Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Chicken Satay Tacos

These Thai meets Mexican tacos are inspired by the chicken satay tacos at Cucina Zapata, a local food truck that I believe got a nod on some food network show one time or another. These are definitely something different, especially since the curry flavor definitely comes through in the peanut sauce (something I don’t usually eat). This recipe could probably use some tweaking to make the components work together flawlessly, but the basic idea is certainly there.

Servings:  4
Total time: 1 hour

Pico de Gallo:
3 medium tomatoes (about 1 lb)
½ large cucumber (5.5 oz)
2 serranos
¼ cup cilantro
1 tbsp chopped fresh ginger
1 shallot, chopped
Lime juice

Chop everything into smallish pieces and add to a bowl. Let marinade and coalesce for at least half an hour in the fridge (covered), so the flavors can blend. You can also use a food processor to save you some time, or if you like a more liquid-y salsa.

Peanut Sauce:
5 oz unsalted roasted peanuts
4 cups coconut milk
2 tbsp red curry paste
2 tbsp sugar
3 tbsp lemon juice
3 tsp fish sauce
1 tsp cumin
½ tsp coriander
¼ tsp cayenne

Blend the peanuts into a fine meal. Reserve. Heat half of the coconut milk to a boil and stir in the red curry paste. Boil for 10 to 12 minutes, until the oil from the coconut milk has risen to the surface.

Lower the heat and add in the peanuts. Stir, and add in the rest of the coconut milk. Add the sugar, lemon juice, fish sauce, cumin coriander and cayenne. Bring to a boil, and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the oil is once again on the surface. The sauce should have the consistency of heavy cream. Let cool for half an hour. Stir to blend the oil that rises to the surface.

To Finish:
4 Chicken breasts (figure 1 breast for 2 tacos)
Salt and Pepper
Flour tortillas
Avocado slices (1 avocado for every 4 tacos)

Preheat oven to 420°F. Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper and roast for 30 to 35 minutes, until they reach an internal temperature of 165°F. Cut into bite-sized pieces.   Toss chicken with peanut sauce. Heat tortillas on hot skillet (no oil in the pan) for about 30 seconds per side. Add sauced chicken, pico de gallo, and avocado slices to finish.


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