Chinese New Year - Chicken Skewers and Spicy Satay Sauce

It's official - spring has arrived.  Although I wouldn't be packing away the woollies just yet, every day is drawing us nearer to sunshine and further away from the harsh winter we had to endure. I always feel that spring is well and truly here when I see the first daffodils peeping out through the soil. There is something genuinely amazing that these little bulbs, that appear fragile when planted, can hibernate in the ground only to reappear as a perfectly formed flower in the spring. Considering the amount of us that had to abide burst pipes, over the winter, it would make you think that nature is surely extraordinary.
The 3rd of February also sees the arrival of spring in the Chinese calender and more importantly it is the day they celebrate New Years Day. Chinese food has become an integral part of the way we cook in Ireland so to celebrate why not that the opportunity to try a delicious homemade Chinese dish. Chinese cuisine includes so many aromatic spices, varied textures and tempting sauces. Once upon a time one the only chance of an authentic Chinese dish was from the local takeaway however this has changed as specialised ingredients are now so easily accessible  in most supermarkets. 
This week's recipe ties in with the Chinese celebration-Chicken Skewers with a Spicy Satay Sauce-it is completely delicious as a main dish, a starter or even served as a canape, if you are entertaining guests. The chicken greatly benefits from marinating overnight however if you are caught short of time an hour or so would also be enough time for the chicken to avail of the wonderful flavours in the marinade. The Spicy Satay Sauce is far superior to any you could buy. Don't be deterred by the long list of ingredients as each one plays its part in making this a truly sensational sauce. I'm serving it as a dip for the skewers but it can also be used as a marinade for chicken-just add a little extra oil. This will easily keep in the fridge for a week.
Happy New Year and enjoy the celebrations.

Chicken Skewers with a Spicy Satay Sauce


4 chicken breast, cubed or in strips
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 small onion,finely chopped
2tbsp light soy sauce
1tbsp toasted sesame oil
1tbsp sugar
1tbsp coriander powder or whole coriander seeds crushed
1teasp smoked paprika
1tbsp red wine vinegar

To Cook
wooden skewers, soaked for 30 mins in cold water


1. Marinade the chicken with all the ingredients for at least an hour. 
 It is important to soak the wooden skewers in cold water for at least 30mins before using as this will stop the stick from burning when cooking the chicken.
2. Preheat the oven to 190°C/fan 170°C/Gas mark 5. Thread the chicken cubes onto the skewers.
3. Place on a baking tray and place in the oven for approx 12-15 mins or until the meat is cooked through.
4. Serve hot with the spicy satay sauce, noodles and a green salad.

Spicy Satay Sauce

This is an adaptation of Eric Treuille's recipe, which I picked up while on a barbecue course in Ballymaloe. 

250g peanut butter
2 garlic clove, crushed
1tbsp grated fresh ginger
1 tsp tabasco
4 tbsp soy sauce
3 tbsp runny honey

1 tbsp olive oil
juice of 1 lime
150mls coconut milk

1. Place all the ingredients in a food processor or blender and pulse until smooth.
2. Cover and let stand for 30 mins at room temp to allow flavours to blend.
3. Serve chilled or at room temperature.
This will easily keep for 1 week in the fridge.

This article was published in The Westmeath Independent on 2nd Feb 2011.


Brownieville Girl said...

Nessa that photo is amazing - I wish I could reach into the screen and grab one of those delicious skewers!!

Anonymous said...

Hi Nessa, only just came across your blog, am loving it & your 3 little helpers :) The satay skewers look amazing- must try them. can't wait to read some of your other posts :) Vick

Nessa Robins said...

Thanks for the compliments about the skewers, they are so delicious and unlike many of my dishes they are low in fat!!
I took a peep at your own blog Vick, it's great! I see you were at the cheffactor party-I too was suppose to be there but I had a class organised for that day, so unfortunately missed it:( I love Mossfield- Birr is quite near so I get my supply from the organic store there and it is so reasonably priced.
It's always great to find more Irish food blogs so I will keep an eye on your blog from now on!

Lilly Higgins said...

Gorgeous photo Nessa! I love peanuts so will definitely try the satay sauce, yum! Thanks x

Nessa Robins said...

Thanks a million, Lilly!! I'm really enjoying setting up the photos for the blog. The sauce is really good and keeps for ages in the fridge.

Ken McGuire said...

I think it's very possible that I could live on chicken satay skewers and nothing else. Absolutely divine. Too good :)

Nessa Robins said...

They're good alright! Try them out and let me know what you think.

Carol said...

Hi Nessa could you tell me should it be crunchy or smooth peanut butter for the sauce and dark or light soy sauce.
Thank you

Nessa Robins said...

Apologies, Carol, for my late response. I just found a folder of unopened comments, so apologies. Not that it will be much use to you now, but I would use either peanut butter and I would normally use the light soy sauce. All the best. Nessa x

Anonymous said...

Can i know what is the oven temperature for the chicken skewer? thanks!