Infused with traditional Indonesian spices—lemongrass, garlic, ginger—these fragrant chicken skewers are adapted from a recipe that appeared in SAVEUR No. 138 (May 2011). Most recently, this recipe ran in our Jan/Feb 2014 SAVEUR 100 issue with the article 20 Years of SAVEUR: The World of Satay.
- 1⁄3 cup peanut oil
- 1⁄4 cup dark brown sugar
- 1 tbsp. ground coriander
- 2 1⁄2 tsp. ground turmeric
- 1 1⁄2 tsp. ground fennel
- 1 1⁄2 tsp. kosher salt
- 6 stalks lemongrass, trimmed and chopped, plus 1 stalk, whole
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled
- 3 large shallots, chopped
- 1 (5") piece ginger, sliced
- 3 1⁄2 lb. skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1"-wide, ¼"-thick slices
- 30 (8") bamboo skewers, soaked in water for 30 minutes
Purée 2 tbsp. oil, the sugar, coriander, turmeric, fennel, salt, chopped lemongrass, garlic, shallots, and ginger in a food processor until smooth. Transfer paste to a bowl and add chicken; toss to combine. Cover with plastic wrap; chill 4 hours. Trim the root end of the stalk of lemongrass and using a meat mallet, smash until it splits into threads resembling a brush; place "brush" end in a bowl and pour in remaining oil.
Heat a charcoal grill or set a gas grill to medium-high. (Alternatively, heat a grill pan over medium-high heat.) Thread 2 pieces of chicken onto each skewer; grill, turning once, and brushing often with oil using lemongrass brush, until charred, 5-6 minutes.