Juicy chicken thighs are marinated in an easy Thai-flavored marinade, then skewered and grilled until a little charred. And of course, don’t forget the spicy peanut sauce that you’ll be wanting to put on absolutely everything!
This is one of my Chicken recipes I know you’ll want to keep on hand!
If you’re stuck in a dinner rut and tired of the same old chicken recipes, then I have just the recipe for you!
This chicken satay recipe is packed with bold flavors; a little savory, a little sweet, a little spicy… it’s perfect!
If you have little ones, you can skip the Thai chiles as a garnish and/or reduce the amount of chili garlic sauce in the peanut sauce.
I found that just skipping the garnish was enough to make the chicken satay and sauce palatable for those that don’t like spicy foods, but everyone’s taste buds are different.
We like to serve this dish alongside some jasmine or basmati rice, and usually with a green vegetable.
How to make chicken satay with spicy peanut sauce?
This is just an overview; the full ingredients and directions are in the recipe card toward the bottom of this post.
- Marinate chicken. I like to do this for at least 2 hours, or up to 24 hours.
- Make peanut sauce.
- Make kebabs. Assemble the skewers any way you’d like.
- Grill. Grill outdoors, inside on a grill pan or griddle, or cook under your broiler.
If you’re using wooden skewers, make sure you soak them for at least 30 minutes before making the kebabs. This keeps the wood from turning to ash on the grill. In general, I prefer metal skewers, but by all means, work with what you have 🙂
Variations of this recipe
- Chicken breasts – I like using thighs for this recipe, since they stay plenty juicy, but if you prefer it, you can use boneless skinless chicken breasts.
- Peanut butter – I prefer to use a creamy natural peanut butter, such as Justin’s classic peanut butter, or Jif natural creamy peanut butter. These just have a better peanut flavor, and less sugars. You can use regular however, the sauce will just be a bit sweeter.
- Fruit – since there’s a bit of pineapple juice in the marinade, sometimes I like to skewer some pineapple chunks with the chicken. Not traditional, but tasty!
- Other cooking methods – if you don’t have a grill, or the weather just isn’t cooperating, these can be cooked in your oven as well.
I make zero claims when it comes to this recipe’s authenticity, this is just my way of making Chicken Satay, based on what’s readily available to me, and the flavors we enjoy.
It has a kick, but is by no means incredibly spicy. You can reduce the spiciness by omitting the Thai chiles from the garnish, and playing around with the amount of sriracha, red curry paste, and chili garlic sauce.
Absolutely! The marinade and sauce pair well with pork, as well as beef.
Making chicken satay ahead of time
Since the chicken has to marinate for at least 30 minutes, this is sort of a slight make-ahead recipe, but you can have the chicken marinating for up to 24 hours if you want to make it more in advance.
You could also assemble the skewers earlier in the day, add them to rimmed baking sheet, cover them with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until ready to grill.
I don’t recommend grilling them entirely ahead of time, as I think grilled food tastes best when it’s fresh off the grill.
This marinade also freezes well! Feel free to make the marinade in a freezer-safe bag, add the chicken and combine, then seal and freeze for up to 3 months.
Thaw in the refrigerator, then grill as directed.
Leftover chicken should be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container and eaten within 4-5 days.
Leftover sauce should also be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container and eaten within a week.
Metal skewers are great because you don’t have to soak them, they’re reusable, and this version has a push bar to effortlessly remove the meat or vegetables from the kebab!
Did you make this? Be sure to leave a review below and tag me @the_chunky_chef on Facebook and Instagram!
- 2 Tbsp pineapple juice
- 2 Tbsp dark soy sauce
- 2 Tbsp coconut milk from a can, shaken very well before opening
- 2 Tbsp packed light brown sugar
- 1/2 Tbsp fish sauce
- 1/2 Tbsp lime juice
- 2 tsp Thai red curry paste
- 1 tsp sriracha
- 3 cloves garlic grated or pressed through a garlic press
- 1 1/2 tsp fresh ginger grated
- 1/4 tsp dried basil
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1 1/2 – 2 lbs. boneless skinless chicken thighs trimmed of excess fat and sliced into 1 inch pieces
- 1/2 cup natural creamy peanut butter
- 1/3 cup coconut milk from a can, shaken very well before opening
- 2 Tbsp lime juice
- 1 1/2 Tbsp dark soy sauce
- 1 1/2 Tbsp fresh ginger grated
- 1 Tbsp packed light brown sugar
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1 tsp chili garlic sauce I usually use Huy Fong Foods brand
- 1 tsp Thai red curry paste
- chopped fresh cilantro
- sliced Thai chiles
- chopped peanuts
- If using bamboo skewers, soak them in water for at least 30 minutes. If using metal, no need to soak.
Marinate the chicken
- Add marinade ingredients, except chicken, to a large mixing bowl. Whisk well, then stir in chicken pieces. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, or up to overnight.
Make peanut sauce
- Add all peanut sauce ingredients to a small mixing bowl and whisk well to combine. Sauce should be thick, but still a pourable sauce. If sauce is too thick, add some warm water, a little at a time, whisking after each addition, until desired consistency is reached. Set aside.
- Thread marinated chicken pieces onto skewers and add the skewers to a wax paper lined baking sheet (for transport to the grill).
- Brush grill grates with vegetable oil and preheat grill over MED HIGH heat.
- When the grill is hot, add skewers to the grill, close the lid, and cook 8-10 minutes, flipping once or twice during cooking. Chicken should be golden brown with a little char, and be cooked through.
Garnish and serve
- Add cooked skewers to a platter, and sprinkle them with cilantro, Thai chiles and some chopped peanuts. Serve a bowl of the sauce, also topped with a little chopped peanuts and sliced chiles, so the skewers can be dipped in the sauce before eating. Sauce may also be drizzled over the skewers.
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- I recommend dark soy sauce, for both the bolder flavor and color. Regular light soy sauce can be used, but the color will be lighter.
- Be careful when using Thai chiles. They can vary a bit in heat level, but they can be up to 20x hotter than a jalapeno on the scoville scale. If you don’t like spicy, don’t use them as a garnish!
Cooking Chicken Satay Indoors (broiler)
Heat broiler to HIGH, then line a baking sheet (with a rim) with foil. Add kebabs and broil 10-15 minutes, turning every 4-5 minutes, until cooked through. This time may vary depending on your broiler and oven.
Cooking Chicken Satay Indoors (grill pan or griddle)
- Heat grill pan or griddle over MED HIGH heat and brush the pan with an oil that can stand high heats, like vegetable or avocado oil.
- Add kebabs and cook about 10-15 minutes, turning every few minutes, until all sides are a little charred and chicken is cooked through. The exact time may vary a bit, depending on the pan used and your stovetop.