I offered to make chicken satay sticks for a girlfriend’s birthday party. The secret to tender juicy satay sticks is using chicken thighs and letting the meat marinate for at least 10 hours.
I took pics of the preparation but forgot to take one of the finished product in the rush to get to the party. I had seriously mistimed how long it would take to grill 40 sticks.
So there I was on Friday evening, grabbing chicken packs from the refrigerated display at the supermarket. When I got home, I discovered I had bought chicken breast. Urghhh brain fart moment.
My next reaction was, “Nooooooo! The satay sticks won’t turn out right”.
How did I overcome this obstacle?
By cutting the breast in half, slicing through the middle to make two fillets. To tenderise, I gently pound the fillets.
As I was worried about the chook drying out when cooked, I opted for a chunkier style by cutting each fillet longways into strips 2cm wide by 5cm long.
There’s a proliferation of online recipes paying homage to the humble satay stick and when I look at them, I can’t help but think, “Meh. Mrs Lee’s recipe still stands the test of time”.
I have however, over the years, tweaked the recipe by adding more ingredients and doing away with the pestle and mortar in favour of the Thermomix.
Changes include adding garlic, brown sugar and mirin, replacing cumin with galangal, using kecap manis instead of dark soya and leaving out the peanuts.
Soak 20 skewers overnight
1kg boneless chicken thighs, cut into strips
4 tbsp coriander seeds
2 tbsp cumin seeds
2 tbsp galangal powder
10 largish shallots
2 tbsp minced garlic
2 tbsp lemongrass
1 tsp turmeric powder
60g brown sugar or any sugar
2 tsp salt
1 tbsp kecap manis
Place the cumin, coriander and galangal powder in Thermomix and dry roast for 15 mins, Varoma temp on speed 2.
Add shallots, garlic, lemon grass and turmeric and blitz on speed 5 for 1 minute. Mix with chicken and mirin. Marinade covered in fridge for at least 10 hours.
Just before skewering the meat, I add in a generous pour of olive oil to the marinade.
Pick your preferred cooking style – BBQ, stove or oven. Grill until slightly charred and just cooked. I set my oven to convection grill 235C. If using thighs, 5 mins on each side or using chunky style breasts, 10 mins on each side.
As I’m allergic to peanuts, I make a tahini hummus style dipping sauce. Here’s my attempt at putting pen to paper (so to speak). Not certain if I’ve got balance right as I tend to go by look and taste.