My favorite Thai restaurant serves an amazing chicken sate with a creamy, slightly exotic sauce. Cubes or thin slices of chicken are marinated, threaded onto skewers and grilled over charcoal. These piquant brochettes are inexpensive, flavorful and quick to prepare, and this is my version. Figure about three to four brochettes per person as part of a meal, and one or two for an appetizer.
I think of this as a cousin to a shish kebab or yakitori. This adaptation combines an herb and citrus marinade with a coconut ginger flavored peanut sauce. While I usually serve these as a first course, I have been known to double the recipe and serve it with side dishes to create a main course.
Feel free to substitute the chicken with pork, turkey, lamb or beef. You can have these marinated and ready to be grilled at the last minute for easy entertaining. Serve these with an ice cold beer or a rose wine.
Grilled Chicken Sate with Peanut Sauce
1 pound chicken tenders, cut in half lengthwise, or 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch pieces
For the marinade
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon fresh oregano, chopped
1 teaspoon cilantro, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon cumin
2 tablespoons oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the sauce
1/2 cup chunky peanut butter
3/4 cup coconut milk
2 teaspoons minced ginger
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon honey
If using bamboo skewers, immerse skewers in cold water to soak for at least 1 hour. This will prevent them from burning when grilled.
Combine marinade ingredients in medium-sized bowl. Reserve 3 tablespoons. Whisk until blended. Skewer the chicken and arrange in shallow nonaluminum dish. Pour marinade over and marinate up to six hours.
In a serving bowl, combine all the sauce ingredients together, including the reserved marinade, and whisk to combine. Taste for seasoning. Reserve.
If using a grill pan, skillet or griddle, spray the pan with oil and then place it over medium-high heat. If using a barbecue, prepare a fire and heat until the coals are glowing.
Cook the chicken, turning with the help of a spatula in order to cook evenly on all sides, about 3 minutes on each side, or until just cooked through and no pinkness remains. Arrange skewers on large plate. Serve with the peanut sauce.
Per serving: 301 calories; 19 g fat (6 g saturated fat; 57 percent calories from fat); 10 g carbohydrates; 6 g sugar; 46 mg cholesterol; 365 mg sodium; 23 g protein; 2 g fiber.