It’s not that chicken satay is fast the first time you make it.  It’s that you make a giant batch and the next time you retrieve it from the freezer and it’s ever so easy when you need things easy.  And when you need things easy is the time when you really want a savory, zingy, protein-packed pick me up.

I know places like this make decent satays, as do many other carryouts, but remember our mantra:

“om…when i make it myself I know what I’m eating…om.”

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Our satay begins with a marinade loaded with aromatic ingredients.  This sad stalk of lemongrass came from a spice jar that I tempted to reconstitute with warm water.  The Thai gods cursed me.  Guilty, I bought two bundles of fresh lemongrass this morning at the farmer’s market to root and plant – good luck with that. Also, saw chef Curtis Stone milling about, alone, at the market – was he looking for the Vegemite booth or someone to recognize him? I mean this was the Santa Monica farmer’s market, the mecca for all organic, precious dirt food in a city where celebs are a dime a dozen – I apologize, we were uncrumpling our pocket dollar bills and sampling mouse melons – don’t ask.

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Back to satay for Thai god’s sake.

So, you blend it together by way of rocket.

Crunchtimers, we all need a bullet or  rocket blender to save on clean up time. My sister outfitted me with one a few years back.  Smoothies blend up in individual cups; especially useful on Saturday mornings when people roll out of bed at different times.  Sauces, dressings, marinades emulsify easier and you store in the container.  Best part, the blending parts are dishwasher safe and compact.

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Slice chicken breasts, against the grain, into 1/2″ strips.

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Pour marinade over strips.  Coat all sides of the meat, as in pick up the pieces so the marinade can slip underneath.

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Soak wooden skewers in water for at least 30 minutes. You can use metal skewers too, but watch your fingers during mealtime.

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Grill the skewered chicken strips.  I’m the new owner of this indoor grill pan.  Much more convenient than the grill that’s all the way outside, ten exhausting feet from my door, and the outdoor temp, well past the autumnal equinox, is a brisk 71 degrees.  Sweater weather!

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This peanut sauce is a velvety luscious blend of creamy peanut butter, lime, soy, agave, spices and ….yum….coconut milk.  The lime juice gives it proper tang and agave provides sweetening. You can keep it refrigerated for all sorts of dipping uses weeks on end.

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chicken satay & tangy peanut sauce

Preptime 20 minutes, plus 1-2 hours marinating time                                  serves – 2-3 dinner, or 4-8 as appetizers
Cooktime 7 minutes
1 stalk lemongrass, roughly chopped
2 Tbsp canola oil
2 Tbsp fish sauce
2 Tbsp palm sugar or light brown sugar
1 Tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice from 1 lime
1 Tbsp soy sauce
2 tsp freshly minced garlic (about 2 medium cloves)
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp Sriracha (reduce or eliminate if you don’t like heat)
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breasts, sliced into 1/2-inch strips lengthwise
Bamboo skewers, soaked in water for 30 minutes prior to use
  1. Blend all of the marinade ingredients until smooth.
  2. Cover the chicken slices with the marinade making sure all sides of each piece are adequately coated and let marinate in the refrigerator for 1-2 hrs. Place chicken in a large resealable plastic bag and pour in marinade. Place in refrigerator and marinate 1 to 2 hours, turning bag occasionally to marinate evenly.
  3. Remove chicken from marinade and thread onto wooden skewers.
  4. Grill for 2-3 minutes each side – times will vary depending on the heat of your grill or grill pan. I set my grill pan on med-high heat.

Tangy Peanut Sauce

Preptime:  5 minutes

1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup agave nectar
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1/4 cup soy sauce
Garlic powder – to taste
Red pepper flakes – to taste

  1. In a blender (rocket) or food processor, mix all of the ingredients until the texture is smooth and loose.
recipes inspired by those on Serious Eats and Food Network and provided for you by your friends at crunchtimefood.com

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