Grilled Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce

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I love trying dishes from other cultures and this Grilled Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce is my version of the well known Chicken Satay but using chicken thighs; they’re so much easier to put together!

Grilled Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce on Plate with Green Beans and Rice

I have been on a chicken kick of sorts…I’ve been making one different recipe after another this summer but several I haven’t posted because they’re as well suited for fall and winter. I made a variety, some fried, some grilled, and some in the Instant Pot. And I loved them but none were as delicious as my adapted version of Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce. These are amazing!

I struggled a bit with making the change I did with another culture’s dish (Chicken Satay is considered an Indonesian dish), but sometimes I want to create something not only for myself but maybe for others who hesitate like I do with the more time consuming original version. 

It requires that sliced chicken tenders be skewered on sticks before being grilled. I wanted to both eliminate the skewering and use thighs…the two big differences in my take on a classic dish.

I used to use chicken breast meat for so many things but only for one reason; it was available de-boned. It was never my favorite, dark chicken meat has always reigned supreme for me even as a kid. So when de-boned chicken thighs became available I thought they would be perfect.

Not so much. I absolutely hate how they look after the bone is removed. I’ll try and fold it to look like a thigh but it never really measures up so I’ve been going old school. Chicken thighs with bone in and skin on. And I love using them for a couple of reasons.

When grilling, that skin is sort of a built in baster; it keeps the outside of the chicken from drying out. Some folks will insist that bone-in meat tastes better…and some experts say meh, not so much. I can’t substantiate either claim but I simply like them better for grilling.

Personally I like them for what might seem a really ridiculous reason but I’ll share anyhow. When I grill chicken thighs, it’s a food I serve to be eaten with our hands. If I grill those boneless pieces, they seem to require a knife and fork. Same meat I know but still; no thanks…if I’ve got a crowd here, it is so much easier to not have to worry about cutting meat with a knife.

Grilled Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce on Plate with Rice Garnished with Lime Wedges

So now that I’ve done that ‘splaining’ let’s talk about this recipe. The list of ingredients seems sort of long but I think most cooks have the basics, the spices, sugar, and soy sauce. What you might need are coconut milk, fish sauce, and ginger. Coconut milk and ginger are readily available at grocery stores; the only item that might seem more exotic is the fish sauce.

I had gone a long time without having fish sauce in my pantry. If it was called for in a recipe, I simply eliminated it. It was really about availability; until the past couple of years, it was not something I could easily find in a local market so I simply eliminated it.

No more need for that, fish sauce has gone mainstream and most grocery stores will now carry it; typically in the Asian or International food section. It does bring that fifth taste, often called Umami to this dish. Is it critical? No. Does it do something magical? Yes.

Here’s what you will need for the marinade. I kept my chicken thighs in this mixture overnight; probably 18 hours total; so you’ve got leeway. I would say from 2-18 hours is good.

  • 1/3 cup coconut milk (well stirred)
  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1 Tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 Tbsp packed brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp peeled and minced ginger
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 3/4 tsp turmeric
  • 2 lbs bone in or boneless chicken thighs
  • Cilantro, for serving

Grilled Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce on Serving Plate with Lime Wedges

That marinade makes for some incredible chicken but still, the star of this dish for me is the peanut sauce. I made extra to be sure there was plenty and I had no problem serving leftover sauce on rice but let’s be honest, I could have eaten this stuff with a spoon. SO good!

There really are no exotic ingredients in the sauce for Grilled Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce but the mixture of these everyday ingredients make for a delicious peanut sauce. I love Pad Thai…I’ll use this sauce next time I have some.

  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 2 Tbsp packed brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk
  • 2 tsp  each Sriracha or chili garlic sauce-
  • 1-2 teaspoons fresh grated ginger

Sure, you might have to source an ingredient or two but it is so worth it. I made four pounds of these Grilled Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce and while I would normally share with neighbors, I squirreled them away for me, just me. I love that I have some already made in the freezer that I can microwave and have for dinner in only five minutes!

PIN IT! ‘Grilled Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce’

Grilled Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce on Plate with Green Beans and Rice Grilled Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce on Plate with Rice Garnished with Lime Wedges

Yield: 6 Servings

Grilled Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce

Grilled Chicken Thighs with Peanut Sauce on Plate with Green Beans and Rice

Chicken thighs are marinated in in a flavorful Indonesian marinade then grilled before being served with a homemade peanut sauce.s

Prep Time
15 minutes
Cook Time
25 minutes
Additional Time
2 hours
Total Time
2 hours 40 minutes

Ingredients

  • For the Marinade
  • 1/3 cup coconut milk (well stirred)
  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1 Tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 Tbsp packed brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp peeled and minced ginger
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 3/4 tsp turmeric
  • 2 lbs bone in or boneless chicken thighs
  • Cilantro, for serving

Instructions

  1. In a mixing bowl whisk together coconut milk, soy sauce, lime juice, fish sauce, brown sugar, ginger, garlic, coriander, cumin and turmeric.
  2. Place chicken in a gallon size resealable bag, pour marinade mixture over chicken, seal bag while pressing out excess air.
  3. Put the chicken with marinatde into the refrigerator and leave for at least 2 hours and up to 18 hours.
  4. Preheat a grill over medium heat to about 375 degrees and clean grates.
  5. Brush grill grates with paper towel dipped in oil ,then place chicken on grill and cook about 25 minutes total; rotate pieces every five minutes until chicken registers 170-175 degrees on an internal thermometer.

To prepare Peanut Sauce

  1. In a medium size mixing bowl whisk together all of the peanut sauce ingredients. If mixture is too thick, think gradually with water until the right consistency.
  1. Serve chicken with rice and lime wedges. Provide peanut sauce on the side.

Originally posted at Creative Culinary