As promised last week, I am still under the influence of all the delicious dishes I have tasted while we were in Indonesia. Also that typical flavor of a good Indonesian chicken satay inspired me. The smoky flavor of the charcoal, with that typical mix of spices that is so hrs to copy. And of course the delicious peanut sauces. Not those greasy, dark poop colored thinned out peanut butter sauce you can buy here in jars or even buckets full. By the way; sauce in a bucket? Are we painting the attic or do we want a subtle sauce with our food? Ok, ok, I tend to exaggerate a little, because subtle is of course not really a main ingredient in the dude food kitchen and even I sometimes use a good dose of sauce from a jar next to a piece of meat on the barbecue.
But, when you taste those Indonesian satay, even the biggest dude will understand that you cannot serve this with a sauce that can be poured. That is like going to the toilet and finding a warm seat. A cold toilet seat sucks, but a warm one is scary and just plain wrong. So with high hopes I got cooking this weekend hoping to recreate a really good chicken staat sigh a peanut butter-less sauce. I had been looking at the masters at work when we were in Indonesia for the ultimate marinade and browsed a bit on the Internet for additional information.
My enthusiasm got a bit tempered (literally) when I found out that autumn has definitely settled here. In other words: too cold to roast outside and roasting inside is guaranteed to bring the buckets into the house. Not the buckets with the wrong sauces, but with paint to redo the ceiling. So I needed to find another way to roast the satay indoors, without incorporating a spicy smell into the paper walls. That was a challenge.
To make matters worse my peanut sauce (the second hero of this dish) became a total failure. The sauce stayed thin but unfortunately so did the flavor. The next time I would grind the peanuts finer add more ketjap than water. So that is becomes a ketjap kind of peanut sauce. And to finalize this failed experiment I will give you the failed recipe. You do know that it needs to be different right? The chicken satay itself was good, so the marinade as well as the cooking method are quite dude worthy.
And I have kindly asked the misses to create an alternative recipe for peanut sauce, that makes sure this dish will still make your friends impressed.
The recipe in the green field below is the good recipe. You want to know what the failed one was? You can find it below.
For the chicken satay
400 gram chicken thigh filet, cut into cubes
1 large onion chopped into pieces (not too small)
2 cloves of garlic, cut lengthwise and than the halfs in three
1 tsp ginger powder
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp cuminseed
1 tsp kurkuma
1 tsp palmsugar
3 tsp sambal oelek
1 tsp salt
1 dl ketjap manis (the sweet one)
For the peanutsauce (the good recipe!)
- 150 gr.unsalted peanuts
- piece of ginger of about 2 cm cut into pieces
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 3 red chili peppers, seeds removed, roughly chopped
- 1 lemongrass, outer leaves removed and rootend cut off. Chop roughly
- 5 shallots
- 1 tsp shrimp paste (the smelly kind you can buy in the chinese store)
- 1 tbsp limejuice
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 250 ml water
- 1 tsp soy sauce
- 1 pich of salt
Prepping the satay:
Squeeze lemon and mix 1 teaspoon of juice with the ginger powder, cuminseed, ground coriander, sambal, salt, palmsugar and kurkuma in blender.
Mix the rest of the lemonjuice with some lukewarm water in a bowl and soak the wooden skewers for the satay in this.
Take a skillet or wokpan and cook the chopped onion and garlic till they are glazed and soft. Add the spicy pulp from the blender en let everything simmer for about two minutes.
Stir the soy sauce in this mixture and pour this marinade in a big bowl. Let it cool down.
When the marinade has cooled down, add the chicken cubes, seal the bowl with clingfilm and put the bowl in the fridge for at least two hours. Stir the marinade and chicken after one hour and put the bowl bakc in the fridge.
(If you want to give the satay that perfect taste and you have the time, let the chicken marinate for at least one night in the fridge.)
- Roast the peanuts in a hot frying pan till they are golden and start to give that earthy smelling aroma. Pour the peanuts in a foodprocessor en grind them till they have a fine coarse structure. Don't grind the peanuts too long, because you don't want to end up with peanutbutter.
- Clean chilis, ginger, lemongrass, shallots, garlic and shrimppaste and grind to a paste in foodprocessor. Stirfry the paste in a hot fryingpan for 10-15 minutes (when the paste starts to give of that typical Asian cooking fragrance, it's ready). Add limejuice, sugar, water and the grinded peanuts. Stir and bring it to a boil. Let it boil for one minute and then turn off the heat.
- To give the sauce some finer structure I passed the sauce through a mortar and pestle one more time. After the pestle it's still a chunky and spicy sauce!
Finishing the satay:
Before skewering the satay meat, take the meat from the marinade and let it dry briefly on a plate with some paper towel.
Fire up the charcoal BBQ or (when its really raining cats and dogs) put a grillpan on the stove. You don't have a grillpan?
No worries. Pre heat the oven on 220 (Celcius) and put some tinfoil on the bottom of the oven (saves a lot of time cleaning the oven afterwards)
Then put the marinated chicken cubes on the soaked wooden skewers.
Cooking time for BBQ or grillpan will be 2-3 minutes per side of the satay (please, use common sense and check how long your satay needs to be cooked. Because I don't know how big your chicken cubes are when you skewer them).
When you grill the satay in the oven, put the satay skewers on a grillroaster and turn to oven to grilling mode. Put the grillroaster high under the grill and roast for three minutes. Then take the grillroaster out of the oven and turn the satayskewers. Put the roaster back in the oven again for three minutes.
Serve the satay in a pile on a big dish with peantusauce genereously poured over the chicken. Or serve one portion of three per person with a dollop of peanutsauce on the side.
To give the dish some extra crunch you can sprinkle some deepfried onion over the satay.
The failed version?
For the peanut sauce:
250 gr unsalted peanuts
1 onion, finely diced
1 clove of garlic
1 tsp sambas oelek
1 tsp Palm sugar
1 tsp Lime juice
3 tbsp Ketjap manis
Best to make the peanut sauce 15 minutes before serving. Chop the peanuts roughly (or very short n the blender) Mix garlic, onion, palm sugar and samba, together to a paste. Fry this off shortly in a saucepan with hot oil and add the peanuts and ketjap to it. Finish with a bit of water. The sauce doesn’t have to be thick, it’s ok for it to be thin. If you find its too thick, just add a bit of water. Shortly before serving add the lime juice and stir through.