August 10, 2011
Though my time frees up in the summer when my day job as a high school science teacher takes a hiatus, somehow our dinners suffer. During the school year, time is so limited that a strict menu must be followed, the food shopping is completed on schedule, and for the most part we eat pretty well. During the summer though, I have the luxury to let loose. My kids and I bounce from one adventure to another and more than once we have found ourselves without a clue what to make for dinner. Or sometimes I spend the day canning and completely loose interest in preparing another meal when I am done. (I will not embarrass myself by sharing our dinner for tonight, except to say that it included refried beans, tortillas, and cheese and not much else- but beans are a vegetable right?) So you can see why when I find a recipe that is easy to whip up (especially in advance) and incredibly tasty, and yes, kid friendly, it quickly becomes a go-to recipe.
I first made Chicken Satay at the beginning of summer. We enjoyed it so much that it quickly fell into our program and has since graced our table a number of times. At once bold, yet not overwhelming, this mixture of spices is a tasty accompaniment to juicy chicken thighs. I modified the recipe to use Salt Preserved Lemons, instead of lemon grass, because I do not have a local source for the lemongrass and do have an abundance of lemons. The authenticity may suffer, but the flavor does not. The skewers cook up super fast on the grill, which keeps the oven off and the house cool. I usually serve this dish with a simple slaw, perhaps a mango salsa, and of course some sriracha for a spicy dip.
adapted from James Oseland at Saveur Magazine May 2011
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1/2 tablespoon brown sugar
1 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground fennel
3/4 teaspoon ground tumeric
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 clove garlic
1 1/2 inch piece ginger, peeled and grated
2 wedges preserved lemon (or two stalks lemon grass- outer leaves removed)
1/2 cup minced red onion
Cut thighs into 1-inch strips. In a blender or food processor, puree the remaining ingredients. Mix spice paste with chicken strips, cover, and chill for 4 hours to overnight.
Thread the chicken strips onto skewers. If you are using bamboo skewers, be sure to pre- soak them for an hour in warm water to prevent them from burning on the grill. Grill over a hot fire, turning once until chicken is cooked through, about 5-6 minutes.
Here is a printer-friendly version of the recipe: Chicken Satay
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