Easy and Delicious Chicken Sosaties Recipe- Afrikaans Skewered Meat Dish, South African and Namibian Shish Kebabs, Without Apricots

My friend Izel is from Namibia, a country that I really wasn't familiar with at all, but soon learned that it used to be part of South Africa, called South West Africa, until its independence. Its filled with similar types of people that live in South Africa, with a lot of Afrikaaners, and the Namibian dishes that my friend Izel talked about are also traditional South African foods among the Afrikaaners (and others). I'd wanted to try to make my kids South African foods, because of their South African heritage, but didn't know of many. However, most foods my friend Izel talks about are foods I can't eat, because they are gluten or dairy or eggs or a combination of all three (milktert I'm looking at you) or foods that I can't buy locally, like springbok.

From my friend, though, I learned about a South African and Namibian dish, a skewered meat dish, called sosaties, from the word sate, skewered meat, and saus, spicy sauce. This dish was brought to the Afrikaaners (the descendants of the Dutch Settlers in South Africa) by the Cape Malay ethnic group who were of various Asian descent, and while its usually made with lamb, it can be made with any meat. Other common ingredients are dried apricots, peppers, and onions.

Chicken is the cheapest meat I can get, so I decided to make those, and I didn't have apricots or apricot jam like many recipes I saw called for, so I was happy when the recipe I got from Izel didn't have any of that, just with various ingredients and spices I already had in my house. Because I have some kids that hate cooked peppers and other kids hate cooked onions, I decided to make them separately, some with just peppers, some with just onions, and some with both. By stretching them with peppers and onions, this recipe was able to make 14 or 15 sosaties with just one package of chicken breast. It was a big hit with my family, and a great way to make fancier food on a budget. (I mean, at least in my opinion, food on skewers just seems so much fancier than food off a skewer.)
I told my kids that these are South African shish kebabs, which is kind of silly, because so many cultures around the world have skewered meat recipes, but still these things are known by their Turkish name. This post has actually inspired me to make a series of posts on skewered meat dishes from around the world, because my family loves them so much, and so do many other people.
While you can cook these by pan frying them, roasting them, or cooking on a grill pan, I did this the more traditional way and made them on a barbecue, or as its known in South Africa and Namibia, a braai.

This recipe, as written, is gluten free, paleo, and allergy friendly. If you're vegan, you can probably do something similar to this by using firm tofu cubes instead of the chicken breast, and another sweetener instead of the honey.

Easy and Delicious Chicken Sosaties Recipe- Afrikaans Skewered Meat Dish, South African and Namibian Shish Kebabs, Without Apricots

1 package, approximately 2 lbs, chicken breast
1/2 cup lemon juice
2 tablespoons oil
2 tablespoons honey or other sweetener
1-2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon ground coriander
2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Black pepper or red pepper flakes to taste
1-2 bell peppers
1-2 onions

1. Mix all the ingredients for the sauce together, and add hot pepper to taste.

2. Cut your chicken breast into cubes (my package already came sliced into cutlets, so I cut them into squares or rectangles (to fold over on the skewers if they were really thin). Cut onions and peppers into squares.

3. Put everything in the sauce, mix it well, and let marinate for at least two hours, but ideally even overnight.

4. If using bamboo skewers, soak them in water for at least half an hour before putting the meat on them, to stop them from burning.

5. Once marinated, put the meat, peppers, and onions on skewers, alternating them as desired to give it a varied effect.

6. Cook on the grill, in a frying pan, or in the oven until the meat cubes are fully cooked. I can't give an exact time because this really depends on the heat you're using and the method of cooking, but separate the meat and the peppers/onions to make sure that the meat is cooked even where they touch.


Have you ever heard of sosaties before, or eaten any Afrikaans or South African or Namibian food? If you've made them before, and if so, how did you make them? Does this look like a recipe you'd try?

Penniless Parenting

Mommy, wife, writer, baker, chef, crafter, sewer, teacher, babysitter, cleaning lady, penny pincher, frugal gal

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