September 8, 2011

Chicken Satay with Coconut Rice, Black Beans & Mango Salsa

Hi. Need ideas for dinner tonight? Okay then, make this chicken satay and serve it with coconut rice and maybe some black beans and a mango salsa. Or make a shopping list and buy all the ingredients you need for this dish on your way home from work tomorrow. Great way to end the work week, I'd say.

This chicken satay recipe comes from the Steamy Kitchen blog - a place I often go for reliable quick dinner ideas. I'm not sure where the coconut rice recipe came from. There was a lot of searching and editing and adding before I decided on this final combination of ingredients. The mango salsa is STUPID easy. The hardest part is probably picking mangoes of the correct ripeness/firmness - overly ripe mangoes will turn the salsa into slop (yuck!) and unripe mangoes will just make it sour. Anyway, the best solution is to buy some unripe mangoes and let them sit on your counter for a few days until they're perfect.

Would you like to know my secret for perfectly cooked beans in no time? They come in a can.

Chicken Satay
4-6 servings

2 pounds boneless chicken breast
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp grated ginger (or 1/4 tsp powdered ginger)
1 tsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp peanut butter
2 tsp sesame oil
bamboo skewers, soaked in water about 30 minutes
handful cilantro, chopped
1 lime, cut into wedges

Soak bamboo skewers in water about 30 minutes. Meanwhile...

In a large bowl, combine the garlic, ginger, vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, peanut butter and sesame oil. Whisk with a fork until all ingredients are well incorporated. Set aside.

Slice the chicken breasts into long, thin strips. Add to marinade, mix well and let marinate at least 30 minutes or overnight.

Make the coconut rice and mango salsa (recipes below) while the chicken marinates.

When chicken is done marinating, preheat the grill to medium-high heat. Thread the chicken strips onto the bamboo skewers. (Check out the Steamy Kitchen post for beautiful pictures illustrating how to cut and thread the chicken strips onto the bamboo skewers)

Grill the chicken about 4 minutes per side, depending on the thickness. Plate, squeeze some lime juice over top and sprinkle with cilantro.

Coconut Rice
4 servings

1 1/4 vegetable broth or plain water
1 cup coconut milk
1 cup basmati rice or other short grain rice
pinch of salt (optional)
pinch of sugar (optional)

Combine broth/water and coconut milk in a medium sauce pot. Whisk together. Bring to a boil over medium high heat

Add the rice, reduce heat to a simmer. Cover and let simmer 15-20 minutes or until all the liquid is absorbed and rice is tender. Stir every 4-5 minutes to prevent rice on bottom from burning.

If using plain water, add a pinch of salt (to your taste) to the rice while it simmers. Pinch of sugar may also be a good idea. The seasoning can also be adjusted once the rice is done cooking.

Cover & keep warm until ready to serve. Garnish with chopped cilantro.

Mango Salsa
2-3 servings

1 large ripe, but firm, mango, medium diced
1/4 red onion, finely diced
1/2 lime, juiced
cilantro, chopped
salt & pepper 

Mix everything, except the lime juice, together in a small bowl. Add a little bit of lime juice, taste, add more if needed. The salsa should be more sweet than sour. Let sit 5-10 minutes so all the flavors can meld. 

Dipping sauce ideas: 
1. Make a little extra marinade and set some aside for dipping before adding the chicken to the marinade. (WARNING: don't use the used marinade for dipping - never, ever!). Thin it out with a splash of water if you want and add some Sriracha sauce if you like things spicy. I do.
2. Mix some soy sauce with a squeeze of lime/lemon, sesame oil and (again) Sriracha. 

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