Orange-Marinated Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce

After a recent trip to Southeast Asia, I came back bursting with inspiration and ideas. This super-easy chicken satay incorporates some of the tricks I learned abroad, including a peanut sauce that requires only a handful of ingredients but is nonetheless chock-full of flavor. You can use any cut of boneless chicken you prefer--strips of boneless skinless breasts or thighs work as well as the tenders.
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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 1 hr 40 min (includes soaking and chilling times)
  • Active: 10 min
  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings
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Marinade and Chicken:

Finely grated zest of 1 large navel orange

1/2 cup fresh orange juice

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons Japanese soy sauce

2 garlic cloves, shredded on a Microplane zester

2 pounds chicken tenders, trimmed of tendons and cut in half crosswise to make 24 pieces

Kosher salt, for seasoning

Nonstick cooking spray, if using a grill pan and oven

Peanut Sauce:

1/2 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth

1/4 cup hoisin sauce

1/4 cup smooth peanut butter

1/2 teaspoon sambal oelek or other Asian chili paste

1 garlic clove, shredded on a Microplane zester


Special equipment:
Twenty-four 4- to 6-inch bamboo skewers, soaked in water for at least 30 minutes and drained
  1. To marinate the chicken: Whisk all of the marinade ingredients together in a medium bowl. Put the chicken in a 1-gallon self-sealing plastic bag. Pour in the marinade, seal the bag, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 8 hours.
  2. To make the peanut sauce: Combine all the ingredients in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat, whisking almost constantly, until simmering, smooth, and thickened. Remove from the heat and cover to keep warm.
  3. Prepare an outdoor grill for direct cooking over medium heat (350 degrees F to 450 degrees F). Alternatively, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and heat a grill pan over high heat.
  4. Remove the chicken from the marinade. Thread each chicken strip on a skewer. Place the meaty parts of the skewers over direct medium heat with the skewer handles facing the cooler part of the grill; slip a folded strip of aluminum foil under the handles (see Cook's Note). Sprinkle with salt. Grill, with the lid closed, turning once, until browned and the chicken shows no sign of pink when pierced with the tip of a small knife, about 6 minutes. Alternatively, spray the grill pan with nonstick cooking spray. Add the skewers and cook until grill marks appear on the chicken, about 1 minute per side. Transfer the skewers to a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet and bake until the chicken is cooked through, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer the satays to a platter.
  5. Pour the peanut sauce into a serving bowl. Serve the satays with the peanut sauce for dipping.

Cook’s Note

Bamboo Skewers on the Grill: No matter how long you soak wooden skewers for grilling, they still tend to burn. Use this trick I learned from street vendors in Bangkok: First, prepare the fire so there is a cool area next to the hot cooking area. (This is easy to do on a gas grill, with one burner turned on and the adjacent burner turned off. With a charcoal grill, heap the coals in a mound in the center of the coal grate, leaving a cooler empty ring around the mound.) Arrange the meaty ends of the satays over the hot area, with the handles over the cool area. (With a charcoal grill, the satays will be in a circle.) Now, just slip double-thickness strips of aluminum foil under the handles to protect them from the heat. That's all there is to it.

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