So many years ago before satay came and went-well I guess it is still here but it isn't everywhere- I started making peanut sauce to go over grilled chicken. I served it with coconut rice and microwave pappadums and grilled pineapple at numerous summer dinner parties and most likely made key lime pie for dessert. Now I don't have numerous dinner parties, but back then people probably were getting tired of my peanut sauced chicken. I can tell you that they loved it; and they thought it was so gourmet. Whatever that means.
Well, now years later I can't find that recipe and I had to make a new one. It is good. And everyone still loves my peanut sauce, best that I can tell. It is rich and creamy and thick. It doesn't drip, but it does cling. (Boy for a minute I thought we were talking panty hose, but not many wear those anymore.) This sauce has a mellow coconut taste with a follow up of heat. It isn't too sweet but you can adjust that to your liking. Peanut sauce works well with chicken or seafood and is great for dunking veggies like green beans and carrots and cauliflower and peppers and pea pods. Yes, it is a perfect party sauce.
It is easy and quick to prepare, though you do need a few critical ingredients. Once you have those, (they keep awhile in the fridge and pantry), you'll be able to make this at the drop of a hat. I also buy frozen onion parathas from the Asian grocery that are great tossed on the grill with the chicken. It's hard to beat grilled bread and it helps to soak up extra peanut sauce, if you must. Just make sure your grill isn't higher than medium and oil it well enough so the parathas don't stick. Let them puff up on one side and then flip to let the other side puff. They are so good! Today I used my leftovers and spread peanut sauce on a cooked paratha. Then I took leftover grilled chicken and some raw cabbage shreds and made a great quesadilla. Just giving you a few ideas...
I also make coconut rice to serve with the grilled chicken breasts. I try to marinate the breasts if I have time. After they are cooked, I score them and then slather on the peanut sauce. Even if the peanut sauce is at room temperature, the heat from the chicken warms the peanut sauce and makes it nice and creamy. When cooking the rice I first saute 2 T of onion and then add the rice and saute that a few minutes. Then I add water and 1/4 c of coconut milk per 2 cups of liquid and a good pinch of salt to cook the rice. This makes great coconut rice.
A perfectly easy sauce = equals one perfect summer meal!
Peanut Sauce for chicken, seafood or veggies
Makes: about 2 cups
Time to prepare: About 15 minutes
1 T canola or peanut oil
2 cloves chopped garlic
1 heaping Tablespoon of Thai Kitchen red chili paste
1 can minus 1/4 c coconut milk (use the 1/4 c in your rice)
1/2 c peanut butter (I used chunky)
1 T hoisin sauce
1 t red chili garlic sauce
1 T soy sauce
1-2 T brown sugar
Heat oil over medium heat and saute the garlic. Stir in red chili paste and let that cook while stirring every few minutes. Add coconut milk and whisk to remove lumps of chili paste. Stir in peanut butter and whisk that, too. Add hoisin, soy, red chili garlic sauce and brown sugar to taste. Let cook on low a few minutes to blend the flavors. This will keep at room temperature while you re cooking your meal of choice. Slather on immediately when taking your choice of protein off the grill. This will help the sauce melt in.
My marinade for Peanut chicken: (this was enough for 4 boneless, skinless breasts)
1 T soy
1 t red chili
1 garlic clove minced
1 T mirin wine
1 T brown sugar
1 t red chili paste
Mix together and let marinate as long as you can!
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A Few Others To Try:
Royal Thai Cashew Chicken
Cantonese Steamed Chicken