Notes: Instead of spice paste, you can use 1/4 cup purchased Thai red curry paste mixed with 2 tablespoons water. And instead of fresh lemon grass stalks, you can mold chicken around 20 to 24 thin wood or metal skewers; if using wood, soak in water at least 30 minutes just before using. Up to 1 day ahead, shape satay, wrap airtight, and chill.
3/4 cup dried sweetened flaked coconut
1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons sliced fresh Thai or serrano chilies
In a food processor, whirl coconut, chilies, and 2 tablespoons hot water until finely ground.
Add spice paste, salt, pepper, and chicken; whirl until well mixed.
Trim root ends from lemon grass. Trim tops to make stalks 6 to 8 inches long. Remove coarse outer leaves.
Dipping hands in cool water often to reduce sticking, mound about 1/4 cup chicken mixture around thick end of each lemon grass stalk (or 2 tablespoons on one end of each soaked wood skewer). Gently squeeze chicken mixture around each stalk (or skewer) into a 4-inch log. Place chicken sticks in a single layer in a flat pan.
Lay chicken satay on a lightly oiled grill over hot coals or high heat on a gas grill (you can hold your hand at grill level only 2 to 3 seconds). Cook, turning as needed to brown evenly, 5 to 6 minutes. Serve hot or at room temperature.