Satay Saturday

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There is something about “sticks” that make food more desirable to my munchkins… a boring turkey sandwich becomes exciting and gourmet when I cut it into squares and stick a toothpick into each one. Juice is yummy in a glass, but freeze it on a stick so you can lick it?! SO MUCH BETTER… right? Candy… so fun to eat. Candy on a stick (i.e. A Lollipop)… a special treat. Thus, chicken served right on the skewers it was cooked on… MAGNIFICENT!!

I love when they get excited about their dinner before it enters their little mouths.

Traditionally “satay” refers to strips or bite-size pieces of meat or fish that are served with a peanut relish or sauce (often spicy). There are many versions of a satay, but one of the most common ones include soy sauce, sugar, green onions, and salt in their marinades. I also read that TRUE Thai-style peanut sauce actually has no peanut butter in it… they use dry-roasted peanuts pureed with a bunch of other ingredients to get that peanut-y flavor.

But I AM a Westerner… so I figured I could be UNauthentic and make my dipping sauce with peanut butter and get away with it.

This sauce and chicken could be thrown into a wrap with some veggies… or you can just eat it right off the skewer and dip the chicken in the sauce.

If you need something SWEET to go after this meal (or before if you’re feeling crazy)… Peanut Butter Fudge.

This is what you’ll need for the marinade…

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To a gallon-size zip-top bag…

Add coconut milk…

(I had some left over from making Red Curry Peanut Sauce so I thought, “Why not?”)

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Sliced green onions and a couple of garlic cloves… peeled and SMASHED!!!

(Go ahead, let out your aggression… if you send one flying on the ground, just peel another)

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Add the onions and smashed garlic to the marinade…

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Brown sugar… you can use granulated if you like but I love the flavor of brown sugar…

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Soy sauce…

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Curry powder…

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And some salt…

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And freshly ground black pepper…

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Then SQUISH everything together… this is a fantastic job to give a kiddo if you have one running around. Just be sure the top is closed good and tight first!!

My girls were napping so I did the squishing myself. Just make sure everything is broken up and well-combined.

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Then it’s time to add your chicken! You can cube up your chicken if you like but I did mine in strips…

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Add the chicken (however you cut it) to the marinade, ZIP the bag again, and SQUISH it around again. Kind of fun?! Well, I thought so.

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Get this in the fridge and marinade it for at least 2 hours or UP TO 24 hours before you cook it.

I love MAKE AHEAD perks in a recipe. This one has TWO… the sauce can be made ahead also!

Here’s what you need for the peanut sauce

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Somehow this sauce ended up looking like Nutella spread… definitely NOT what I expected. But it was sweet, spicy and FULL of peanut flavor!! It may not be traditional to use peanut butter, but it certainly was TASTY! I might venture out and try to make it the traditional way in the future…

I cannot think of a time when I had dry-roasted peanuts in my pantry though, so I don’t really foresee this happening.

Let me know how it goes if you try a version that uses real peanuts. I am curious.

To make the sauce, simply whisk together soy sauce…

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Rice wine vinegar…

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Brown sugar (yes, I’m using it AGAIN!)

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Red pepper flakes… this is where you can add extra if you like it SPICY!

I do… especially with this pregnancy… but my kiddos were eating with us so…

I restrained myself.

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Then add some (non-traditional) peanut butter…

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And some chicken broth…

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Whisk that all together well and transfer it to a small sauce pan when you’re about ready to eat. Otherwise, store it in the fridge until you’re ready for it!

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Bring the sauce to a boil and let it reduce for a bit… if it gets too thick just add in a bit more chicken broth and let it simmer a couple minutes more.

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When you’re done you’ll have this dark, creamy mixture that you might mistake for chocolate if you didn’t know better.

I was skeptical when I saw the color, but my taste buds could have cared less what my eyes thought they were seeing… it was DECADENT… “ADDICTING”… as my husband put it.

Shake the extra marinade off the chicken and thread it onto skewers. If you are using wooden skewers be sure to soak them in water for 30 minutes or so to keep them from bursting into flames when they hit the grill. You can grill these on a grill pan inside if you like, but if you want to avoid heating up your house any more than needed then throw them on an outdoor grill.

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It’s currently summertime in Phoenix and it’s still a minimum of 100°F at 7pm  so we definitely go with the outdoor grilling approach whenever we can!

Mmmmm… hot off the grill…

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The Cost

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As you can see I tried making another version of peanut sauce… this one I strained and reduced down (boiled) the marinade and added a few ingredients to it… we weren’t nearly as happy with it’s flavor as the darker sauce, but I haven’t lost faith in its potential yet… I think it just needed some more soy sauce and maybe a couple of other touches to make it delicious. For now, I’m only giving you the sauce we LOVED though!

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Here is your handy-dandy RECIPE for printing!

Happy Satay Saturday!
Love, Jenna

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