I had some trouble finding lemongrass when I first started making this recipe. Some grocery stores sell fresh lemongrass, but if you can't find it there, head to an Asian grocer. They will be sure to stock it. You can buy lemongrass both fresh and frozen, but the frozen stuff I discovered was full of all kinds of unpronounceable ingredients, so I think fresh is best. If I buy too much, I always throw the extra into a bag and freeze it. Here is a great link on how to prepare lemongrass.
We often serve this chicken with brown coconut rice.
Thai Chicken Satay
From http://thaifood.about.com/od/thairecipes/r/thaichickensate.htm (with slight changes)
1 package wooden skewers (metal skewers work too)
8-12 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into strips
1/4 cup fresh or frozen lemongrass
2 shallots or 1 small onion, sliced
3 cloves garlic
1 thumb-size piece of ginger, thinly sliced
1/2 tsp dried turmeric
1 Tbsp ground coriander
2 tsp cumin
3 Tbsp soy sauce
4 Tbsp fish sauce
5-6 Tbsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp lime juice
If using wooden skewers, soak them in water while you prepare the meat (to prevent burning). Cut chicken into thin strips and place in a bowl.
Place all marinade ingredients in a food processor or chopper. Process well. Taste-test the marinade. The strongest tastes should be SWEET and SALTY in order for the finished satay to taste its best. Add more sugar or more fish sauce (in place of salt) to adjust the taste. You can also add some cayenne pepper if you want it spicier.
Pour the marinade over the meat and stir well to combine. Allow at least 1 hour for marinating, or longer (up to 24 hours). When ready to cook, thread meat onto the skewers. Tip: Fill up to 3/4 of the skewer, leaving the lower half empty so that the person grilling has a "handle" to easily turn the satay during cooking.
Grill the satay on your BBQ, OR on an indoor grill, basting the first time you time it with a little of the leftover marinade from the bottom of the bowl. OR you can broil in the oven on a broiling pan or baking sheet with the oven set to "broil" Place satay close beneath the heating element and turn the meat every 5 minutes until cooked (be sure to soak your wooden satay sticks in water before skewering). Depending on how thin your meat is, the satay should cook in 10 to 20 minutes.
1 cup fresh-tasting dry roasted peanuts, unsalted
1/3 cup water
1-2 cloves garlic
1/2 tsp dark soy sauce
2 tsp sesame oil
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1-2 Tbsp fish sauce - adjust to taste
1/2 Tbsp lime juice
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper*
1/3 cup coconut milk
Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor. Blend or process until sauce is smooth. If you prefer a runnier peanut sauce, add a little more water or coconut milk.
Do a taste test, adding more fish sauce (or soy sauce) if not salty enough, or more cayenne if not spicy enough. If too salty, add a squeeze of fresh lime juice. If you'd prefer it sweeter, add a little more sugar.
Note: This sauce tends to thicken as it sits - just add a little water or coconut milk to thin it out, as needed. Otherwise it stores well if kept covered in the refrigerator (keep up to 2 weeks; freeze thereafter).
*For my kids, I use only a pinch of cayenne. My own preference is 1/4 tsp, but my husband likes the full amount.