Archive | March, 2012

Chicken Satay Skewers and Peanut Dipping Sauce

27 Mar

A few weeks ago we had a glimpse of spring T-shirt and short weather so the first thing I did was pull out the BBQ. I decided to make Chicken Satay Skewers based on this recipe from Eclectic Recipes.

I took pictures and had every intention of posting… and then completely forgot. Going through the photos on the camera I rediscovered them. And now that it’s the more March appropriate 50 degrees, I’m longing for our flirt with spring. So here’s the recipe to egg on more spring weather.

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Chicken Satay Skewers and Peanut Dipping Sauce

Ingredients

Marinade

  • 1 large boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut in 8 strips
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 2 teaspoons lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon curry paste
  • 1/4 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon fish sauce

Peanut Sauce

  • 1/4 cup coconut milk
  • 2 teaspoons lime juice
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon sweet chili sauce
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 8 bamboo skewers

Directions

Marinade:
  1. Combine 1/2 cup coconut milk, 2 teaspoons lime juice, 1 teaspoon curry paste, 1/4 teaspoon sesame oil and 1/4 teaspoon fish sauce in a large bowl. Mix well.
  2. Place cut up chicken in marinade. Then skewer the individual pieces chicken and place in on lined cookie sheet.  Marinate for 2 – 3 hours–or as long as you have time.
  • Marinade: The recipe originally wasn’t written very well to indicate a marinade. The first time I tried it I didn’t realize this, so I only had 30 minutes and it came out just as tasty.
  • Skewer Tip: skewer each piece with two skewers to that they are easier to turn.

Grill:

  1. Pre-heat grill.
  2. Place chicken on grill and cook until done, about 15 – 20 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the chicken breast has reached 165 degrees.
  3. Meanwhile, mix ingredients for peanut dipping sauce.
  4. Serve chicken with peanut dipping sauce.

I served as main dish with rice and salad. It was so delicious and easy that the next time we had a guest for dinner I made it again and it was a hit. Could also work well as appetizer or side.

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Mon Poulet Roti

17 Mar

For the most part, Northern Califoria has looked like this for the past couple days:

To boot I’ve been in and out of doctor’s appointments with painful swollen lymph nodes in my neck and a truck load of school work to do. What do I want to do in times like this? Cook! So last night on my way home I picked up a fryer chicken to roast. Now, this might seem oxymoronic, but the labeling of the chicken doesn’t stop me from doing with I want with it. Fryer chickens are generally smaller and more tender… which means I can roast it for about an hour and a half and it comes out perfect. Although it was a weeknight, this really was not that complicated of a dinner. Just come home, rinse chicken, salt, pop into oven. Do chores/homework for an hour and a half and bam! amazing home cooked comfort food dinner.

Now, I don’t always buy all organic and sustainable raised things. But I try. Yesterday I did my shopping at The Nugget, a locally owned grocery store that does provide affordable organic and local food. They also provide little recipe options in case you don’t know what you want. I knew I wanted roasted chicken and mashed potatoes, but I didn’t know what veggie. Basic green salad seemed to summery so when I saw their recipe for Braised Greens I thought it was a perfect compromise.

Although I considered this a very fancy meal, I was shocked at how little it cost! I decided to share:

CHICKEN
Rocky Whole Chicken (sustainably, humanely, raised without antibiotics) $5.71 ($1.5/lb)

POTATOES
Red Potatoes $.54 ($.50/lb)

SALAD
Sunflower Seeds $1.32
Organic Pumpkin seeds $1.15
Organic Mustard Greens $2.99
Organic Red Chard $1.99
Organic Mustard Green $2.99
Shallots $.92

TOTAL $17.61

Such a deal! Really, I was so impressed. There was enough food that this meal probably could have fed 5, really. I’m going to make soup with the left over chicken, and we have enough greens for about two more salads. Although there aren’t any more potatoes… not sure where they all went!

The mashed potatoes I made with no fuss during the last 20 minutes of the chicken roasting. The Braised Greens I made as soon as I took out the chicken and it was resting. The chicken, was TO DIE FOR!

I basically followed this “Favorite Simple Roast Chicken” from epicurious, with a couple deviations.

Mon Poulet Roti

Ingredients

  • One 2- to 3-pound farm-raised chicken
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions

Preheat the oven to 450°F. Rinse the chicken, then dry it very well with paper towels, inside and out. The less it steams, the drier the heat, the better.

Truss the bird. There are lots of videos on how to do this. As you can see from the pictures, I didn’t do it exactly right. But it didn’t matter. I just tied the legs together and it came out fine.

Salt and pepper the chicken. I basically ground fresh sea salt over the top of the chicken and rubbed it in. When it was done, the skin was crunchy and you could get little bits of the salt–heavenly.  Season to taste with pepper.

I used my chicken pot, but you could use any roasting pan. Then put it in the oven, and forget-a-bout it. Really. I left it alone. No butter, no basting. Nothing. 

I was using an old fashioned meat thermometer so every once and awhile, I’d just peak to check on it, but other than that, nothing.

My bird was about 3.5 lbs. So it was about 1.5 hours before it reached the FDA recommendation of 165 degrees. Make sure you check your bird is done. Then bring it out and let it sit–good idea to baste it now.

 

While the chicken was resting, I made the Braised Greens according to the Nugget recipe, carved up the chicken, and served! Well, I ate the wings and the butt (the best parts) before the chicken even got to the table, but Andrew didn’t even notice.  Amazing weeknight meal and completely satisfied my need for comfort food (and my wallet thanks to the Nugget!)