If you like chicken satay, but not all the work that goes into cutting and skewering the chicken, then this grilled chicken recipe makes a good satay substitute. It starts with a fantastically flavored peanut marinade/sauce. Ground peanuts combine with tamarind to create that powerful Thai combination of sweet and sour, spicy and salty. The addition of turmeric gives this grilled chicken its golden coloring while adding precious health benefits to the recipe. ENJOY!
Prep Time: 12 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 37 minutes
- SERVES 4
- up to 2 lbs. chicken pieces or chicken wings, OR your choice of chicken breast or thighs
- MARINADE/SAUCE: (to serve 2, cut recipe in half)
- 1 cup plain dry roasted or blanched peanuts (unsalted)
- 2 tsp. minced garlic
- 2 tsp. shrimp paste (available by the jar at Chinese/Asian food stores)
- 1-2 fresh chilies, minced, OR 1/2 to 1 tsp. cayenne pepper (reduce or omit for mild chicken)
- 3 Tbsp. fish sauce
- 1/2 tsp. tamarind paste (available by the jar at Asian/Indian food stores)
- 6 Tbsp. sugar
- 2 Tbsp. soy sauce
- 2 tsp. turmeric
- 1/2 cup water
- Make the marinade by placing all marinade ingredients together in a food processor or blender. Tip: try not to reduce the amount of sugar, as it is needed to balanace out the sourness of the tamarind.
- Process well to form a peanut sauce. The sauce should be both sweet and sour, plus spicy (if you added chili or cayenne) and a little on the salty side. Once the chicken is grilled, these flavors will mellow nicely.
- Place chicken in a large bowl and pour half the peanut sauce over. Set remaining sauce aside for later.
- Stir the sauce/marinade well into the chicken, until the chicken pieces begin to take on a golden coloring (this is from the turmeric and is extremely healthy).
- Set chicken in the refrigerator and allow to marinade for at least 30 minutes (or longer if you have the time - up to 24 hours).
- Grill/barbecue the chicken, basting it the first time or two that you turn it using any leftover marinade from the bottom of the bowl. Chicken is well done when the flesh near the bone is no longer red and juices run clear.
- Before serving, place remaining peanut sauce in a sauce pan over medium heat. Add 1/4 cup water and stir until the sauce is hot (it does not need to be cooked). Note that this sauce tends to thicken with time, hence the need for extra water (If you save some for the following day, you will have to add more water again).
- Taste-test the sauce. I usually add 1/2 to 1 Tbsp. soy sauce (instead of salt). If you prefer it sweeter or spicier, add a little more sugar or cayenne pepper. If it tastes too salty for you, add a squeeze or two of lime or lemon juice.
- Serve the grilled chicken together with the sauce, either spooning the sauce over as you eat, or using it as a dipping sauce (a little goes a long way). Excellent with Thai jasmine-scented rice, or with potatoes or salad as desired. ENJOY!