Thursday, November 4, 2010

Chicken Satay Salad

The kids have been taken down by a nasty cold so I am keeping them out of the kitchen, but I will post a kids cook later in the week.  I had been planning on making chicken satay lettuce wraps for dinner, but due to sick grumpy kids and a change in our vegetable delivery I changed things up a little.  Satay is is a great meal to make with kids, there are a lot of things they can do and it is a fun meal to eat.  When I cook with the kids I typically have them do the cutting, but with satay I do the cutting and they get to do more of the actual cooking, so it is a meal they take a lot of pride in.  I know some people don't like the idea of kids handling raw chicken, but I think it is important to have kids do all types of jobs and learn the responsibilities, like washing well after handling, that go along with the various job.  I cut the chicken into strips, but let them flavor and skewer.  Not all kids love touching chicken, but my kids love slimy gooey things, and for them chicken is one of the best slimy things around so they will always jump at the chance to "play" with it.  Skewering is a great activity for kids, weather it is putting on a bunch of different items, or putting one long piece of chicken on a stick, it helps develop fine motor skills and dexterity.  Plus it only takes a few times of watching food fall off the stick before kids realize the importance of getting the stick through the center of the item.  I often put my oldest son, 5, in charge of making the peanut sauce.  I use a very simple kid friendly receipe, so kids are familiar with all the ingredients and can often do all the mise en place and measuring alone.  The sauce is not cooked making  it a great solo activity for young cooks. 
As I said my meal for last night changed slightly.  I had originally planned on doing wraps, with chicken skewers, but we got a bag of lettuce instead of a head of lettuce, so i went with a salad with chopped chicken,  instead of wraps, which was just as tasty.

Chicken Satay Salad
1 lb Boneless Chicken breast cut into strips
2 Tbs. of Ginger, finely chopped
1 Tbs. Garlic, finely chopped
1/4 cup Apple Juice
1/4 cup Peanut Butter (creamy or chunky)
3 Tbs. Soy Sauce
Dash Hot Sauce
1 Cup Shredded Carrots
1 Cucumber, peeled and julienned
1 Bag/Head of Lettuce


Heat pan with oil, add chicken, ginger and garlic.  Cook until chicken is cooked through, remove from pan, cool slightly and chop roughly.
For sauce heat apple juice slightly.  Add peanut butter and soy sauce.  Toss half of the sauce with the chopped chicken, use remaining sauce as dressing for salad. 
Combine carrots, cucumber and lettuce top with chicken and additional dressing if desired.