Satay chicken

This recipe surprised me. I never thought I would be able to recreate something like satay with relatively simple ingredients, but wow, this is delicious. The recipe is long, but the individual parts are simple. Pay close attention to the instructions to cook the chicken – the result is a beautiful browned skin and very juicy meat. Adapted from Yotam Ottolenghi.


For the chicken

  • 4 chicken legs
  • 2 T soy sauce
  • 2 T maple syrup
  • 3 T olive oil
  • 1.5 T lime juice
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges for serving3 limes – 1½ juiced, to get 1½ tbsp, the rest cut into wedges, to serve
  • 2 gem lettuces, leaves separated
  • ½ large cucumber, cut into thin batons
  • parchment paper
  • salt

For the satay sauce

  • 90 g crunchy peanut butter
  • 2.5 T soy sauce
  • 2.5 T maple syrup
  • 2 small red chillies, finely chopped (pith and seeds removed if you prefer less heat)
  • 1 small garlic clove, crushed
  • zest of 1 lime
  • 2 tsp lime juice

For the sambal

  • 1 banana shallot, peeled and finely chopped, then washed with water
  • 1 red chilli, finely chopped (pith and seeds removed if you prefer less heat)
  • 1 lemongrass stick, papery outer layer discarded, very finely chopped
  • ½ t caster sugar
  • 1 T fresh lime juice


  1. Put the chicken legs in a large bowl with the soy sauce, maple syrup, 2 T of oil, lime juice, and 1/2 t of salt. Set aside to marinate for an hour.
  2. Heat the oven to 425 F. Tip out the contents of the chicken bowl on to a large baking tray lined with parchment paper.
  3. Arrange the chicken skin side up and pat the skin dry.
  4. Pour over the remaining T of oil, then roast for 40-45 minutes, until the juices run clear and the skin is crisp.
  5. Meanwhile, in a bowl, whisk all the satay sauce ingredients with 1.5 T of water, until smooth.
  6. In another bowl, mix all the sambal ingredients with 1/2 t salt.
  7. Transfer the chicken and all the liquid from the tray to a large platter. Arrange the lettuce, cucumber, sambal, lime wedges and the bowl of satay sauce alongside, and serve.

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