usually feel that people fall into a love or hate category when it comes to peanut butter, the later being of rarity these days what with all the dreamy varieties and versions available. I embrace all that can be combined with it favouring the blackcurrant jam toast. However if you’ve not tried celery sticks dipped in peanut butter yet then you can thank me later for the introduction. Having mentioned the vast choice we now have for this delicious American spread, sadly I hate to admit that a cheap jar works wonders here. Save your fancy and expensive cashew, pecan and peanut blend for your sourdough toast at brunch y’all.
With no need to continue my expressive love of peanut butter, chicken satay is like a warm hug when wrapped comfortingly in the soft hand of a loveable flatbread with a crunchy, fresh salad. And this recipe really can be served in many ways as mentioned below. I prefer whole thighs rather than diced breast as they have far more flavour and texture. Served with a spoonful of the rich, spicy sauce, a zesty salad and some pillowey flatbreads. Alternatively, chop, coat and wrap the chicken and salad in the mits of a floury flatbread or flat wrap and dive in hands or face only. Use any combination of salad you like but whatever you do, coat liberally with lemon! It cuts through the rich and creamy peanut sauce welcomingly and essentially.
NOTE: If you haven’t tried making peanut butter before its really really simple provided you have a food processor! See here
Adapted from Nigel Slater.
- 4-8 chicken thighs, de-bonded (allow for 1-2 each depending on starter/main serving size)
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- Thumb ginger, grated
- 1 tbsp lemongrass paste
- 1 large red chilli, chopped finely
- 1-2 limes
- 125ml crunchy peanut butter
- 250ml water
- Bunch coriander, chopped
- Sunflower or light, flavourless oil.
Salad & Sides
- 1 cucumber, chopped into batons
- 4 little gems lettuce, leaves picked
- Handful radishes, sliced finely
- Bunch spring onions, sliced as preferred
- 1 lemon
- Handful coriander, chopped
- Flatbreads (homemade, see here)
- Preheat the oven to 190°C and begin with the chicken. Heat a hot frying pan with a tbsp of sunflower oil on a high heat. Fry the chicken skin side down until crispy and golden. Turn the thighs over and seal on the other side. Remove from the pan and place in a baking tray. Finish cooking in the oven for about 15-20 minutes while you make the sauce.
- Using the same pan, reduce the heat and soften the chopped onion for about 5 minutes. Add the ginger, garlic, chilli and lemongrass and fry for just a few minutes being careful not to burn it – the garlic in particular.
- Next add the peanut butter and stir well and continuously to combine with the aromats. Reduce the heat to a low and add half the water. Stir to combine.
- The sauce will bubble and thicken as you do this so add the rest of the water when needed, a whisk is useful here.
- Keep on a very low heat to warm through, adding a splash more water if you require a thinner consistency.
- Add the salad ingredients to a large bowl and squeeze over a generous squeeze of lemon and seasoning.
- By now the chicken should have finished cooking, remove from the oven and set aside to rest for a moment while you put the final touches to the sauce.
- Add the juice of 1 large lime. Taste – if it needs more to cut through the richness then add another squeeze. Add a handful of the coriander and stir to combine saving the remaining herbs for serving.
- Serving is up to you – I prefer to place the thighs gently in the sauce to ensure the skin you worked hard to crisp up remains crispy and then serve the whole dish on the table for people to help themselves from – thighs and sauce scattered with the leftover coriander. Alternatively, you can chop the chicken pieces into bite sized chucks and stir thoughout the sauce to coat entirely and serve in your flatbreads/lettuce leaves like a wrap.