Peanut Chicken Satay Recipe

Peanut Chicken Satay Recipe Recipe

Peanut sauce is always well appreciated. It's tasty, very easy to make and can be served with many different ingredients. Chicken Satay is a classic, and for this recipe I marinated the chicken and prepared the components of the dish in advance for a truly easy meal. The peanut sauce was made from scratch with peanuts that I blended until smooth and creamy, coconut milk, galangal, limes and fresh lemongrass.

For more texture, I added fried jiacama and fried tofu to the chicken breasts. I served the chicken satay with steamed jasmine rice, sliced cucumbers and chopped tomatoes.

Ingredients

Yields: 8 servings

1 pound chicken breasts, chopped into small pieces
½ teaspoon red chili powder
1 (12-ounce) package firm tofu
6 tablespoons canola oil
½ jicama (see tips)
1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 (4-inch) chunk galangal, about 2-3 inches
1⅓ cups raw peanuts
2 stalks lemongrass
¼ teaspoon turmeric
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
½ cup low-sodium vegetable broth
1 cup coconut milk, as needed (depending how thick the sauce is)
2 teaspoons honey (optional)
2 tablespoons soy sauce
4 limes, freshly squeezed
2 tablespoons Thai basil leaves
1 jalapeño pepper, sliced lengthwise
3 tablespoons fresh cilantro, coarsely chopped


Directions

Prepping the chicken: Prepare the chicken, preferrably the night before. Wash the chicken and drizzle with the juice of 1 lime. Allow to rest for at least 1 hour. Pat dry using paper towels. There should be as little moisture as possible. Season the chicken with red chili powder. Drizzle with about 1 tablespoon oil. Chill in the refrigerator.

For the jicama: Peel and slice the jicama horizontally into ½-inch thick pieces. In a non-stick pan, add oil and fry the jicama slices until golden brown. Once they are cool enough to handle, cut the pieces into ½-inch strips. Let cool to room temperature.

Preping the peanuts: Shell the peanuts and dry roast them. Coarsely chop them in a food processor. Reserve about 2 tablespoons and pulse the rest into a smooth paste.

Prepping galangal: Clean the root and remove any dirt. Peel the galangal with a paring knife (or the edge of a spoon). Grate about 2 tablespoons of galangal with a fine mesh Microplane. Thinly slice the rest, then cut into long matchsticks.

Prepping the tofu: Cut the tofu into 1" slices. In a wok, heat 2 tablespoons of canola oil. Pan-fry the pieces of tofu on both sides until golden. The tofu should have a nice fried outer crust and still be moist inside. Transfer the tofu onto paper towels. Once the tofu pieces are cool enough to handle, cut them into thirds. Set aside.


Prepping the lemongrass:

Wash the lemongrass. Remove the white powder from the leaves. Cut the stalk in half. Crush the younger part with the back of a chef's knife and set it aside.

Using a chef's knife, cut the remainder of the stalk into extremely thin slices. In a mortar and pestle, grind the thin slices of lemongrass, then transfer to a mini food processor. It should turn into a fine moist powder. Gather 3 tablespoons and store the rest (see tips).


Making lemongrass spice blend: In a mortar and pestle, grind the lemongrass, 2 cloves of garlic, ground cumin and coriander into a smooth paste.

For the chicken: Use a wok with its matching lid. Add 2 tablespoons of canola oil. Once the oil is hot, add the garlic and 2 tablespoons of shredded galangal and cook for 1-2 minutes until fragrant. Add the pieces of chicken. Sear the meat for 2-3 minutes on both sides. Add the red chile and cook for an additional minute. Transfer the chicken to a platter.


For the peanut sauce:

In the same wok, add more oil. Add the onions, crushed lemongrass stalks and green chile slices. Cook until the onions are fragrant and golden. Add lemongrass spice blend and the remaining galangal. Add the peanut butter and vegetable broth. Bring to a boil. Stir constantly until the liquid thickens.


Assembly time:

Return the chicken to the wok and add the rest of the lime juice. Stir well. Add honey (if used), coconut milk and turmeric. Decrease the heat to low. Season with soy sauce. Add tofu and jicama. Keep stirring often until the chicken is fully cooked.

Once the liquid is almost reduced, check the doneness of the meat (add another ½ cup of water and cook a bit longer if not fully cooked). Adjust seasoning with more soy sauce. Cover until ready to serve.

Remove and discard the pieces of green chile and add the reserved crushed peanuts and Thai basil.

Decorate with more cilantro leaves on top if you like.

Serve with steamed jasmine rice.

Bon appétit!


Tips

If you can't find galangal (it can be found in most Asian markets), use double the amount of ginger. Galangal is whiter in color than ginger but it's much more fragrant.

You can find lemongrass in any Asian market. Lemongrass is sold in bunches of 5 stalks, so plan other dishes using lemongrass. You could also prep the lemongrass and store it in the freezer by placing a few tablespoons in an ice-cube tray.

Thai basil tastes very different from sweet basil. It imparts a strong, earthy fragrance to the dish .

I used boneless, skinless chicken breasts.

Published By: Jacqueline Pham on May 22, 2012.


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