Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Chicken satay skewers

This is an adaptation of a Jamie Oliver recipe found in his upcoming book Jamie's Meals in minutes.
Instead of using peanut butter which is indicated in the original recipe, I used almond butter and I also tossed in an extra chili. The marinade can be used in a number of ways, when I originally made this dish the chicken was threaded onto skewers and grilled, however it seemed like a lot of work for a weeknight dinner, so I just cut the chicken into chunks, marinated it and threw it into a baking tray and it still browned. You can also marinate chicken pieces and cook them either in the oven, in the broiler or on the barbecue grill. You do lose some of the heat of the chillies as it cooks so be brave and throw a little extra chili in there!

Chicken satay Skewers. (feeds 6)
6 large, skinless, boneless, chicken breasts cut into even sized chunks. Alternatively you can use the marinade for chicken thighs, legs or even chicken wings.

For the Marinade
2 cloves garlic peeled
1 1/2 large fresh red chillies (or more to taste)
3 heaped tablespoons almond butter (you can use peanut butter if you do not follow the Paleo plan)
5 tablespoons soy sauce (while soy products are acknowledged as a paleo no-no, apparently fermented soy sauce is acceptable in small amounts)
a piece of fresh ginger approx 2 inches long, peeled and roughly chopped
Juice of 2 fresh limes
large bunch of cilantro/coriander

Preheat the oven to 225C/450F you need a hot oven for this.

Throw all of these ingredients into a blender or food processor and whizz them around until you are left with this unattractive brown paste! 

If it is a little thick you can add a little lime juice or water to thin it out. It should not be runny though.  Dip your finger in it, it already tastes amazing! Transfer the marinade into a bowl, but reserve 1 tablespoon for salad dressing and then toss the chicken in the mixture making sure every piece is well coated.
If you wish, you can cover the chicken in the marinade and leave it in the fridge for a while if you want to, but the flavors are already so intense that you really don't need to do this if you are short on time.

Then put the chicken into a roasting pan and spread it out so that it is in a single layer so it can cook evenly. Cook on the top shelf of the oven until it is browned (approx 25 mins for chicken breast chunks, add 10 mins longer for chicken pieces) You can also squeeze a little honey over the chicken in the last 10 minutes of cooking if you wish to caramelize it a little.

Alternatively if you want to serve them as Kabobs thread the chicken breast chunks onto pre-soaked wooden skewers and broil or grill on the barbecue until cooked through. Serve with a crispy green salad.

Salad dressing 
1tablespoon reserved marinade
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon salad vinegar ( I use the German brand Kressi Weinbrandessig)
1 teaspoon honey
1 tablespoon water

Shake ingredients together and pour over salad greens, Arugula or baby spinach leaves go very well with this dish, all you need to add are some thinly sliced red onions and some chunky cucumber pieces and top with the chicken.