I have been to Hawaii twice. The first time I went to visit the man I was soon to marry. He proposed to me the first night I was there, and the next morning we went to visit his father, whom I had never met. Nick Senior took the two of us out to a celebratory breakfast, where we had scrambled eggs, fried spam, rice, and soy sauce – a total hodgepodge. I had never thought that eggs, Midwestern-made, totally Americanized meat in a can, and Asian accompaniments could meld together to form one meal. But it was pretty good. The second time I went to Hawaii I went there to live with my new husband for five months. We had an apartment in downtown Honolulu (culture shock enough for a small-town Midwestern girl), right next to Chinatown. Walking down the street, it felt like I was entering a foreign country. Well, lots of foreign countries. There were open-air Asian markets selling chicken legs, fresh fish, and fruits I had never even heard of, like lychee and rhambutan. There were shops selling Vietnamese bubble tea and coffee (both delicious, if you ever have the chance to try). And then there was a doner kebab stand, selling a Turkish culinary creation that is extremely popular in Germany. (Nick was ecstatic when we discovered this place – doner kebabs were his favorite meal when he lived in Germany.) And then there was a dive bar that reminded me of the Midwest, an Irish pub, some very happening clubs, and an amazing Indian restaurant. The only was I can describe the neighborhood was a hodgepodge.
I have attempted to create that same sort of Hawaiian feeling with this dish. I started with an Indonesian peanut sate as my inspiration (though I substituted almonds, since I do not eat legumes), a condiment which is popular throughout the Pacific. Then I added in a few of the tastes that remind me of Hawaii – coconut and pineapple – and used the sauce I created to top some home-grown Wisconsin chicken. It made for a tasty and eclectic dinner experience.
3-4 lbs chicken pieces (I used one whole cut-up chicken)
1 red onion, coarsely chopped
1 cup chopped pineapple
Indonesian Almond Satay Sauce:
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 minced shallots
2 tbsp minced ginger
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp tamari sauce or coconut aminos
1 tbsp lime juice
2/3 cup almond butter
1 cup coconut milk
Begin by preparing your satay sauce. Heat a large pan over medium heat. Add your preferred cooking oil (I used coconut), garlic, shallots, and ginger. Cook for a couple of minutes, stirring frequently, and then pour in the vinegar, honey, fish sauce, tamari, and lime. As this sauce begins to boil add the almond butter and coconut milk. Stir to incorporate, and continue cooking until you have a smooth sauce.
Pull the pan off of the heat and set about arranging your chicken in the bottom of a crock pot. Top with chopped onion and pineapple, and then evenly cover with the satay sauce. Cover and cook on low for about seven hours. (I used a slow cooker for convenience’s sake, but this recipe could work equally well in a covered pan in the oven.)
I am sharing this recipe at Friday Favorites, Fresh Bites Friday, Friday Potluck, Food Trip Friday, Foodie Friday, Feed Me, Tweet Me, Follow Me Home Friday, Foodie Friday, Savory Sunday, Fight Back Friday, and World Food Thursdays hosted by Helladelicious.