They Say It’s Your Birthday….

Right, the title of the post.

Perhaps a little explaination is required.

Well then, when I told my mother I was cooking chicken satays for a friend, her response was, “Why? Is it her birthday?”

And, in fact, for the past ten years, I’ve been cooking my mother a birthday dinner often featuring this dish. Or, more precisely, various iterations of it.

When she first asked me to make her an Asian inspired dish years ago, quite honestly, I didn’t know much about Asian cooking. The ingredients I knew were soy sauce and seasame oil. So, I took the the household cookbooks, cobbling something together with flavors that sounded like they would fit.

Then I tweaked and tweaked. And tweaked.

And, at last, I think I’ve got the recipe down.

The honey balances out the spice and the soy gives a much needed boost of salt. Tying it all together, I think, is the corriander. You don’t quite know what it is, but the flavor ties everything else together, making it a cohesive whole.

Even better, it’s the ultimate make-ahead dish. Since you can marinade it overnight and then bake it off in the oven, there’s no reason why you can’t enjoy your dinner with along with your guests.

Chicken Satays

This recipe is adapted to cook indoors, but it would be fantastic grilled. If you choose to go that route, once you’ve marinaded the chicken, put it on bamboo skewers and grill (or, if you’re indoors, use a grill pan). The cooking time will vary, based on the thickness of your chicken. Be sure to soak your skewers for at least 20 minutes before you use them so that they don’t burn.

1 1/2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into strips
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp sriracha
1 tsp honey
2 TBS sesame oil
3/8 cup light soy sauce
juice of 1 lemon and 1 lime (approx. 3 TBS total)

Mix all of the ingredients, except the chicken, together, whisking to form a well blended marinade. Once that’s complete, place your chicken in a container or vessel with a firm seal, such as a Ziplock quart sized bag. Pour your marinade over the chicken and shake to evenly coat.

Marinate for at least 1 hour. Ideally, you want to marinate it overnight to give the flavors time to meld.

Once you are ready to cook, either put the chicken strips on a baking tray in a preheated oven and cook for 15-20 minutes at 350 F, being careful not to overcook.


1 Comment

Filed under Meat

One response to “They Say It’s Your Birthday….

  1. robyn

    Can you make me green tea ice cream, mini hot pretzels, kosher half-sour pickles, that good arugula risotto, and cotton candy flavored rock candy for my birthday? I figure if I file my request about 9 months in advance it’ll give you enough time to prepare. (And if the answer is no, I can always get the truffle mac & cheese from Cafeteria.)

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