Golden charred chicken plus an ultra-creamy, peanut sauce make chicken satay one of the best – and most doable – fakeaway recipes around. All you need are a few cupboard staples for a twist on the Thai classic you can easily make at home.
Chicken satay always reminds me of my brother Hamish. Whenever we went to our favourite Thai restaurant growing up, he would light up with excitement when the chicken satay came out and it would be devoured in seconds. This version uses cupboard staples to recreate the classic favourite at home and honestly, it is an incredible imitation of what you’d pick up from your favourite restaurant.
Think ultra juicy, grilled chicken, gorgeously spiced and served with an absolute BEAUTY of a peanut satay sauce. The sauce truly is delicious enough to eat with a spoon but paired with the chicken? Seriously good.
I’m serving it with rice and quick pickled cucumber to bulk it out into a full meal – but you can skip the accompaniments and just make the chicken if you like. This is a great one to prep ahead of time too – you can marinate the chicken up to 24 hours before you want to cook it, and the peanut sauce will keep well in the fridge for 7 days.
It also makes a WONDERFUL party bite – use mini skewers and serve a big pile on a platter with the peanut sauce on the side for a crowd-pleasing snack.
It might look like there are a lot of ingredients that go into this recipe, but they’re all regular cupboard staples that shouldn’t be hard to find.
- Chicken thighs. I prefer using chicken thighs over chicken breasts here because they’re a juicier cut, but you can use breasts if you like. Always go for free-range for the best quality.
- Spices. You’ll need ground turmeric, cumin and coriander for the chicken marinade – skip the turmeric if you can’t find it.
- Coconut milk. We use this in both the chicken marinade and the satay sauce. I like to go for coconut milk with a high percentage of coconut extract and ideally limited stabilisers for the best flavour.
- Peanut butter. Good quality, natural peanut butter will give you the best flavour – brands with lots of additives and stabilizers won’t give you the best, strong peanut flavour and texture. I’m using smooth, but you could use chunky if you prefer.
- Soy sauce. You’ll use both dark and light soy sauce in this recipe – dark for the marinade and light for the peanut satay sauce. Light soy sauce is the one you’re most likely to already have in your kitchen, so you can use it in place of the dark in the marinade if you like.
- Sweet chilli jam. I love the depth of flavour this brings to the satay sauce, but you can use sweet chilli sauce or even honey instead if you like.
If you’re using wooden skewers, make sure you soak them in water for about 30 minutes before you use them. I tend to do this when the chicken is marinating. This is to stop the wood burning when you cook the skewered chicken.
How to make it
Mix your chicken through the marinade and let it sit for (ideally) at least 30 minutes. While it’s marinating, make your peanut satay sauce. That’s as simple as combining all the ingredients in a small pan and mixing until lovely and smooth.
Thread your chicken onto skewers and get ready to cook.
Cook the chicken skewers for five minutes on each side over high heat – we want those lovely charred bits all over so try not to move them around too much. Pile onto rice, drizzle with the satay sauce and serve with quick pickled cucumber and a wedge of lime on the side.
Got a question?
Make the peanut satay sauce ahead of time if you like – it will keep well for 7 days in the fridge in a covered container. You can marinate the chicken up to 24 hours in advance to maximise the flavour, then just cook it when you’re ready.
You’ll probably end up with extra satay sauce – this will keep well for at least 7 days, stored in the fridge in a covered container. Use it as a dipping sauce for spring rolls or meatballs, drizzle over grilled chicken or salmon, dollop it onto chicken poke bowls or salmon sushi bowls or use it as a salad dressing. Store any leftover cooked chicken in the fridge for 4 days.
You can easily skip the skewers if you like! Just cook the chicken pieces in the pan and serve as in the recipe below.
Yes! You’ll get the bonus of the lovely smoky, charred flavour that comes with cooking on a barbecue, so I love to cook the skewers that way whenever I can. Depending on the heat of your barbecue, the chicken may not need quite as long to cook – so check it and see how it’s going.
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Like this recipe? Here are more ideas with chicken you might enjoy
If you make this recipe, I’d love to hear from you! You can leave me a comment below.Print