At sixteen I inherited some money, and promptly spent it on Andy Warhol’s Wicked Witch from the myth series. I had no inkling that a few years later this girl from Iowa would be rubbing shoulders with my favorite artist – regularly dining at Mr. Chows before dancing the night away at Palladium or Area together.

Celebrating Andy’s 58th birthday at Mr. Chows in New York
Nick met and struck up a close friendship with Andy in the early days of Duran Duran (before they had hit the big time in America), so the first thing Nick would do whenever he hit New York was call Andy.
Andy Warhol, Nick Rhodes, John Taylor, and Roger Taylor
When my father bought me this Nan Golden photograph of Andy taking the photograph that would eventually become my silkscreen, he had no idea of the Debbie Harry significance.
Margaret Hamiltion, Deborah Harry, and Andy Warhol
The Wicked Witch I bought when I was sixteen

Duran Duran were opening for Blondie on tour when Nick and I first met, and Nick flew me to New York for the end of tour party at Debbie’s house. We were accompanied by the iconic artist who Nick had taken me to meet for the first time earlier that day.
Our engagement announcement in Interview Magazine

Andy took us under his wing and made sure New York became one of our favorite destinations. The world according to Andy was filled with interesting people that consisted of one glamorous event after another, forever wearing his south sea pearls under his uniform black turtleneck. He told me that the natural skin oils are good for the pearls, but I think he wore them more because they made him feel elegant. His monosyllabic statements kept you constantly guessing whether he was genuinely normal and just pretending to be eccentric, or truly there. We didn’t care. He was fabulous and we loved him dearly. I can’t help missing him as I fly to New York today.
Andy at the factory

To be honest, I haven’t had the heart to step foot into Mr. Chow’s in New York since Andy, Tina, Keith, and Jean Michel all passed away. Maybe I will finally overcome that fear of feeling like I’m in a ghost town and toast them all this trip. The satay there has always been my favorite, however, it is not exactly the healthiest version. The chicken is deep fried, and the sauce is made with heavy cream.
With Nick in front of our Warhol-Basquiat collaboration

I wanted to try making a lighter version, more akin to the Thai philosophy of marinating the chicken to maintain it’s moisture, then grilling. Next I set about making a healthier version of the peanut sauce with a similar flavor. While coconut milk is not a low calorie option (it is meant to be an appetizer, not the main event), it is much more heart healthy choice. Although it contains saturated fat, it also contains lauric acid which works to keep arteries clean, helps lower both blood pressure and blood sugar, and it’s a good source of minerals and vitamins that boost bone and dental health. A perfect dairy-free substitute.

Chicken Satay
Don’t let all the ingredients scare you. It is very easy to make. The great thing about this recipe is that you can taste as you go along, and alter slightly to suit your specific taste. If you don’t care for spicy? Cut back on the Srirracha sauce. Prefer a less sweet flavor? Use less coconut sugar. If you can’t find an ingredient, others are easily substituted, or you can omit some of the spices without losing the complete integrity of the dish – just a little of the complexity.

Servings: 4

Ingredients:

Chicken

  • ·1 pound chicken tenders
  • ·1 cup plain yogurt
  • ·2 tablespoons fresh Thai basil or cilantro
  • ·2 lemon grass stalks, peeled and cut into 2 inch pieces
  • ·1 tablespoon curry powder
  • ·1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • ·2 Kafir lime leaves or 2 teaspoons lime zest
  • ·1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
  • ·2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ·2 Thai chiles, membrane and seeds removed, optional
  • ·20 wooden skewers, soaked in water for at least 20 minutes

Peanut sauce

  • ·1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk
  • ·3 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
  • ·2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • ·1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • ·2 tablespoon coconut sugar or dark brown sugar
  • ·1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • ·2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • ·1 teaspoon of fresh ginger, minced
  • ·1 teaspoon curry powder
  • ·1/2 teaspoon Sriracha chili sauce or 1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes, plus more if a spicier sauce is desired
  • ·1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • ·1/2 teaspoon tumeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Directions:

Chicken

1). Whisk together all marinade ingredients. Add chicken tenders, toss well to coat, cover, and refrigerate for a minimum of 2 hours to overnight.

2). Prepare a hot grill or preheat broiler.Remove chicken tenders, shake off excess marinade and thread each tender onto individual soaked wooden skewers.

3). Grill or broil chicken skewers for 2-3 minutes per side, until just cooked through. Serve hot or at room temperature drizzled with peanut sauce and more for dipping.

Peanut sauce

1). Add all ingredients to a food processor, and process until well combined.

Serving Suggestions: This is usually eaten on its own, straight off of the skewer, but here I served it with the Thai cucumber salad from my Jewels Turkey Jasmine Burgers. The flavors go great together.

Variations: Try making this recipe with sliced flank steak, pork, or shrimp instead of (or in addition to) the chicken.

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