Satay Chicken Tenders with Chunks of Persian Cucumbers
This is one of the first dishes that I ever taught myself to cook.
After a trip to Singapore, at age 10, I fell in love with chicken satay served at stalls in the open markets. I couldn't find any version as good back home in Perth, so I taught myself how to recreate this street food by trial and error. I am in love with it now as I was back then.
I usually make thrice the amount of satay sauce so that I can freeze a couple of batches. As I prepare the satay sauce I soak the chicken tenders in coconut milk.
- 16 chicken tenders (this is enough so that each guest can have two pieces)
- one tablespoon of sesame oil (or coconut oil)
- 4 garlic cloves
- 12 green onions
- 2 red onions
- 2 shallots
- 1 quarter of teaspoon of ground black pepper
- one cup of fresh basil
- half a cup of cilantro
- one quarter of a cup of diced ginger
- one quarter of a cup of mint
- fresh seeded small green chilies to taste (6 starts to get very spicy).
- one cup of unsalted peanuts
- one cup of natural chunky peanut butter (no preservatives or sugar)
- one quarter of a cup of light soy sauce
- 1 table spoon of freshly squeezed lime juice (or 2 sticks lemon grass)
- 2 cups of home-made chicken or vegetable stock (or 2 cups of water with one Telma stock cube)
- 2 cans of coconut milk
- 6 persian cucumbers sliced
Saute garlic cloves, red onions, shallots and ground black pepper in sesame oil in large pot. Add peanuts once onions are transparent. Once peanuts start to get slightly carmel colored, remove all ingredients and place in blender with basil, cilantro, ginger, mint, chilies, soy sauce, lime juice, green onions and coconut milk. Liquefy.
Return the sauce to the pot and add peanut butter and the chicken stock. Simmer for 5 minutes and blend into one. If it seems to thick to you, add another can of coconut milk.
I then add one cup of the satay sauce to the chicken tenders that have been siting in the coconut milk. I take a fork and poke the tenders so they open up a little and absorb the satay sauce.
On a hot griddle or BBQ I grill the tenders. On this occasion, my BBQ was snowed in -- so I used my griddle. It's important to only cook each tender once on each side. I take a spachelor and press the chicken into the grill -- to create those nice seared lines across the chicken. Once brown lines form across the tender I turn to the other side and do it again. The tenders are very thin, so do not cook for more than 2 minutes on either side.
I like to serve the satay chicken with slices of Persian cucumbers that are almost the same size as the chicken tenders. I line the pate with fresh basil, and place the cucumbers on one half of the plate and the chicken satays on the other side of the plate, with a small bowl of satay sauce for dipping. YUM!!