This week, we turned to our friends at Palmer’s in Darien for some summer entertaining inspiration. Cindy Palmer pairs two of her favorite recipes that work really well together for any summer fete, from casual get-togethers to more formal occasions. “The Sambal Chicken Skewers bring new flavors with its Asian spicy, sticky glaze. They’re easy to make in advance for a crowd or for a low-key family dinner outside by the grill,” says Cindy.“Pair that with our classic Spaghetti Salad, which has been passed down through several generations of the Palmer Family. It’s delicious and unique, but must be made with Durkee Sauce—there is no substitute. We also recommend you make this one day in advance so the dressing can set.”
SPAGHETTI SALAD (The “Old”)
1 lb. Spaghetti
½ Cucumber, chopped
1 Bunch Radishes, sliced
1 Bunch Green Onions, sliced
1½ tsp. Salt
1 tsp. Sugar
¾ tsp. Pepper
½ tsp. Celery Salt
1 Pinch of Oregano
4 Hard-cooked Eggs
⅔ Salad Dressing (see recipe)
2 Cups Mayo
⅔ Cup Sour Cream
½ Cup Milk or Half & Half
¼ Cup Durkee Sauce
1 tsp. Dijon Mustard
Break Spaghetti into quarters. Cook in water containing 1 T. Cooking Oil. Drain. Add remaining ingredients. Mix with Dressing. Cover & refrigerate overnight.
SAMBAL CHICKEN SKEWERS (The “New”)
– ½ cup (packed) Light Brown Sugar
– ½ cup Unseasoned Rice Vinegar
– ⅓ cup Hot Chili Paste (such as sambal oelek)
– ¼ cup Fish Sauce (nam pla or nuoc nam)
– ¼ cup Sriracha
– 2 tsp. finely grated peeled Ginger
– 1 ½ pound skinless, Boneless Chicken Thighs, cut into 1½–2 pieces
Special equipment: 8 bamboo skewers soaked in water for at least 1 hour
- Prepare grill for medium-high heat. Whisk brown sugar, vinegar, chili paste, fish sauce, Sriracha, and ginger in a large bowl. Add chicken and toss to coat. Thread 4 or 5 chicken pieces onto each skewer.
- Transfer marinade to a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until reduced by half (about 1 cup), 7–10 minutes.
- Grill chicken, turning and basting often with reduced marinade until cooked through 8-10 minutes.