How to Avoid Dry, Rubbery Chicken
At times, cooking chicken can be quite tricky. Undercooking chicken may increase the risk of salmonella (1), while overcooking it may result in a rubbery, dry texture. Two methods that can help you cook your chicken to perfection is by cutting it as evenly as possible and by using a digital food thermometer. Digital food thermometers are the go-to thermometer for cooking since they give a more accurate reading. Greater accuracy will help you cook your protein of choice to whatever doneness you prefer.
The Secret Marinade
As mentioned earlier, the secret to a good satay recipe lies in the marinade and the sauce. All the ingredients used to make them are paleo-approved and available in most grocery stores, so you shouldn’t have a problem putting this recipe together. Furthermore, the ingredients only contain a trace amount of carbohydrates which is ideal for those who are trying to shed excess fat, or those who are following a low-carb or Ketogenic Diet.
Properly marinating the chicken breast strips is crucial for achieving the burst of different flavors associated with satay recipes. It’s important to remove any excess skin and to pierce the meat with a fork before soaking to maximize the chicken’s absorption of the marinade. Usually, a minimum of 2 hours is sufficient for the chicken to absorb the flavors in the marinade but it can also marinate for as long as 2 days in the refrigerator. Chefs and experts prefer meat to marinade for a longer duration to ensure that it soaks up as much flavor as possible. Additionally, the acidity in the lemon juice will help soften up the chicken meat, resulting in tender flesh that is sealed in moisture.
The recipe for this satay sauce is slightly different from traditional satay sauces since it doesn’t include dry roasted peanuts. Instead, it makes use of tahini; a popular sauce in the middle eastern region. Tahini is made from toasted sesame seeds, which gives the sauce a stronger flavor. A tablespoon of lemon juice is included in the sauce to cut through the earthy flavor of the tahini. The last two major ingredients in the sauce, chili powder and coconut milk, are two contrasting flavor profiles that work well to combine all the ingredients together for a sauce that packs a unique, flavorful punch.
Chicken satay skewers are an excellent high-protein, low-carb, and moderate fat meal to provide the body with essential nutrients and much-needed energy to last you throughout the day. The fats present in the chicken skewers and sauce are good fats that the body needs in order to maintain healthy hormone levels and a strong immune system. The preferred choice of cooking the chicken satay skewers is on a grill but broiling them in the oven is an acceptable option as well.
PS. Here’s an amazing Thai spaghetti squash noodle recipe that will compliment the flavors of chicken satay skewers. You could also pair it with some cauliflower rice, which is a paleo alternative to rice grains.
- 1 ½ pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into ½'' stripes
- wooden skewers
- For marinade
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- ½ tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp turmeric
- ½ tsp chili powder
- 1 tbsp Coconut aminos
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- For sauce
- 3 tbsp tahini (sesame butter)
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 3 tbsp coconut milk
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- pinch of chili powder
- For serving (optional)
- 2 spring onions, sliced
- lemon wedges
- To make the marinade, place all the ingredients in a blender and process until smooth.
- Place the chicken in a shallow dish.
- Pour the marinade over the chicken and toss to coat.
- Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for minimum 30 minutes.
- To make the sauce, mix all the ingredients together until well combined and set aside.
- Thread chicken onto skewers. Preheat a grill pan over medium high heat.
- Lightly oil the grill pan with extra olive oil.
- Grill the chicken in batches for 2-3 minutes on each side.
- Sprinkle with spring onions and serve with sauce and lemon wedges.