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
Inspired by Cinnamon-Roasted Chicken with Harissa
1/2 cup olive oil2 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.
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!