Any party host knows that food served on skewers is just plain fun. These
chicken satés are made from thigh meat, so they don't dry out during grilling,
and the palm sugar in the marinade helps get the meat nice and caramely brown.
1 1/2 lb skinless boneless chicken thighs, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch-wide
3/4 cup finely chopped shallots (about 3)
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tablespoon packed palm or dark brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons peanut or vegetable oil
2 tablespoons Asian fish sauce
1 tablespoon Chinese rice wine or sake
1/4 teaspoon salt
Special equipment: about 30 (6-inch)
wooden skewers, soaked in water 1 hour
Combine chicken with shallots, garlic, palm sugar, pepper, oil, fish sauce, rice
wine, and salt in a sealable plastic bag and turn to coat chicken, then squeeze
bag to eliminate as much air as possible and seal. Marinate chicken, chilled, at
least 12 hours but no longer than 24.
Thread each chicken strip lengthwise
onto a skewer, keeping strip as straight as possible. Discard any remaining
Prepare grill for cooking over
medium-hot charcoal (moderate heat for gas).
Grill skewers, turning over once,
until chicken is cooked through, about 4 minutes total.
• If you aren't able to grill outdoors, satés can be cooked in a hot lightly
oiled large (2 burner) well-seasoned ridged grill pan over moderately high heat.
• Chicken can be threaded onto skewers 1 day ahead and chilled, covered.
Makes 10 hors d'oeuvre servings.