Thai-style chicken skewers

  • For the chicken
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (about 110g each)
  • 2 tsp Asian chilli paste, such as sambal oelek
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 spring onions
  • 1/4 red pepper, cut into long thin strips
  • 1/4 yellow pepper, cut into long thin strips
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil, like soy or groundnut
  • 2 tbsp chopped toasted peanuts
  • For the dipping sauce
  • 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 2 tbsp southeast asian fish sauce
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1/2 tsp asian chilli paste, such as sambal oelek
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh mint or coriander
  • Special equipment: bamboo skewers
For the chicken:
1) Pound each chicken breast between 2 lightly oiled sheets of baking paper or waxed paper into a 10 by 10cm by 0.3cm thick.

2) Lay a piece of chicken smooth-side down on the work surface. Spread 1/2 teaspoon of the chilli paste over the surface and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Trim and halve the spring onions lengthwise. Lay them side-by-side across the lower third of the chicken, so there is white and greens at both ends. Top with 2 or 3 pieces of the red and yellow peppers. Roll the chicken around the vegetables into a tight cylinder. Thread a wooden skewer through the seam of the roll to seal. Repeat with the remaining chicken and vegetables to make 4 rolls. These can be made up to 24 hours ahead and refrigerated.

3) Preheat the oven to 220C/Gas 7.

4) Heat the oil in an oven-proof nonstick pan over high heat. Season the rolls with salt and pepper, to taste. Lay the rolls, seam side down, in the pan, and cook, turning occasionally, until browned, about 2 minutes.

5) Transfer the pan to the oven, and cook until the chicken is cooked through, about 5 minutes more.

For the assembly:
1) Carefully remove the skewers, taking care to keep the rolls intact. Cut across the rolls to make round pieces about 2cm thick, and thread onto skewers.

2) Transfer to a platter, sprinkle with peanuts and serve with the dipping sauce.

For the dipping sauce:
1) Combine the lime juice, fish sauce, water, chilli paste, honey, mint and coriander in a small bowl and set aside.

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