barbecued chicken satay for what might be our last barbecue of the year
For once, the weatherman’s report was spot on today because following a miserable morning of grey, grim and rainy weather, the sun suddenly broke free at about 4pm and it stayed sunny and bright until night set in.
I’d been banking on this because I decided yesterday that I really, really, really wanted to make chicken satay, and to cook them properly, I needed dry weather so we could get a small barbecue going. I’d spent the last week scouring various satay marinades online and after studying a number of recipes that I liked the sound of, I came up with a marinade of my own.
I wish there was a way I could transmit the smells of this marinade to you because it’s just so nice and fragrant! But more important than that, it’s so easy to make, which really surprised me.
London’s packed with restaurants that sell chicken satay but none of them have nailed the aromatic flavour of satay from the hawker stalls in Singapore. I’m pretty pleased with my recipe today because I think it’s damned authentic, and one that I can’t wait to make again. However, if today’s fresh breeze is anything to go by, I think we’ll have to wait until next year before we’ll be able to have another barbecue. While it stayed bright enough to cook outside, I wouldn’t call it warm at all! 😦
My only confession is that I can’t really call these satay skewers as the size of them are more like kebabs whereas traditional satay skewers are a mouthful per stick.
Cooking the chicken also almost proved disastrous. Out of sheer laziness, we opted not to pull out our barbecue and thought one of those small disposable barbecue trays you find at gas stations would be sufficient. These fecking trays are bloody useless!!!
Not only is there a dismal amount of charcoal in them, they don’t burn very well and I almost thought we’d have to turn the grill on to finish cooking the chicken. Thankfully, we had a fan and with a lot of vigorous activity, we managed to keep the barbecue hot enough to cook. Chicken satay’s just not the same unless you can get some of that lovely charring that you can only get from cooking over fire.
I unfortunately didn’t have any peanuts with which to make my own peanut sauce (and making peanut sauce from peanut butter never tastes right to me). I therefore just used a tinned peanut sauce as a dipping sauce and I served the chicken satay with some raw red onions and fresh cucumber. In Singapore, chicken satays are also served with ketupat, a rice cake. I don’t know how to make these so I was just going to have it with some steam rice. In the end, we didn’t even need the rice as the chicken and onion/cucumber sides where all we needed. There’s plenty of chicken left over, which will go into a lovely wrap / sandwich tomorrow.
BTW, I know that raw onions can sometimes be a bit too raw in flavour. Here’s a quick tip I use. After you’ve sliced and split your onion into individual pieces, I put them into a bowl and pour hot (not boiling) water over them and let them sit in that for about 5 seconds. Once drained, I find they lose some of their potency and the hot water seems to bring out their sweetness instead.
I think this chicken satay dish is a real winner so if you’re up for giving it a go, you can get my recipe by clicking here.
Hope you have a great week ahead.
Lots of love