Indonesian chicken sate

Sate or satay is possibly the world’s first barbecue. It is street food throughout the villages and cities of Indonesia, where it is believed to have originated, and is now on the menus of the trendiest restaurants and nicest parties in the United States.

This recipe works well for duck, pork, lamb and beef, but is especially nice for chicken breast. You may adjust the spiciness by adjusting the amount of chilies and curry powder.

You may also cook under a preheated broiler. Although the flavor isn’t quite the same, the dish is excellent.

Serve with peanut dipping sauce as an appetizer or as an entree with rice.

The marinade

1/4 cup dried unsweetened shredded coconut
3 tbsp vegetable oil
3 shallots, minced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tbsp natural chunky roasted peanut butter
1 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp Asian chili powder
salt to taste

Toast coconut in a small dry skillet over moderate heat until just golden, about 4 minutes.

Transfer to plate and reserve.

Heat oil in same skillet until hot but not smoking. Add shallots and garlic and cook, stirring until softened. Stir in peanut butter, coriander, and chili powder; and cook, stirring for 2 minutes more. Remove from heat and add the reserved coconut and salt to taste.

The chicken

1 large whole chicken breast (about 1 1/4 lbs.) skinned, boned, split, and cut crosswise into 1-inch strips.

In a deep dish just large enough to hold the chicken. Add chicken to the marinade and let stand at room temperature, turning occasionally, for 2 hours.

Peanut sauce

1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 shallot, minced
1 to 4 fresh or dried hot chilies, seeds discarded and the chilies finely chopped
1 tsp. hot or mild curry powder
1 clove, garlic, minced
1 cup water
1/2 cup natural chunky roasted peanut butter
2 tsp brown sugar
1 squeeze of lemon

Heat oil in small saucepan over moderate heat until hot but not smoking. Add shallot, chilies, curry powder, and garlic; and cook, stirring, until the shallot is lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Whisk in remaining ingredients and bring just to boil. Reduce heat, and cook, stirring, just until the sauce is thick and smooth, about 2 minutes. If sauce becomes too thick as it cools, thin with a bit of water.

Garnish with toasted coconut. Divide among about twelve, 12-inch skewers.