Asian cookery has always had a huge influence on my recipes (in fact my last recipe was a Turkey Ramen Bowl). I simply love the combination of ingredients and never get bored of experimenting. Often the first thing you think of when it comes to the flavours of Asia is hot and spicy food; whether it be a curry or a salad there is that instantly recognisable combination of hot, sweet and sour that hits your tastebuds. However, when you venture into Indonesian cookery there is a whole new flavour palate to explore.
A popular creamy chicken dish that is made Paleo friendly using your favourite nut butter. Really easy to make and will soon become a family favourite!
Chicken satay is a classic Indonesian dish (although there are variations of the dish throughout Asia) which is creamy and comforting with all the flavour but without the heat. Satay generally includes a marinaded grilled meat served on a skewer with a nut based sauce. It is traditionally made with peanuts but in this recipe I have used cashew nut butter; you could however use any of your favourite nut butters. You could even try a combination of nut butters if you wish. You can also change the meat that you use; beef and pork would both work well or you could use grilled vegetables or even fish. I have used chicken as this is the most popular way of serving the dish and I personally think chicken fits perfectly with the flavour profile of the sauce and the marinade.
Whilst it is traditional for the dish to be served on skewers this is not essential. You can pan fry or grill the chicken pieces and serve with the sauce and lose none of the flavour. If you do use bamboo skewers then make sure you soak them in water for 30 minutes before you start cooking; this is to make sure that your meat is the only thing cooking under the grill!
The marinade for the chicken can vary between recipes and regions and it is a great way to make the dish more individual to you. As the sauce is gentle and creamy I didn’t want anything too overpowering for the marinade. I therefore decided to keep it simple and have just used a combination of curry powder and a touch of coconut milk for my marinade. You could however spice this up and add some ginger or chilli; perhaps even marinade in a curry paste. I always think that you should make a dish your own and experimenting with ingredients and flavours is the best way to do that.
One of the things I love about satay is that it is so versatile. It can be a snack, light lunch or a main meal depending on how you are feeling. Serve with a crisp salad for a great lunch box option or cauliflower rice and stir fried veggies for a satisfying evening meal. Depending on how much sauce you like with your chicken you may have some leftover from this recipe. I found that it really came in useful for when I was wanting to throw something together quickly and effortlessly. The leftover chicken from Sunday dinner was transformed into a tasty salad and it also served very nicely as a dip for crudites. I know it is going to be a firm favourite in my household.
- 6 free range chicken breasts, cut into large chunks
- 1 tsp medium curry powder
- 2 tbsp coconut milk
- 6 bamboo skewers (soaked in water for 30 minutes)
- 1 tbsp lard
- 170g cashew nut butter
- 500ml coconut milk
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 2 inches fresh ginger, finely chopped
- ½ lime, juice only
- 1 tbsp coconut aminos
- 1 tsp medium curry powder
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat.
- Add the onion, ginger and garlic and cook until soft and translucent.
- Add the coconut milk and the nut butter and turn the heat down low. Keep stirring the sauce until the nut butter has softened and combined with the coconut milk.
- Add the lime juice, coconut aminos and curry powder and stir well over a low heat for 4-5 minutes.
- If you would like a chunkier texture then your sauce is now ready. If you would like a smoother consistency then place into a blender and blitz until you reach your desired consistency. If there are any stubborn lumps remaining then you can put through a sieve to get that silky smooth effect. You can now place the sauce on one side and get started with the chicken.
- Heat the lard in a frying pan on a high heat and add the chicken pieces. Cook for 3-4 minutes until nicely browned all over. Add the curry powder and stir to coat the chicken then add the coconut milk a little at a time so the chicken is coated and glossy.
- Remove the pan from the heat and thread the chicken pieces onto the skewers. Place under a medium grill for 8-10 minutes or until cooked through. Whilst the chicken is cooking you can slowly reheat the satay sauce on a low heat.
- Serve the chicken hot with the satay sauce. Works well with a crunchy side salad or cauliflower rice.