Grilled Chicken Satay

Photo of Grilled Chicken Satay Skewers with peanut sauceWord on The Street
I love to travel. With my kids getting older and moving out, I am looking forward to having more opportunities to explore what lies beyond our windows. Of course, for me, that means trying new foods as well as new cultures. The world is full of really great places to eat but not all of them include white tablecloths. To really get to experience a different culture you need to try the street food.

I am sure that there are people who will disagree with me when I say that the U.S. does not really have street food. We tend to bring other cultures’ street food to us. (Boba tea, anyone?) I mean, I guess we do have street food to a degree. The hot dog carts in New York for example. And sure, the folks selling cut fruit at the corner sprinkled with Tajin (so good!) count also. We have plenty of regional specialties but, in my opinion, and I would be pleased to be proven wrong, the closest we come to true street food culture here in the U.S. would be the rise of the food trucks.

Some of the best things I have tasted came from a vendor selling their fare on the side of the road. From Kabobs to Al Pastor Tacos to Churros to Yada Pav there is a world of flavor waiting to tempt your taste buds.

Not all street food is on the street though. The hawker centers of Singapore are world-renowned and have been on my travel bucket list for some time. Remember that food scene in the movie Crazy Rich Asians? That’s my idea of heaven. And, since my calendar seems to be opening up, hopefully, we’ll get there soon. I’ve heard you can find almost anything you could desire in Singapore, though my first stop would be the grilled chicken satay as a warmup for later rounds. You can never go wrong with grilled meat on a stick.

Grilled Chicken Satay Recipe
Adapted from recipetineats
Yields 13 to 16 skewers

1 14-ounce can of coconut milk, full fat
13 to 16 bamboo skewers about 6.5 inches long

For the marinade
1-1/4 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 teaspoon white sugar
2 teaspoons red curry paste
1 teaspoon salt

For the peanut sauce
2 tablespoons red curry paste
3/4 cup natural peanut butter, smooth
1/4 cup white sugar
2 teaspoon dark soy sauce
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
3/4 cup water

To Serve
2 tablespoons peanuts finely chopped
Lime wedges
Cilantro leaves and sliced red chili

Pre-soak bamboo skewers in water for 2 hours before grilling.

Marinate the chicken
Cut the chicken thighs into approximately 1-inch cubes. Mix together the chicken and marinade with 1/4 cup of the coconut milk. Then set it aside for at least 20 minutes up to overnight.

For the peanut sauce
While the chicken is marinating, place the remaining coconut milk, 2 tablespoons of red curry paste, peanut butter, sugar, soy sauce, salt, and vinegar in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir to combine the ingredients and then simmer, stirring every now and then, for 5 minutes.

Adjust the sauce’s consistency with water—it should be pourable but still thick. Cover the sauce with a lid and keep warm while grilling the chicken skewers.

Skewer the chicken
Thread the marinated chicken onto the skewers using about 4 to 5 pieces per skewer.

Grill the chicken
Preheat the grill to medium-high heat. Then grill the satay skewers for about 2 to 3 minutes on each side until done (165 ºF).

To serve
Pour some peanut sauce into a bowl, and sprinkle with some peanuts. Pile the satay skewers onto a platter, and sprinkle with remaining peanuts, cilantro, and chili.

Serve the skewers with sauce on the side for dipping. Serve with a side of jasmine or fried rice.

To store
Leftover Grilled Chicken Satay skewers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Store the peanut sauce in a separate airtight container for up to 4 days. Or freeze the chicken and peanut sauce separately in airtight, freezer-safe storage containers for up to 3 months. Allow to thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.

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