Thursday, January 14, 2010

Cinnamon Chicken Satay with Harissa Sauce, for The Daring Cooks' First Challenge of 2010

The January 2010 DC challenge was hosted by Cuppy of Cuppylicious and she chose a delicious Thai-inspired recipe for Pork Satay from the book 1000 Recipes by Martha Day.

The Challenge guidelines allowed for creativity and variations. We were permitted to create a satay appetizer, side dish or main course; use any meat; use skewers or not; and fry, grill or broil. The only requirements were to marinate the meat, which adds flavor and tenderizes tougher meats, and create a complementary dipping sauce.

I love Thai food, and have made chicken satay with peanut sauce in the past. Therefore, for this challenge, I chose to adapt a recipe we tried and enjoyed last summer:  Cinnamon-Roasted Chicken with Harissa Sauce.  The only adaptation required to turn this into Satay was to cut the chicken into strips, thread onto skewers, and grill.

Cinnamon Chicken Satay with Harissa

1/2 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon sugar
2 large boneless, skinless, chicken breasts
Harissa Sauce (recipe follows)


Rinse chicken breasts in cold water, pat dry and place chicken breasts in a large ziplock bag.  In a small bowl, whisk together oil, cinnamon, salt, cayenne pepper and sugar.  Pour mixture into bag over the chicken, seal bag, and turn bag to coat chicken with  marinade. Chill overnight.  

Prepare the Harissa sauce.

Harissa Sauce
Bon Appetit, September 2002, Epicurious

1 tablespoon coriander seeds
1 tablespoon caraway seeds
4 large garlic cloves, unpeeled
4 large red bell peppers (or jarred roasted red bell peppers)
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons dried crushed red pepper

Stir coriander and caraway in small skillet over medium-high heat until aromatic, about 30 seconds. Transfer to food processor. Cook garlic in same skillet, covered, over medium-low heat until tender, turning occasionally, about 10 minutes. Cool. Peel garlic; add to processor.

Char bell peppers over gas flame or in broiler until blackened on all sides. Enclose in paper bag; let stand 10 minutes. Peel, seed, and coarsely chop peppers; add peppers, oil, sugar, and crushed red pepper to processor. Puree. Season with salt and pepper. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)

Remove chicken breasts from the marinade, slice into strips, and thread onto wood skewers that have been soaked in water for 20 minutes.  Grill over medium-high heat, approximately 4-5 minutes per side.  Serve chicken satay over couscous, with Harissa.

Chicken in marinade

After marinating overnight...

Cut into strips and thread onto skewers...

On the grill, in the dead of winter, i.e., 60 degrees F, one of the advantages living in Southern CA ;-)...

Couscous, bottom left, and other ingredients:  currants, toasted pine nuts, and fresh spinach, to be gently folded into the hot couscous

Platter of Cinnamon Chicken Satay served over Couscous

For the Couscous, simply prepare according to package directions and gently fold in toasted pine nuts, raisins and fresh baby spinach

If you're in the mood to go Greek, try this incredible Chicken Souvlaki with Piquillo Pepper Yougurt Sauce, another Coronado Concert in the Park dish we enjoyed last summer

Thank you, Cuppy, for a great Challenge to start out the New Year! 

Please visit The Daring Kitchen and The Daring Cooks' blogroll to see what our other member came up with this month.   


Audax said...

WOWOWOWOW wonderful work and that photo (2nd last one) looks so professional and Cinnamon Chicken satay with harissa sauce sounds so delicious. Bravo on an excellent results. Cheers from Audax in Sydney Australia.

Wic said...

amazing looking food, I will have to give this a try at a day my family is away...more for me.

anjelikuh said...

mmm that cinnamon must give it an extra kick, sounds delicious!

Rose said...

Nicely done! What kind of grill do you have? That looks almost like a flat cook surface?!?! Everything looks delicious as always. Love the couscous ;)

Jenny said...

Cinnamon chicken satay with harissa sauce, that sounds so so yummy! I will definitely give this one a try, it sounds like yummy westernized Morrocan-Thai crossover.

teafactory said...

what beautiful photography, looks delicious!

cuppy said...

This whole meal sounds so tasty delicious, and the pictures allow it to pop off the screen - my husband's requested that I make it for him now.

I breathed this *huge* sigh of relief when you posted in the completed forum the first time. I was so happy that you adapted the challenge to something that you enjoyed already, and it really lifted my spirits to see you get into the challenge that way - "easy" or not. Thank you for such a lovely take on satay. ^_^

Monkeyshines in the Kitchen said...

Both of your satays sound and look delicious! I love the piquillo pepper sauce and harissa sauce.

climbhighak said...

You and my sister always rubbing in the temps of SoCal. I would rather shovel of foot of snow than drive the 5 during rush hour.

I like the Middle Eastern take on this dish.

Jo said...

Cinnamon satay! Though I've not heard of it, the flavours and ingredients plus sauce makes this really interesting. Great job and I love the end result. The pictures speak for itself.

Natashya KitchenPuppies said...

I love these flavours! Sounds totally delish. I have a huge jar of harissa in the fridge too - that's what I make out of my end of season hot peppers.

Lo said...

Nice call with the harissa! It's one of my favorite condiments -- and just perfect with satay. Looks delicious!

Isabelle said...

Your satay turned out great! It looks delicious. I will definitely try your cinnamon chicken satay and your harissa:)) Great job on this chalenge!

Lisa said... of the most creative satays in this challenge! Cinnmaon chicken with Harissa sauce sounds amazing,..and looks incredible. Great photos too!! Fantastic job as always!

Wolf said...


Huh. I'm going to have to try that.
Can't do the Harissa, the hubby hates bell peppers.}:(