I'm all over beef skewers. The thinly sliced flank steak sears well and remains tender over a very hot fire. Unfortunately, I can't say the same for chicken, which dries out quickly and ends up becoming flavorless sticks of poultry. Of course, chicken skewers can be delicious when done right, with this chicken satay being a prime example.
The sweet, pungent marinade for these chicken satays includes fish sauce, lemongrass, sugar, lime, and turmeric, which embeds the chicken with flavor even after a relatively short soak of only an hour. On the grill, in order to maintain juiciness, a careful eye must be kept to ensure the chicken is pulled off when just cooked through. Even if you go over just a little, the skewers are still plenty good, thanks to the powerful marinade. A dip in a spicy peanut sauce also added to the success here.
The pairing of the earthy and bright chicken with a creamy, spicy, and sweet sauce produced a chicken skewer that has the ability to change your mind about chicken skewers.
- 1 stalk lemongrass, roughly chopped
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce, such as Red Boat
- 2 tablespoons palm sugar or light brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice from 1 lime
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons freshly minced garlic (about 2 medium cloves)
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon Sriracha
- 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 recipe Spicy Peanut Sauce
- Type of fire: Direct
- Grill heat: medium-high
Place lemongrass, oil, fish sauce, sugar, lime juice, soy sauce, turmeric, garlic, coriander, and Sriracha in jar of a blender and blend on high speed until smooth, about 30 seconds, scraping down sides as necessary.
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.
Remove chicken from marinade and thread onto wooden skewers.
Light one chimney full of charcoal. When all charcoal is lit and covered with gray ash, pour out and spread the coals evenly over entire surface of coal grate. Set cooking grate in place, cover grill and allow to preheat for 5 minutes. Clean and oil the grilling grate. Grill chicken until browned on both sides and cooked through, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a platter, let rest for 5 minutes, then serve immediately with Spicy Peanut Sauce