

What you will need for the Chicken Satay:

IMG_9712

Salad Onions Chili Cuman Tumeric Shallots Soy Sauce Garlic Olive Oil Chicken Brown Sugar Skewers

Thinly slice lemon grass stalks.

Thinly slice lemon grass stalks. Slice the shallots, mince the garlic and the ginger. You can find lemon grass at most of the larger scale Woolies and Spars. Fruit & Veg usually has it also.

To a blender or food processor bowl and lemon grass, sugar, shallots, ginger, garlic, soy sauce, oil, turmeric and cumin. If using chili or cayenne and fish sauce, add those also and blend until smooth.

To a blender or food processor bowl and lemon grass, sugar, shallots, ginger, garlic, soy sauce, oil, turmeric and cumin. If using chili or cayenne and fish sauce, add those also and blend until smooth.

Scrape down the sides and pour into a bowl that will accommodate the marinade and the chicken.

Add the chicken to the marinade and cover with plastic wrap. Push the plastic wrap down into the bowl so it is touching the entire surface of the mixture. And, place into fridge for about an hour. While the marinade is in fridge, soak wooden skewers in water. You can also stat on the Coconut Rice and the Peanut Sauce.  Recipes and instructions for Coconut Rice and Peanut Sauce follow the Chicken Satay recipe. Chicken can marinate for up to 24 hours in refrigerator

Thread chicken breasts on to wooden skewers.

Thread chicken breasts on to wooden skewers.

You should have 12 - 14 skewers.

You should have 12 – 14 skewers.

The key to the chicken not sticking is to turn it often at first. As soon as you put the chicken skewers on the grill, turn them a few times. Because they are rather thin pieces, they will cook quickly, so don't walk away. You can also broil (heat from the top) them in the oven.

The key to the chicken not sticking is to turn it often at first. As soon as you put the chicken skewers on the grill, turn them a few times. Because they are rather thin pieces of chicken, they will cook quickly, so don’t walk away. You can also broil (heat from the top) them in the oven.

Serve on a bed or greens or a big leaf from the garden.

Serve on a bed of greens or a big leaf from the garden.

Chicken Satay Recipe

400 gram package mini chicken breast fillets (1/2 pound chicken breast tenders)

About 12 wooden skewers, soaked in water for an hour

Satay Marinade:

1/2  cup fresh lemongrass, (about 80 grams or 8 stalks) thinly sliced

4 tablespoons brown sugar

2 shallots OR 1 small onion, thinly sliced

2 teaspoons ginger, minced

2 teaspoons garlic, minced

3 tablespoons soy sauce

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

¼  – 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper, to taste (not pictured)

½ teaspoons dried turmeric

½ teaspoon cumin

4 tablespoons fish sauce (optional) I don’t care for fish sauce, so I don’t use it. But for a truly authentic taste, I would suggest trying it with the fish sauce. (Not pictured)

To a blender or food processor bowl and lemon grass, sugar, shallots, ginger, garlic, soy sauce, oil, turmeric and cumin. If using chili or cayenne and fish sauce, add those also and blend until smooth.

Add the chicken to the marinade and cover with plastic wrap. Push the plastic wrap down into the bowl so it is touching the entire surface of the mixture. Place into fridge for about an hour. While the marinade is in fridge, soak wooden skewers in water. You can also stat on the Coconut Rice and the Peanut Sauce.  Recipes and instructions for Coconut Rice and Peanut Sauce follow the Chicken Satay recipe.

*Recipe Adapted from Classic Thai Chicken Satay @ About.com

What you will need for Perfectly Cooked Coconut Rice:

Jasmine Rice Chicken Stock Sugar Butter Coconut Milk Butter Salt

Jasmine Rice Chicken Stock Sugar Butter Coconut Flakes Coconut Milk Butter Salt

Here in South Africa, too often my rice is mushy  or crunchy. I find I must experiment with each type of rice before I can strike the correct rice/water balance. Problem is, I can never remember which ratio goes with which type of rice. Any hoo. As I was perusing rice recipes online, I found Perfectly Cooked Coconut rice on the Steamy Kitchen blog. I thought it would be a nice compliment to the Chicken Satay. I followed the recipe exactly and transformed two cups of the milky white grains into mealie pap (grits). The flavor was good so I made it a few more times and I think the version below is just right!

Wash rice. Set Aside

Wash rice. Set Aside.

Put butter, sugar and salt (if using) into a medium heavy bottom pot on medium heat. When the butter is melted and the sugar dissolved, turn up to high heat and add the rice. Mix until all the grains are evenly covered in the sugar butter mixture.

Put butter, sugar and salt (if using) into a medium heavy bottom pot on medium heat. When the butter is melted and the sugar dissolved, turn up to high heat and add the rice. Mix until all the grains are evenly coated in the sugar butter mixture.

If using fresh coconut, crack it open with a hammer. If it has liquid in it, you will want to crack it open over a large non breakable bowl inside the sink.

If using fresh coconut, crack it open with a hammer. If it has liquid in it, you will want to crack it open over a large non breakable bowl inside the sink.

Break the coconut into pieces and with a knife, peel off brown skin. Drop several pieces into a blender or food processor bowl and process until pieces are about he size of grains of rice.

If using fresh coconut, break the coconut into pieces and with a knife, peel off brown skin. Drop several pieces into a blender or food processor bowl and process until pieces are about he size of grains of rice.

Toast coconut in a dry frying pan on medium heat. It burns fast so don't walk away.

Toast coconut in a dry frying pan on medium heat. It burns fast, so don’t walk away.

Spread coconut in a shallow dish to cool. Set aside.

Spread coconut in a shallow dish to cool. Set aside. Can be made a few days before and store in an airtight container. Garnish rice just before serving.

Sprinkle toasted coconut onto rice to serve.

Sprinkle toasted coconut onto rice to serve.

Perfectly Cooked Coconut Rice Recipe

1 tablespoon butter

1 tablespoon brown sugar

2 cups jasmine rice, washed and drained well

1 cup good, thick coconut milk (shake can to mix well before opening)

1 cup chicken stock or water with a few tablespoons soy sauce

½ cup fresh coconut flakes or unsweetened coconut flakes from a package

Add butter, sugar and salt (if using) to a medium sized heavy bottom saucepan, cook over medium heat until butter is melted and brown sugar dissolved. Turn heat to high, add drained rice, and stir until all grains are coated evenly. Add coconut milk and chicken stock. Give it a good stir.

Once boiling, immediately cover with tight fitting lid. Turn heat to low and simmer undisturbed for 20 minutes. Remove pot from heat, ‘but do not open lid and do not peek’, Jaden from Steamy Kitchen admonishes for an additional 10 minutes. Sorry. I peek. And, I give the rice a quick stir after the first 15 or 20 minutes of steaming. What I find is that the rice on top doesn’t always steam enough, so I give it a little help.

While rice is cooking, toast coconut and start on Peanut Sauce.

What you will need for Peanut Sauce:

Lemon Grass Chili Pepper Ginger Sesame Seeds Sesame Oil Soy Sauce Peanut Butter Lime Garlic Brown Sugar

Salad Onions Chili Pepper Ginger Sesame Seeds Sesame Oil Soy Sauce Peanut Butter Lime Garlic Brown Sugar

An easy way to measure the peanut butter, is to put it in the sink and pour in hot water. Let it sit for a few minutes. Then you can just pour it out.

An easy way to measure the peanut butter, is to put it in the sink and pour in hot water. Let it sit for a few minutes. Then you can just pour it out.

To a medium size heavy bottom pot, add peanut butter, soy sauce, sesame oil, lime juice, ginger, garlic brown sugar, chili or cayenne and green oil. Stir until well blended. Pour into serving dish and set aside. Can be made a day or two before and stored in refrigerator. Garnish with sesames seeds just before serving.

To a small size heavy bottom pot, add peanut butter, soy sauce, sesame oil, lime juice, ginger, garlic brown sugar, chili or cayenne and onion. Stir until well blended.

Pour into serving dish and set aside. Garnish with sesames seeds just before serving. Can be made a day or two before and stored in refrigerator.

Peanut Sauce Recipe

2/3 cup peanut butter

2 tablespoon soy sauce

1 tablespoon sesame oil

3 tablespoons fresh lime juice from about 2 limes or good quality bottled lime juice

2 teaspoons garlic, minced

1 teaspoon ginger, minced or ½ teaspoon ground

3 tablespoon brown sugar

½  – 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)

2 salad onions, diced or 1 green onion diced (not pictured ingredient shot)

1 tablespoon sesame seeds, for garnish (optional)

To a small size heavy bottom pot, add peanut butter, soy sauce, sesame oil, lime juice, ginger, garlic brown sugar, chili or cayenne and onions. Stir until well blended.

Pour into serving dish and set aside. Garnish with sesames seeds just before serving. Can be made a day or two before and stored in refrigerator.

Recipe adapted from http://vegetarian.about.com/od/thaifoodrecipes/r/spicythaipeanut.htm

Make Ahead Suggestions

One to two days before make the peanut sauce and store in fridge. Save the garnish unit the day of. At the same time, you can toast the coconut for the rice and store in an airtight container until needed. You can also put your pineapple in the freezer a few days ahead as well.

One day before make the marinade and add the chicken store in fridge. Soak skewers. After the chicken has had a chance to marinate for an hour or so, you can thread the meat onto the skewers and stick them back in fridge until ready to cook.

On the day of, fire up the grill. Start the rice. Once it has finished boiling and you have turned it down to a simmer to steam, you can turn your attention to the chicken. Put the chicken on the grill turning it often maybe 3 or 4 times in the first 3 or 4 minutes to prevent serious sticking. They cook quick so don’t walk away!!!

You will want to make the Pineapple Daiquiris just before serving.

Into a blender bowl, toss in the pineapple the ice. Pour in the rum and the lime juice. Now add the ginger and the sugar.

Into a blender bowl, toss in the pineapple the ice. Pour in the rum and the lime juice. Now add the ginger and the sugar.

Give it whirl until all the ice and frozen pineapple are completely pureed.

Give it whirl until all the ice and frozen pineapple are completely pureed.

Pour. Enjoy. Photo on right taken by Rhonda Scott @ a progressive NYE Party. I served my Chicken Satay, Peanut Sauce and Pineapple Daiquiri!

Pour. Enjoy. Photo on right taken of me, by Rhonda Scott @ a progressive NYE Party. I served my Chicken Satay, Peanut Sauce and Pineapple Daiquiri!

Pineapple Daiquiri Freeze

1 small pineapple, cut into chunks and frozen or  (1) 300 grams of pre cut pineapple about 2 cups

2 tablespoon fresh lime juice

1 – 2 tablespoons sugar – depending on taste

½  tsp grated fresh ginger

2 – 3 ounces white rum (depending on your tolerance)

1 cup ice

a few sprigs of mint to garnish

Put all ingredients, except the mint, into a blender bowl and blend until you have a luscious frozen Pineapple Daiquiri Freeze. Pour into two glasses. Garnish with mint or pineapple wedge.

3 thoughts on “Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce, Coconut Rice and Pineapple Daiquiri

    • Well yeah, I guess this would be a lethal combo. How about just the rice?? The rice is really good. Well, no I guess the rice is a no go too with the chick stock and coconut milk. But, it is soooooo good.

  1. Pingback: Sesame Ginger Marinated Chicken Scewers | LauraLovingLife

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