Malaysian Chicken Satés
Satés are enjoyed throughout Southeast Asia, where each country boasts that it makes the best. The Malaysian version is particularly aromatic, thanks to the fragrant paste of shallots, lemongrass, turmeric, coriander, and peanuts in which the meat is marinated. A Malaysian would use fresh turmeric. As this is difficult to find in North America, I've substituted fresh ginger and turmeric powder.
1 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breasts
4 large or 6 medium shallots, quartered
2 stalks fresh lemongrass, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch pieces or 2 strips lemon zest
1 tablespoon chopped fresh ginger
3 tablespoons dry-roasted peanuts
6 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon or lime juice or more to taste
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
or more to taste
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper Dutch West Indian Peanut Sauce
Rinse the chicken under cold running water, then drain and blot dry with paper towels. Cut the meat lengthwise (with the grain) into strips the size of your little finger. Place the strips in a large bowl and set aside while you prepare the marinade.
Combine the shallots, the lemongrass pieces, the ginger, peanuts, 3 tablespoons of the oil, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, the soy sauce, 1 teaspoon salt, and the ground spices in a blender and process to a smooth paste. Taste for seasoning, adding salt or lemon juice to taste; the mixture should be highly seasoned. Add the mixture to the chicken in the bowl, stirring to coat completely. Cover and let marinate, in the refrigerator, for 1 hour, stirring once or twice.
Preheat the grill to high.
Weave the chicken strips lengthwise onto the skewers.
When ready to cook, oil the grill grate. Arrange the satés on the hot grate and grill, turning with tongs, until lightly browned and cooked through, 1 to 3 minutes per side (2 to 6 minutes in all). Using the whole lemongrass stalk as a brush, baste the satés with the remaining oil once or twice as they cook.
Transfer the satés to serving plates or a platter and serve with the peanut sauce.
As prepared, each serving contains 280 calories, 17g total fat, 65mg cholesterol, 370mg sodium, 3g total carbohydrate and 28g protein.