Spicy Chicken Satays with Herbs and Vegetables
1/3 cup water
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (about 2 to 3 limes)
3 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 teaspoon sambal oelek or other hot chile paste
1 clove garlic, minced
4 boneless skinless chicken thighs (about 1 pound)
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 small whole carrot, finely grated
1 head Boston or Bibb lettuce leaves
1 bunch fresh mint leaves
1 bunch fresh cilantro
1 Kirby cucumber, cut in matchsticks
4 scallions (white and green parts), sliced in 1-inch pieces
8 skewers (if wood, soak in water for 15 minutes)
Whisk the water, lime juice, sugar, and fish sauce in a small bowl
until the sugar dissolves. Stir in the sambal oelek and garlic.
Cut the chicken thighs into 2-inch cubes. Toss cubes in a medium
bowl with about 1/4 cup of the sauce and 1 teaspoon vegetable oil.
Set aside for 15 minutes. Stir a heaping tablespoon of grated carrot
into reserved sauce. Set aside.
Heat a grill pan or outdoor grill to medium-high heat. Thread 2 to 3
pieces of chicken on each skewer and lay skewers on a baking sheet
or large plate. Season with salt and pepper. Working in batches,
grill the satays, without moving them, until browned on the first
side, about 3 minutes. Turn the satays and grill until the second
side is browned and the meat is opaque at the edges, about 3 minutes
more. Transfer to a large clean platter.
Arrange the lettuce, mint, cilantro, cucumber, scallions, and the
rest of the carrot on the platter with the satays. To serve, slip
the chicken from a skewer and wrap each piece in a lettuce leaf with
some of the herbs and vegetables and dip in the sauce.
Yield: 4 appetizer servings