Grilled Chicken Satay
No amount of peanut sauce can save chalky, overcooked chicken. Here's the right way to make satay.
Why This Recipe Works
For an at-home version of chicken satay that replaced the usual dry, chalky chicken with deeply seasoned, lightly charred, juicy meat, we marinated the traditional choice of boneless, skinless chicken breasts in a mixture that added both flavor and moisture to the meat. To the classic base of fish sauce, sugar, and scallions, we added curry powder, spicy Sriracha sauce, creamy coconut milk, and fragrant, cooling fresh cilantro. We avoided using lime juice in the marinade, as the acid would have “cooked” the delicate breast meat, making it mealy. To protect the meat from drying out before we could char it, we bunched up the chicken strips on the skewers, insulating a good portion of the meat from the direct heat of the grill. For the classic spicy-sweet peanut sauce, we blended peanut butter, sugar, lime juice, fish sauce, garlic, scallions, cilantro, and Sriracha sauce and added a bit of coconut milk to thin it to the right consistency. Just a touch of curry powder echoed the spice in the marinade.