During a summer of the Coronavirus pandemic where there were so many restrictions on our movements and what we could do in order to stay healthy, it might seem strange to write about it in terms of FUN. As it turns out, the summer of 2020 will hold many fond memories for the relationships that were strengthened through times spent together in smaller, more intimate gatherings. While “back to basics” may seem trite, it truly was the case. With so much uncertainty, it would be easy to be overcome with anxiety and become depressed, so enjoying what we could do, playing golf at Hyannisport (and we played lots of it), helped to keep things in perspective and the beautiful surroundings were a reminder of the many blessings we have despite the circumstances.
While so many events had to be canceled or postponed, we were not about to let our friend Nell’s 60th birthday go unrecognized. Her birthday was not until November, but her days on the Cape were running out, so we planned to get together for cocktails at Darlene’s to toast the big day before she headed back to RIchmond and “real life”. What she didn’t know, was that Darlene, Lisa and I had contacted some additional friends and family and a proper Surprise Party was hatched. We kept it small, only including those in her golfing and personal “bubbles” and simple, champagne, canapes and cake from 5-7 pm. It was clear that everyone was ready for something to celebrate and it was the perfect way to close out what was an imperfectly fabulous summer.
Lisa made some killer Scallops Wrapped in Bacon and prepared a beautiful Charcuterie Board. I made Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce. Shrimp Cocktail from our local fish market and Smoked Blue Fish Pate from Fancy’s in Osterville, plus an adorable cake rounded out a simple, yet delicious menu.
CHICKEN SATAY with Peanut Sauce
- 6 Cloves of Garlic
- ¼ Cup chopped fresh Ginger about 3” piece
- ½ Cup Tahini Paste
- 2/3 Cup Peanut Butter smooth or chunky
- ½ Cup Soy Sauce or Tamari for gluten free
- ½ Cup Rice Wine Vinegar
- ¼ Cup Sesame Oil
- ¼ Cup Honey
- 1 Fresno or Jalapeno chili seeded
- ½ tsp freshly ground Black Pepper
- 1-2 tsp Hot Chili Oil
- 1 Cup Peanut Sauce
- 2 TBSP Fish Sauce
- 1/4 Cup Freshly squeezed Lime Juice
- 1 TBSP Sambal Oleek
- 6-8 Boneless, skinless Chicken Breast Halves, trimmed of fat and sinew.
- Place garlic, ginger and chili pepper in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Pulse several times until finely minced, scraping down the sides.
- Add all remaining ingredients, except chili oil, and process until smooth. Taste for spice and add 1-2 tsp chili oil if you prefer a bit more heat.
- Whisk all ingredients (except chicken) together.
- Pour sauce over chicken breasts, turning to coat, cover and allow to marinate 30 minutes at room temperature. Alternately, place in the refrigerator and allow to marinate several hours or overnight*.
- While chicken is marinating, prepare your gas or charcoal grill. (*Remove chicken from the refrigerator at least 30 minutes before grilling.)
- Grill chicken breasts over medium-high heat for 5-6 minutes, flip and reduce the heat to medium and continue cooking until cooked through, approximately 12-15 minutes total.
- Remove chicken from grill and cover with foil and allow to rest for at least 15 minutes until you are ready to serve (up to 2 hours).
- Slice chicken on the diagonal and thread onto 6" wooden skewers.
- Arrange on a platter and serve with Peanut Sauce on the side.
- The chicken will remain warm for up to 2 hours if covered tightly with foil.
- When grilling the chicken, do not touch it for 5 minutes, then check for a good char. It ready to turn when it pulls easily away from the grill grates and is not sticking.
- If your chicken breasts are quite large, then 6 is enough, if they are smaller, I suggest using 8.
- This chicken is also delicious to serve as a main dish with Thai Peanut Noodles.