A satay is seasoned, skewered and grilled meat served with a sauce. Common protein may be chicken or beef — but it can be anything you can grill. Although the satay is Indonesian, grilling meat on a stick crosses many cultures!
In the U.S., satay is often associated with Thai restaurants, chicken and a peanut sauce. Peanuts are legumes grown around the world in tropical and subtropical regions; the oldest archeological evidence of their history was found in Peru, dating back at least 7,600 years.
This recipe owes inspiration from an evening at The Pantry in Seattle coupled with an annual cooking event held by my motorcycle family, which sent me looking to food blogs for recipes featuring peanuts, pineapple and/or cinnamon. By grilling the chicken and pineapple on the same skewer, the dish is more like a shish kabob than a traditional satay.
The chicken is marinated in soy sauce and brown sugar accented with lime juice, fish sauce, sriracha, basil, garlic, sesame oil and honey. Most of the marinade is reserved for the sauce, which you’ll brush onto your satay and use as a dipping sauce.
Accompany this delightful dish with pickled carrots and daikon!
Grilled Chicken-and-Pineapple with Peanut Sauce
Satay is a traditional Indonesian dish featuring skewered meat and a dipping sauce. This multi-cultural dish accents the grilled meat with pineapple and is accompanied by a Thai-style peanut sauce.
- Course: Main Dish
- Cuisine: Thai
- Servings: 8
- 4 poundschicken chopped into bite size pieces (~6 chicken breasts)
- 1fresh pineapple, cut into ~1 inch pieces
- 1/2 csoy sauce (I use gluten-free Tamari)
- 1/2 cbrown sugar, packed
- 2 Tfish sauce (Red Boat)
- 2 Tfresh lime juice (one lime)
- 1 TSriracha sauce
- 1 Tminced garlic
- 1 Tsesame oil
- 1 Thoney (quality, not from the plastic bear!)
- 2 tdry basil
- 1 tground ginger
- 6 Tneutral oil (I use avocado oil)
- 2/3 ccoconut milk (light is OK)
- 1/2 tcornstarch (Clabber Girl, non GMO)
- 2/3 ccrunchy peanut butter (organic, no sugar added)
- 1 bunchgreen onions (garnish)
- 1 bunchcilantro (garnish)
- 1/2 cchopped peanuts (garnish)
- wooden skewers
- Prepare chicken. Pat dry the chicken breasts; season with salt and pepper. Cut into bite-sized pieces. Place in large zip-lock bag.
- Prepare marinade. In a medium bowl, whisk together soy sauce, brown sugar, fish sauce, lime juice, chili sauce, garlic, sesame oil, honey, basil and ginger.
- Marinate chicken. Add 1/2 c of marinade to the zip lock bag containing the chicken, along with the 6T of oil. Massage. Place in refrigerator for 1-4 hours.
- Prepare pineapple. Cut into bite-sized pieces. They need to be large enough that the skewers won’t break them into two pieces.
- Prepare to grill. Soak the wooden skewers in water for at least 30 minutes prior to grilling. Lightly oil the grill grates; bring temperate to medium-high heat when you have prepared the skewers.
- Load up those skewers! Thread the chicken and pineapple onto skewers. Alternate pieces as best you can. It’s unlikely that there will be an exact match!
- Make the peanut sauce. Add the reserved marinade and the marinade from the chicken to an appropriately-sized sauce pan. Bring to a simmer and cook for at least two minutes. Remove from heat; whisk in coconut milk and corn starch. Bring mixture to a boil for about a minute. Lower the temperature and simmer for a few minutes; you want a slight reduction in liquid. Remove from heat and whisk in the peanut butter. The sauce should be thick but spreadable. If it is too thick, whisk in some water (or coconut water, no added sugar) to reach desired consistency. If it is too thin, return to a simmer until thickened. Taste; add Sriracha, lime, or brown sugar if needed.
- Grill chicken. Place chicken on lightly oiled grates; grill approximately 4 minutes per side. After you turn the chicken, lightly brush with the sauce. Brush again when you remove from the grill.
- Serve with sauce on the side, along with chopped cilantro, crushed peanuts, and chopped green onions.
Rice is a logical starch to accompany this meal.
This works as a party dish as well. Turn your slow cooker on high 15 minutes or so before you put the chicken on the grill. When you remove the chicken from the grill, put the chicken and pineapple (sans skewers!) in the pre-heated cooker; now turn it to low or warm. The pineapple will create a moist environment that should prevent the chicken from getting dry and tough.
If the weather is yucky, you can broil the chicken in the oven. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and treat with nonstick cooking spray or lightly oil the surface. Place the skewers on the pan in a single layer. Turn every five minutes until done, which could be 10-15 minutes. Brush with sauce when you remove from the oven.
Pickled carrots and daikon
- 8 ounces carrots, peeled
- 8 ounces daikon, peeled
- 1/4 cup + 1 T sugar, divided
- 1/2 t salt
- 1/2 c plus 2 T rice vinegar
- 1/2 c warm water
Cut the vegetables into long matchsticks. (I cheat and buy shredded carrots.)
Place the cut vegetables in a colander and sprinkle with 1 T of the sugar; let them sit for 10 minutes.
While the daikon and carrots are draining, add the sugar, salt, vinegar, and water into a small sauce pot. Bring to a simmer.
Put the vegetables into a small heat-proof container. Pour the pickling liquid over the vegetables and place a lid or plastic wrap over top, and let the vegetables chill to room temperature.