Chicken Satay – This easy to make grilled chicken recipe is bursting with Thai-inspired flavors! Perfectly tender and juicy Chicken Satay is served with the best creamy peanut sauce! Makes a great appetizer or dinner anytime!
If you’ve never made Chicken Satay at home you are in for a tasty surprise! This Chicken Satay recipe is so easy to make that I can guarantee you will no longer need Thai restaurant takeout!
One of the best things about this Chicken Satay recipe is that is always a crowd pleaser and definitely kid friendly! Seriously, who doesn’t enjoy chicken skewers dipped in a creamy sauce? It is absolutely the best, most fun food ever!
What Is Satay?
- Satay or Sate is a dish of marinated meat, skewered, grilled and served with a sauce.
- Satay originated in Indonesia and has become extremely popular in Southeast Asia. Countries like Thailand, Malaysia and the Philippines all have similar versions. If you live somewhere in North America, you can find it in many non-Asian restaurants usually served as an appetizer. If like me, you have worked as a caterer, you know satay is one of the most requested dishes at any event!
- Satay can be made with chicken, beef or pork.
Chicken Satay Ingredients
For this flavor packed grilled chicken recipe you will need skewers. You can use metal or wooden skewers however, if using wooden ones, make sure you soak them in cold water for about 20 – 30 minutes before grilling the chicken. Soaking prevents the wood from burning on the grill.
Although this Asian marinade is not the traditional one used for satay, the flavor this marinade imparts to the chicken is delicious.
- Chicken – I use boneless skinless chicken breast. Boneless chicken thighs are great for satay as well!
FOR THE ASIAN MARINADE:
- Garlic cloves – fresh garlic is best!
- Soy sauce – use tamari if on a gluten free diet.
- Sake – you can use rice wine vinegar or mirin instead. Read the tips and notes below for more information.
- Brown sugar – you can use coconut sugar
- Dried mustard – also known as mustard powder
- Sesame oil – roasted/toasted Asian sesame oil
- Lemon juice – freshly squeeze
- Ginger – fresh
Thai Peanut Sauce Ingredients
- Peanut Butter – I use creamy peanut butter.
- Coconut Milk – Full fat is best and produces the creamiest sauce.
- Red Curry Paste – You can adjust the spicy level by adding less or more than the recipe calls for.
- Fish Sauce – Pungent, stinky and oh so worth it!
- Garlic – Fresh is key!
- Onion – I like to finely dice the onion – almost minced it. This gives the sauce a smooth texture (non chunky!)
How To Make Satay
- Combine the Asian marinade ingredients in a large bowl or resealable bag (for easy clean up).
- Add the chicken to the marinade and toss to coat. Place the marinated chicken in the refrigerator and marinate for 30 minutes to up to 6 hours.
- If using wooden skewers, soak them in cold water for 20 to 30 minutes prior to grilling.
- Remove the chicken from the marinade and discard the marinade.
- Thread the chicken onto skewers.
- Preheat a grill or grill pan to medium high heat.
- Oil the grill grates or grill pan.
- Place the chicken skewers on the grill and cook for about 3-4 minutes on each side or until the chicken is cooked through and reaches an internal temperature of 160-165°F
- Cooking times vary depending on the thickness of the chicken.
- Remove the chicken skewers from the grill and let them rest for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.
How To Make Thai Peanut Sauce
- In a bowl mix all the dipping sauce ingredients together. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
Why Should I Marinate The Chicken Before Grilling?
- Marinating means more flavor! Although a marinade does not penetrates very deeply into the meat, it benefits and adds flavor to the surface of the protein. Think of it as a “spa treatment” for your meat or a nice “facial”.
- Depending on the ingredients used, a marinade also helps tenderize the meat.
- As for how long to marinade your protein, time varies depending on the type of marinade you use. If the marinade contains acid like citrus juice, you should not marinate the meat for any longer than 6 hours. Acid changes the protein structure and overtime can negatively alter the texture of the meat. Simply put your meat can turn mushy!
- Now let’s make this MARINATING business easy and simple to remember:
Marinating chicken for 30 minutes is good.
Marinating chicken for 4 hours is great.
Marinating chicken for more than 6 hours is OK if your marinade doesn’t contain acid.
Satay Recipe Tips
- Remove the chicken from the refrigerator 30 minutes before grilling to allow the chicken to come to room temperature. Part of this time can be used to thread the chicken pieces onto the skewers.
- Use this delicious satay recipe to make Beef Satay! Switch the chicken with 2 ½ pounds of flank steak, sliced across the grain on a bias into ¼-inch thick strips.
- Serve these Chicken Satay skewers as an appetizer or as dinner served with Jasmine Rice with Ginger and Lemongrass, crunchy Asian Slaw or with the Best Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes.
- If you are allergic to peanuts, try making the dipping sauce with almond butter!
- Always clean and oil your grill before cooking.
- If you like the sauce less spicy, reduce the amount of red curry paste.
Take A Look At These Other Thai Recipes:
- Thai Red Curry with Vegetables
- Thai Basil Chicken
- Easy Thai Tom Yum Soup
- Coconut Curry Soup with Shrimp
- Thai Larb Recipe
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Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce
- 2 ½ pounds boneless and skinless chicken breast sliced into 1 ½ inch strips
- In a large bowl or a large resealable plastic bag combine the marinade ingredients. Add the chicken to the marinade and toss to coat. Marinate in the refrigerator for 30 minutes or up to 6 hours.
- In a medium bowl, mix together the peanut butter, garlic, onions, red curry paste, fish sauce and coconut milk. Mix gently until well combined. Cover with plastic wrap and reserve until needed.
- If using wooden skewers, soak them in cold water for 20 to 30 minutes to prevent burning while grilling.
- Remove the chicken from the marinade and discard the marinade. Thread the chicken onto skewers.
- Preheat a grill or grill pan to medium high heat. Lightly oil the grill grates or grill pan. Place the skewers on the grill and cook for about 3-4 minutes on each side or until the chicken is cooked through and reaches an internal temperature of 160-165°F c
- Remove the chicken skewers from the grill and let them rest for 5 to 10 minutes before serving. Serve with the Peanut Sauce.
- Chicken breast can dry up quickly when cooked for too long. Keep a close eye on the chicken and use an instant read thermometer for accuracy.
- The recipe yields 1 cup of peanut sauce.
- Nutrition facts is only an estimate and will vary depending on the brands of ingredients used.