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Juicy Chicken Satay with Creamy Peanut Sauce

Oct 16, 2023 | 0 comments

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 skewers on rice with cucumber slices on the side, with a small bowl of satay peanut sauce behind.

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 help you recreate the classic 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. Or, stuff it into fluffy bao buns!

Ingredients

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?

Can I make the chicken satay in advance?

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.

How long can I store any leftovers?

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.

Do I have to make chicken skewers?

You can easily skip the skewers if you like! Just cook the chicken pieces in the pan and serve as in the recipe below.

Can I cook the chicken on the BBQ?

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

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Chicken satay skewers on rice with cucumber slices on the side, with a small bowl of satay peanut sauce behind.

Juicy Chicken Satay with Creamy Peanut Sauce


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  • Author: Kate Phillips
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x

Description

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. Serve with rice and quick pickled cucumber to make it a meal.

If you’re using wooden skewers, soak them in water for 30 minutes before using them, to prevent them from burning in the pan. You can do this as the chicken marinates and you’re prepping the other elements.


Ingredients

Units Scale

For the chicken –

  • 500g/1lb boneless, skinless free-range chicken thighs
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated (or use 2 teaspoons ground ginger)
  • 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce (use light soy sauce if you don’t have dark)
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 can coconut milk (from 400g/14oz can)
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

For the satay sauce –

  • 1/2 cup natural, unsweetened peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sweet chilli jam
  • 1 teaspoon chilli flakes
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1/2 can coconut milk (from 400g/14oz can)

To serve (optional) – 

  • 1 cup white rice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons roasted peanuts
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • Handful of cilantro (coriander) leaves
  • Lime wedges

Instructions

  1. Marinate the chicken. Slice the chicken into large chunks then add to a mixing bowl or container. Add the crushed garlic, ginger, 1 tablespoon of dark soy sauce, 1 tablespoon of fish sauce, 1 teaspoon each of turmeric, cumin and coriander, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 of your can of coconut milk. Mix well to combine and coat the chicken pieces evenly, then cover and set aside. You can marinate the chicken up to 24 hours in advance if you like. 
  2. Cook your rice. Add 1 cup of rice to a saucepan you have a lid for, along with 1 1/2 cups of water and 1 teaspoon of salt. Turn the heat to high, then when you see foamy bubbles on top of the water, pop the lid on the pan, turn the heat right down and leave it there for 12 minutes. After this time, remove the pot from the heat but keep the lid on until you’re ready to serve. PRO TIP: If you don’t have a lid, use a wooden board, large plate or aluminium foil.
  3. Make the satay sauce. Add the peanut butter, soy sauce, fish sauce, chili jam, chili flakes and lime juice to a saucepan. Use a fork to mix together well. It’ll look like it won’t come together, but it will! Once you’ve got a thick paste, pour in the rest of your can of coconut milk and stir to combine into a cohesive sauce. Keep stirring it over low heat, without bringing it to the boil, for 2 minutes. Set aside.
  4. Make your quick pickled cucumber (optional). Slice your cucumber into thin rounds, then add to a bowl with a pinch of salt and 1 tablespoon of rice vinegar. Toss to combine well, then set aside. 
  5. Cook the chicken. Thread the marinated chicken thighs onto your skewers – I like to fold the chicken over itself to thread it on. Heat 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil in a large pan over medium-high heat then add the skewers. Cook for 5 minutes on each side, until super golden and charred. The chicken is cooked when it’s white on the inside (cut into a piece and check if you’re worried). 
  6. Garnish and serve. Divide your rice between plates, then top with the chicken skewers. Add some of the pickled cucumber slices, then drizzle a little of the peanut satay sauce over the chicken. Top with the crushed roasted peanuts and cilantro leaves. Serve with the lime wedges and the rest of the sauce on the side.

Notes

STORAGE INSTRUCTIONS: The peanut sauce will keep well for 7 days, stored in the fridge. Once cooked, the chicken can be kept in the fridge for 4 days – it’s great tossed through salads, stir-fries or used in sandwiches.

INGREDIENT NOTES: Use high-quality coconut milk with a good percentage of coconut extract (I like anything over 55%) for the best flavour. You’ll get the best peanut flavour and texture to your satay sauce by using natural peanut butter (peanut butter that just contains peanuts and a little salt). 

SERVING SUGGESTIONS: This recipe makes more sauce than you’ll probably need, but it’s wonderful served in lots of ways. Use it as a dipping sauce for spring rolls, as salad dressing, spoon it over chicken poke bowls, or use it to jazz up a bowl of plain rice or noodles. You don’t have to thread the chicken onto skewers if you don’t want to – just cook the chicken pieces in the pan.

  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 15
  • Category: fakeaways
  • Method: stove top
  • Cuisine: thai

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 350g
  • Calories: 710
  • Sugar: 7.4g
  • Sodium: 2451.4mg
  • Fat: 50.4g
  • Saturated Fat: 25.1g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 21.6g
  • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 36.5g
  • Fiber: 3.5g
  • Protein: 34.4g
  • Cholesterol: 60.8mg

Welcome!

I’m Kate, the creator behind Dished. I love creating flavour packed, simple (ish) recipes for you, designed for every day and special occasions.

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