OK, so I really think you need to throw a party…
Maybe a party is not your thing? But I really do think you need to hold some sort of social gathering; a potluck dinner, a BBQ (best option for any Northern Hemisphere peoples right now), a picnic, whatever. But you need to host it with s many people as you can and you need to do it soon. Why?
Because you need to make and share these chicken satay skewers with a food-coma-induing cashew nut sauce right now, asap, because it will catapult you to foodie king/ queen.
So this recipe is split into two parts:
First of all there is the chicken; 500g of chicken breast will make about 8 to 10 of these skewers. so double // triple // quadruple // quintuple // sextuple // or even septuple the recipe depending on how many people you are feeding (or how hungry you’re feeling)
The chicken is going to be marinated in a flavour exploding mixture of soy sauce, turmeric, garlic, ginger, peanut oil for at least an hour (but if you can do it overnight this is the perfect option. I had only an hour, because I forgot to prepare them the night before and they still tasted great but, as someone who as also tried them after an overnight marinating period. whoa! There are no words to describe the flavour other than:supertastydelciousomgamazingwanttoeatthewholeplate!)
And then it’s a simple deal of placing the marinated chicken pieces on skewers and cooking them. How you cook them is up to you: BBQ them, grill them, oven bake them, or cook them in a pan on your stove top… it’s completely up to you, your favourite cooking method and/ or weather restrictions.
So this recipe has been through some major changes in a very short amount of days because, sometimes, things don’t go quite right for this food blogger and my kitchen turns into a disaster zone.
The first change happened on the day I made and proposed to shoot these skewers. But, just before I was going to “skewer” the chicken and cook it – which also happened to be 20 minutes before I was to photograph it – I found we were out of wooden skewers. I pulled every drawer and cupboard in the kitchen out, convincing myself I had seen the skewers but, alas, I had not and was only going to have skewers if I jumped into the car and raced off to the supermarket to buy more.
But seeing as I was still wearing the assortment of clothes I had grabbed blindly from beside my bed at 6am; which included odd socks (nothing too unusual), pants that had been part of the food blogging process for about 6 days straight without a wash (caked in flour, oil splatters and other questionable food stains – I keep things classy) and a hoodie I’ve had for several years and looks like it survived a nuclear holocaust.
To go and buy skewers I would need to have changed part of my clothing situation and, seeing as I was home in the warm when outside was a frigid 6 degrees this was hardly going to happen so, spotting a tub of toothpicks on the kitchen shelf, I decided to go with satay chicken “bites” rather than “skewers”.
And then, the photo shoot didn’t go well. It was one of those days where I sat at my computer, flicking through the 50 or so images, banging my head against the desk for there was simply nothing I could do to make the chicken “bites” look even the slightest bit appetising.
And so, long story cut (kind of) shortish, I remade the entire recipe again a few days later and, having bought skewers, jumped back to the original concept. And now I’m happy.
But let us not get carried away with a long story about skewers and toothpicks because, if I had to spend ages telling you about the chicken “bites” then I would have to spend even longer telling you about the cashew sauce. It would need an essay length description. But I won’t do that because me repeating the phrase supertastydelciousomgamazingwanttoeatthewholeplate for about ten pages would get old very quickly.
I’ve based this sauce on the classic peanut sauce (sometimes referred to as satay sauce) you would get with satay skewers and there are plenty of recipes out there. Not only are there Thai peanut sauces, Vietnamese peanut sauces, Malaysian peanut sauces and Indonesian peanut sauces but each country seems to have its own variation depending on the region of the country you’re in which means there are soooooooo many peanut sauce recipes out there that’s it’s not funny (It’s not funny because I seriously believe I will not get the chance in my lifetime to try them all which is really sad for a food fanatic like me.)
Anyway, I have based the sauce on a Balinese recipe and have swapped the peanuts for cashews because, well, cashews. It’s not that I don’t like peanut sauce (I LOVE it – and yet I can’t really deal with peanuts… what’s with that?) I just wanted to mix things up.
And that is what is going to happen with the cashews, they are going to get mixed up with garlic, ginger, chillies, palm sugar, coconut milk into this thick, slightly chunky, savoury, sweet sauce that you will probably end up eating out of the jar with a spoon – just like I did.
(By the way, the recipe for the cashew sauce makes a lot of sauce – just over 4 cups – which is more than enough for about 100 satay bites – 24 if you go at the sauce with a spoon. So, if you are planning on making these satay bites for a large crowd and double // triple // quadruple // quintuple // sextuple the recipe, only do so for the bites. Otherwise you’re going to end up with a gallon of cashew sauce (not thew worst thing to happen in the world, though).
And when marinated satay bites and thick, slightly chunky, savoury, sweet cashew sauce come together… foodie fireworks will happen.
So I think it is safe to say, you need to make THIS happen right now! Get on the phone // message // Facebook // twitter or how every you keep in contact with your friends and organise that gathering NOW, and make sure you make extra satay skewers because they will not last long!
Balinese Chicken Satay Skewers with Cashew Sauce
Prep Time: 20 mins || Cook Time: 30 mins || Makes 8 to 10 skewers
- 500g Chicken Breast, cut into bite-sized chunks
For the marinade:
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1/2 tbsp ginger, minced
- 2 tbsp peanut oil
- 1 tbsp of dark soy sauce
- 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp salt
For the Cashew Sauce:
- 250g roasted & unsalted cashew nuts
- 750ml coconut milk
- 5 garlic cloves
- 1 tbsp ginger, minced
- 1/4 cup dark soy sauce
- 30g palm sugar
- 1 tbsp lime juice
- 1 long dried chilli
- lime wedges, roughly chopped cilantro to serve (optional)
- The day before: In a bowl, whisk together the marinade ingredients until well combined. Add the chicken pieces and toss well, so the chicken is evenly coated. Cover the bowl and place in the fridge to marinate over night. (Or at least for hour, if you’re short on time)
- To Make The sauce: Combine the cashews garlic, ginger, dried chilli and 250ml of the coconut milk in a blender and blend until a thick and slightly chunky paste is formed. Place this paste along with the the remaining ingredients into a pan and warm steadily over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture begins to boil. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Reheat just prior to serving.
- Place the chicken pieces on skewers and cook via your preferred method (under the grill, oven bake, in a skillet or on a bbq) until nicely browned and cooked through. Serve with the cashew sauce and optional garnishes.