Chicken satay is a famous dish in Southeast Asia especially in Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore. Even Thailand has its own version. Chicken satay or sate as it is also known had become increasingly popular as it was brought to many countries by the migrants. Perhaps, that explains why it is one of the more well known dishes from Southeast Asia. Authentic satay usually uses chicken or beef. The meat is marinated and then grilled over a charcoal fire. The fragrant aroma during the grilling process would set your stomach growling and resisting them would be unbearable.
The marinade for chicken satay is very simple to prepare. It consist of several types of spices and herbs which are mixed together. Turmeric plays an important role here for its colour and flavour. Instead of using turmeric powder, fresh turmeric may also be used. The marinade also contains a bit of sugar, hence ‘gula melaka’, a type of palm sugar is added instead of white sugar. It gives a hint of toffee flavour besides contributing sweetness to the marinade.
In the video, I used chicken breast. It does not have bones and is very easy to work with. However, chicken breast might be too dry if it is over cooked. I'd recommend chicken thighs if you want to make succulent chicken satay. Keep some fats and skin on the skewer for best flavours.
Chicken satay or any types of satay for that matter is best grilled on a charcoal grill. However, if that is not possible, a grill pan is not that bad of an idea. Give it a try making them in your kitchen. Just before grilling, preheat the pan at medium to high heat for 5 minutes. The grill pan has to be really hot for the meat to sizzle as it is laid on the pan. While grilling, brush some oil onto the meat with a bruised lemongrass for absolute fragrance.
I enjoy making these for parties because chicken satay can be prepared days or weeks ahead. You may choose the meat of the thigh or chicken breast, according to your preference. Mix the chicken slices with the marinade as shown in the video. Once well mixed, they can be kept in the refrigerator for one to two days. Otherwise, the marinated meat has to be frozen. It should be removed from the freezer and allow to thaw before grilling. It would still turn out perfect.
Chicken Satay is also known as: Grilled skewered meatsatay ayamsate ayamsatay kajang
Cut chicken breasts into strips. Blend galangal, lemongrass, turmeric and shallots.
Mix fennel powder, cumin powder, salt and sugar to blended ingredients. Marinate the meat with marinade for at least 30 minutes or up to 2 hours.
Thread the meat onto the skewers. Use a bruised lemongrass to brush some vegetable oil onto meat while grilling. Grill meat until cooked.