Whipping up a home-cooked version of a popular Thai appetizer is the perfect way to put a health conscious spin on party-worthy fare. Chicken satay features marinated, grilled chicken skewers served alongside a brightly flavored cucumber, carrot and almond salad. A luxurious peanut sauce spiked with coconut milk and curry make this food on a stick a snack-time  favorite.

Use lean thin-cut chicken breasts, rather than chicken tenders to make these satay skewers. A pesky tendon runs directly through the middle of chicken tenders and it becomes tough when cooked. Using thin cut breasts not only saves on prep time because there are no tendons to remove, but also ensures you’ll have a quick-cooking satay.

Arrange warm satay skewers on a large platter and garnish with toasted coconut, sesame seeds, scallions, cilantro and chopped nuts.  

Be sure to give your skewer a gentle dunk in the peanut sauce and know you’ve serve up a snack the whole family can feel good about!

Chicken Satay with Cucumber Salad and Peanut Sauce (10-12 servings)

This recipe makes a generous amount of sauce, but it is easy to put all that goodness to good use.  Use the leftovers as a topping for a roasted pork tenderloin or as a sauce for thick spaghetti.

For the Chicken:

  • ½ Can unsweetened coconut milk
  • 2 Tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon each red pepper flakes and coarse black pepper
  • 1 ½ pounds thin cut chicken breasts cut into long 1 ½” wide strips
  • 12-14 bamboo skewers soaked in water for 30 minutes

Whisk together the coconut milk, sauce, brown sugar, curry, turmeric, salt, red pepper flakes and black pepper together in a small bowl. Place the chicken into a large Ziploc bag and pour the marinade over the chicken.  Zip the bag and refrigerate several hours or overnight.

When ready to cook the chicken thread each piece of chicken onto a bamboo skewer. Preheat a grill pan over medium-high heat until smoking.  Cook skewers in batches for 3-4 minutes per side (depending on thickness) until deeply colored and cooked through.  Cooked skewers can be held in a 170 degree oven until all skewers are cooked and ready to serve.

For the Cucumber Salad:

  • ½ Cup Sugar
  • ¼ Cup red wine vinegar
  • ½ Cup water
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Pinch of black pepper
  • 1 English Cucumber, thinly sliced
  • 1 Cup shredded carrots
  • 2 Tablespoons of toasted almond slivers or chopped peanuts

Combine the sugar, vinegar and water in a small sauce pan.  Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer.  Stir the mixture until the sugar is dissolved.  Add the salt and pepper and allow to simmer gently for five minutes.  Allow the dressing to cool to room temperature before pouring over the cucumbers, carrots and almonds.  Toss the salad well and refrigerate until ready to serve.

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