We were supposed to be in Thailand now, lounging on a beautiful beach, listening to the palm trees sway and rustle, dipping our toes into warm blue waters. Instead, our family was hit with Flumageddon and then our little one was hospitalized with pneumonia over the holidays. Alas, we decided we had to cancel the trip and focus on a healthy recovery at home.
As I hear news about protests and roadblocks in Bangkok, I wonder if it’s a good thing after all that we didn’t travel there now. Still, the allure of Thailand’s beauty, warmth, and delicious cuisine remains. For now, we’re enjoying a modest little taste of Thailand at home, in the form of chicken satay skewers with a tasty sweet peanut sauce. Here’s a toast to health and family, and the promise of Thailand another day.
Chicken Satay Skewers with Peanut Dipping Sauce
Serves 4 (or 8 as an appetizer)
(I adapted this recipe from Shannon’s recipe for Easy Chicken Satay on allrecipes.com, by adding more seasonings — ginger, turmeric, and chili powder — cutting the amount of sugar down, and substituting coconut cream for the coconut milk in the dipping sauce, among a few other slight adjustments.)
For the chicken and marinade:
- 1/2 cup coconut milk
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon curry powder
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 3 to 4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves – cut into 1-inch cubes
- 10 (6 inch) wooden skewers, or as needed, soaked in water for 30 minutes
- 1 tsp. sesame oil
For the peanut dipping sauce:
- 1 cup coconut cream (or thick coconut milk)
- 1 tablespoon curry powder
- 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
- 3/4 cup chicken stock (less if using liquidy coconut milk)
- 2 tablespoons freshly grated ginger
- 1 heaping tablespoon brown sugar
- pinch of chili pepper (to taste)
- 2-3 tablespoons lime juice (to taste)
- 1-2 teaspoons soy sauce (to taste)
- Salt to taste
- Stir together 1/2 cup coconut milk, garlic, 1 teaspoon curry powder, turmeric, grated ginger, brown sugar, salt, and pepper until the sugar has dissolved. Toss marinade with the cubed chicken, cover, and marinate in the fridge for at least 2 hours.
- Combine 1 cup coconut cream, 1 tablespoon curry powder, peanut butter, chicken stock, grated ginger, 1 heaping Tbs. brown sugar, and chili pepper in a saucepan and warm over medium-high heat. Stir constantly until smooth and thickened (do not boil, as it can separate). Remove from heat and stir in lime juice and soy sauce; season to taste with salt.
- Thread marinated chicken onto pre-soaked skewers. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat and warm the sesame oil; when oil is hot, grill the skewers in the skillet, 4 to 5 minutes per side, or until cooked through (you can also transfer to a roasting dish after browning and cook in a pre-heated oven at 375 F (190 C) for 10 minutes or so to ensure they are cooked through). Serve with warm peanut sauce and extra lime wedges for garnish. Good served with steamed rice and lightly dressed carrots, cucumbers, celery, and bell peppers.