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  • Writer's pictureKimberley Kells

Satay Chicken with Peanut Sauce

These tasty skewers of juicy chicken meat, marinated and grilled over a smokey coal BBQ are a perfect match to savoury peanut sauce, but it has to be made from scratch, no peanut butter here! Everything can be made ahead, making Satay Chicken the perfect dish for your next summer BBQ!


Or serve as a dipping sauce for prawn crackers

Satay Chicken was always my top request for birthday parties, BBQs or just when my mum would ask what I wanted for lunch on the weekend. That poor woman must have threaded tens of thousands of chicken skewers in her life time, but hey, if they weren't so good, people wouldn't keep asking for them! My recipe is slightly different to how my mum makes her satay and peanut sauce. I have adopted more of an Indonesian style which is chunky and uses Kecap Manis whereas she sticks with the smoother and more curry based, Thai style. This dish has 2 components: the chicken which is marinated, preferably overnight and grilled, and then the peanut sauce, which is cooked over the stove.

“I make my peanut sauce in large batches and freeze it in portions. It is amazing simply heated over the stove and poured over grilled chicken, steamed vegetables, or just plain old jasmine rice!”

While skewers are great for a party, if you are planning on serving this as more of a plated dish, you can marinate chicken thighs (or breast if you prefer) and grill as a whole piece. It will take slightly longer to cook but you don't to fiddle around with skewers.


Satay Chicken with Peanut Sauce an original recipe by Kimberley Kells

Preparation time: 15 minutes + marinating time

Cooking time: 15 minutes

Serves: 3 adults or 2 adults and 2 children with rice


600g Chicken Thigh, roughly 2cm diced (use breast if you prefer but it won't have as much flavour)

2 Cloves of Garlic, peeled

2 Coriander Roots, washed

1 Tablespoon of Fish Sauce

1 Tablespoon of Palm Sugar (or Brown Sugar if you don't have any)

1/2 Teaspoon of White Pepper

1/2 Teaspoon of Turmeric

150mL of Coconut Milk

Bamboo Skewers, soaked in water

1 Brown Onion

2 Long Red Chillis, de-seeded if you prefer it mild

1 Lemongrass Stalk, roughly chopped

2 Cloves of Garlic, peeled

1 Lime, juiced

100g of Salted Peanuts

400mL Coconut Milk

3 Tablespoons of Soy Sauce

3 Tablespoons of Kecap Manis (Indonesian sweet soy, available at the supermarket)


Step 1- Using a motar and pestle, pound the 2 cloves of the garlic and coriander root until a paste. Then stir through the fish sauce, sugar, white pepper, turmeric, and coconut milk to make the marinade. Pour over the chicken and refrigerate overnight.

Step 2- Thread the pieces of marinated chicken onto the soaked skewers and grill over charcoals until the chicken is just cooked through. If you can't do this, a gas BBQ will work fine or even a frying pan, but you won't get that smokey flavour from the coals.

Step 3- Meanwhile, make the sauce. In a food processor, blitz the onion, chilli, lemongrass and remaining 2 cloves of garlic to make a paste. Fry this off in a large frying pan with a little vegetable oil over medium heat until softened.

Step 4- In the same food processor (I don't bother washing it out), blitz the salted peanuts to a crumb. The smoothness/chunkiness is up to you. I prefer the texture of rough sand with larger chunks throughout. Add the peanuts to the frying pan, as well as the lime, coconut milk, soy sauce and kecap manis. Simmer for about 10 minutes to let the flavours develop. Taste for balance and adjust with more lime/soy/kecap manis if necessary.

Step 5- Serve the satay skewers with the peanut sauce for dipping on the side. It also makes a great accompaniment to prawn crackers at the start of a meal.

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