Satay is commonly eaten across Asia and is traditionally used to marinate meat or vegetables before skewering and barbecuing over an open flame. If you make this recipe, you will never order satay chicken in a Thai restaurant ever again, as you might as well stay at home and make a better version yourself.
40g ginger, peeled
6 banana shallots, peeled
80g roasted peanuts
80g desiccated coconut
2 tbsp palm sugar
500ml coconut cream
1 large chicken, about 1.5kg
1. Chop 8 large dried red chillies in half with scissors, then soak in freshly boiled water for 20 minutes to soften. Drain and deseed.
2. Using a large pestle and mortar, pound the following ingredients, one at a time, until each begins to resemble a paste: the soaked chillies, ginger, 5 peeled garlic cloves, the shallots, the peanuts and finally the coconut, using a pinch of salt with each as an abrasive, if needed. Return all the ingredients to the mortar and pound together until they become one paste. This mixture will keep for a week or so in an airtight container in the fridge, or it can be frozen for up to 3 months.
3. Heat 6 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a large nonstick pan over a medium heat until hot. Add the paste and cook, using a spatula to scrape as it will stick to the pan. Continue to fry for 15-20 minutes until the paste darkens slightly. Add the palm sugar, reduce the heat to medium and continue to stir until the sugar caramelises. Add 2 tablespoons of fish sauce to deglaze any paste that has stuck to the pan. Remove from the heat, add the coconut cream and mix well, then set aside to cool.
4. Place the chicken in a tray and cover completely with the cooled satay paste. Cover and leave to marinate in the fridge for a minimum of 2 hours or, ideally, overnight.
5. Preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Place the marinated chicken, breast-side up, in a nonstick roasting tray, cover with foil, then roast on the middle shelf for 45 minutes to an hour, removing the foil for the final 10 minutes of cooking. The paste should be beginning to crisp a little and the chicken juices should be running into the paste. Test that the chicken is cooked by making an incision right the way through to the leg bone and check if there are any signs of blood. If there are, then return it to the oven for 5-10 minutes. For best results, insert a meat thermometer – it should give a reading of 75C when cooked. Set aside to rest for 5 minutes.
6. Carve the chicken at the table and serve with steamed jasmine rice.
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Our recipes are from Thai in 7 by Sebby Holmes, which is published by Hachette, price £17.99. To order a copy for £10.79 until 19 July go to whsmith.co.uk and enter the code YOUTHAI at the checkout. Book number: 9780857838346. For terms and conditions, see whsmith.co.uk/terms.