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Old 06-20-2010, 08:31 PM   #1
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Marinating chicken satay

I'm having a party for the 4th of July, and I'm going with a melting pot theme. Corny, I know....but I'm trying to make a menu of samples from around the world.

One thing I want to try is chicken satay. Because I'm doing many dishes, I want to get as much done ahead of time as possible. So I was thinking that maybe I could skewer the chicken, freeze it on a sheet pan, then put it in a freezer bag. Then, the day before, thaw them in the fridge, and marinate them in the morning.

I'm a little unsure of whether this is a good idea, though. Will the skewers expand in the freezer? Will the chicken leach some off flavor from the skewers? I don't know....I honestly don't even use skewers much. I want to save time, but I don't want to sacrifice the chicken.

Also, I had some very dry satay recently, and it ruined it for me. I want the chicken to be juicy, and the best cure for dry chicken seems to be a brine. But the marinade has lots of soy sauce in it. Will that do the same job for me, or should I add more salt? Or, could I brine the chicken before skewering and freezing it?

I hope that's not too many questions! Any and all help will be appreciated.

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Old 06-20-2010, 08:48 PM   #2
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I don't see a problem with what you want to do. Don't worry about the skewers. They won't flavor the meat.

No need to brine, the marinade will do the trick. Very dry satay means it was overcooked.
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Old 06-21-2010, 12:10 PM   #3
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I agree with Andy about the skewers. No need to worry there. Brining would not hurt anything. I would brine first and then marinate after they are brined if you go that route. Like Andy said though, the dryness came from overcooking so if you keep a close eye on them as they cook then brine or no brine you will have juicy chicken. Good luck.
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Old 06-21-2010, 12:11 PM   #4
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KatyE, I think you should do it a different way as cut up chicken that's frozen will shrink when defrosted, so if you're using frozen chicken, I'd keep it 'whole', and cut it into pieces after it's defrosted.
Better still, IMO taste-wise, I'd do it with fresh chicken I'd cut up and marinate 3-4 hours just before putting them on a skewer and grilling the satie.
As Andy said, don't overcook it and it won't be dry or tough.
I know you're trying to save time by doing as much in advance as possible, but believe the way you're considering doing it would be counter-productive.
Good luck with your party, and hope you'll let us know how it went.
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Old 06-25-2010, 11:45 PM   #5
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Thanks

Thanks for your help. You all have different opinions, though! Oh well...my friends are used to me experimenting on them. I find that a large group makes for an excellent laboratory. Maybe I'll freeze/brine/only marinate/use fresh and see what turns out best. Or maybe not....
Anyway, thanks for the replies. I appreciate it!
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Old 07-19-2010, 08:00 PM   #6
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brine, always brine. It will help keep your meat from drying out if it is overcooked. Gives you a buffer.
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