Satay Chicken Curry
Chicken marinated in a homemade satay seasoning, simmered in a peanut satay sauce that is truly restaurant quality. This recipe is adapted from a Satay recipe by a Malaysian chef and the Satay Sauce from Chinta Ria, a popular Sydney Asian restaurant. See notes for more details! MARINATING TIME: 3 hrs - overnight ideal, but even 20 minutes is enough.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time45 mins
- 1 1/4 tsp coriander powder
- 1 1/4 tsp cumin powder
- 1 1/4 tsp tumeric powder
- 1 1/4 tsp paprika powder (any type, even smoked)
- 1 1/4 tsp chilli powder (Note 1)
- 3 tsp curry powder (I use Clives of India)
- 1 tsp salt (or 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt / sea salt flakes)
- 2 tsp white sugar
- 1.2 lb / 600g chicken thigh fillets , cut into bite size pieces (or chicken breast)
- 1/2 onion (brown, white or yellow), grated
- 2 tbsp oil , separated
- 3 - 6 birds eye chillies or other small hot red chillies , chopped (Note 2)
- 1/2 onion (brown, white or yellow), finely diced
- 4 garlic cloves , minced
- 1 cup / 250 ml chicken broth / stock
- 3/4 cup roasted unsalted peanuts , chopped, separated
- 2 tsp kecap manis (Note 3)
- 1 tsp dark soy sauce (Note 4)
- 14 oz /400g (1 can) coconut milk (preferably full fat but light will be ok)
- 2 tbsp peanut butter
- 1/2 cup / 125 ml water
- 3 kaffir lime leaves or 1 lemongrass , white part only, smashed to burst open (Note 5)
- 2 tbsp lime juice , to taste
- Peanuts , chopped
- Cilantro / coriander leaves
Combine Satay Seasoning ingredients in a small bowl.
Combine chicken with 3 TBSP SATAY SEASONING and onion in a bowl and marinate for at least 3 hours, preferably overnight. (Note 6)
Heat 1 tbsp oil in a non stick skillet over high heat (Note 7). Add chicken and cook until browned all over - don’t worry if it’s still raw inside. Transfer chicken to a bowl.
Turn heat down to medium high and heat 1 tbsp oil. Add chill, onion and garlic cloves. Saute until onion is translucent - around 2 minutes. Add remaining Satay Seasoning and cook for 1 minute.
Add chicken broth and 1/2 cup peanuts, then transfer all the mixture into a food processor or blender. Puree until pretty smooth - some peanut chunks can remain. Pour mixture back into the skillet.
Add remaining 1/4 cup peanuts, kecap manis, dark soy sauce, coconut milk, peanut butter and water. Stir to combine.
Crush kaffir lime leaf in hand a bit (to break leaf to release the flavour). Add kaffir lime leaf OR lemongrass and chicken to sauce. Bring to simmer, turn heat down to medium low and simmer for 15 minutes until thickened.
Add lime juice to taste. Serve with rice, garnished with peanuts and cilantro/coriander leaves.
Serve this with fresh slices of cucumber and tomato wedges, no dressing - very Asian, pairs great with rich mains like this.
1. This recipe calls for pure ground Chilli Powder. Please note that Chilli Powder in the US is not just pure ground chillis, it has other flavours which will change the flavour of the satay seasoning. You can substitute with cayenne pepper.
2. Use as much chilli as you think you can handle! I use 6 birds eye chillis (small red chillis, about the same heat as Thai red chillis) and it's a bit spicy, but not "blow your head off" spicy. Use 3 for mild heat. Remember there is quite a lot of sauce!
3. Kecap Manis (Ketjap Manis) is a dark sweet soy sauce with the consistency of syrup. It can be purchased in the soy sauce section of most supermarkets (Coles, Woolworths in Australia). Or you can make your own - it's so simple!
4. Dark soy sauce has a more intense day colour than all purpose soy sauce or light soy sauce. I use dark to deepen the colour of the satay sauce. You can substitute with all purpose or light soy sauce.
5. Kaffir lime leaves and/or lemongrass are the secret to peanut sauces that taste truly like what you get at (good) restaurants. When making a dipping sauce, it is usually sauted with the spices. To make a curry sauce, it works great to simmer it with the sauce to infuse the flavour into it. Most recipes use lemongrass, some use kaffir lime leaves. I like using kaffir lime leaves because I always have them in the freezer - fresh leaves freeze brilliantly. I stand firmly in my position that using either is great!
HOW TO PREPARE/USE:
- Kaffir Lime Leaves: Crush them gently in your hand to crack the leaf surfaces to release flavour, plonk them in the sauce to simmer, pull them out before serving (I usually don't bother, I just warn those I'm serving that if they get it, it's not edible)
- Lemongrass: Cut the top 3/4 reedy green part off and keep the white part at the bottom. Use the side of your knife or anything heavy to smash it to split it open to release flavours. Plonk it in to simmer, then take it out prior to serving.
6. Marinating: 3 hrs - overnight ideal, but even 20 minutes is enough because there is so much flavour packed into the seasoning!
7. Strongly recommend using non stick because of the chunky paste on the chicken.
8. The satay seasoning is adapted from this recipe from Christine's Chinese Recipes which is from a Malaysian chef (!!!) and the Satay Sauce is adapted from this Food Safari recipe by the very popular Chinta Ria restaurant in Sydney.
The key changes I made were:
i). Make one common seasoning (because the ingredients are very similar); and
ii) Converted the sauce into a curry sauce rather than dipping sauce, but keeping the flavour; and
iii) Change the Satay Sauce steps to avoid grinding the peanuts with a mortar and pestle a) for convenience; b) because the sauce for this recipe should be silkier than chunky satay peanut dipping sauces for satay on sticks; and c) because depending on the quality of the peanuts, sometimes it can make the sauce a bit gritty. Also because of the vast volume of the sauce compared to making a dipping sauce, I added a small amount of peanut butter to help create a thick smooth curry sauce as well as adding a touch of sweet rather than using sugar.