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Grilled Thai Curry Chicken Skewers with Coconut-Peanut Sauce

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From food writer Alice Currah, these grilled Thai curry chicken skewers are a crowd pleaser for all ages.

Grilled Thai Curry Chicken Skewers with Coconut-Peanut Sauce

This recipe was passed on to me by my dear friend, Kelly Santoro. She found it in the Costco magazine but the recipe originally comes from food writer Alice Currah of the blog and book, Savory Sweet Life. The dish is a crowd-pleaser for all ages. It’s the sauce that makes it so good. My 10-year-old son, upon taking a second helping of the broccoli I served alongside, answered my surprised look with, “Mom, this sauce would make anything taste good.” I have to agree: I was tempted to forget the chicken entirely and just have the sauce as soup!

What You’ll Need To Make Grilled Thai Curry Chicken Skewers

ingredients
Most of the ingredients for these chicken skewers are pretty straightforward. If you’re not familiar with Thai red curry paste, it’s a blend of lemongrass, Thai ginger, fresh red chilis, and fragrant spices. Most large supermarkets carry it in the Asian food section.

How To Make Grilled Thai Curry Chicken skewers

pounding-chicken

Begin by pounding the chicken breasts to an even 1/2-inch thickness. This both tenderizes the meat and ensures it cooks evenly.

preparing-marinade

Next, make the marinade by combining the soy sauce, brown sugar, lime zest, vegetable oil, garlic, curry powder, ginger, cardamom and salt in a bowl.

marinade

Cut the chicken into chunks and combine it with the marinade. Cover and let marinate for at least 4 hours or overnight.

combining-chicken-with-marinade

Meanwhile, make the sauce by combining the coconut milk, peanut butter, dark brown sugar, soy sauce and red curry paste in a medium saucepan.

combining-ingredients-for-sauce

Bring the sauce to a boil, then turn the heat down and cook a few minutes more. Finish the sauce with freshly squeezed lime juice.

adding-lime

Once the chicken has marinated, thread the chunks onto skewers.

skewers

Preheat the grill to high. To grease the grill, lightly dip a wad of paper towels in vegetable oil and, using tongs, rub the paper towels over the grates until smooth and shiny.

greasing-grill

Grill the chicken about 5 minutes per side, or until cooked through.

chicken-on-grill

Serve with the coconut peanut sauce and enjoy! If you have leftovers, try serving the chicken over a salad — the chilled sauce makes an excellent dressing.

Note: I made several changes to the original recipe. For starters, I added a bit of salt and extra garlic to the marinade, and also swapped lime juice for lime zest as I do not like to use acidic ingredients in marinades for boneless skinless chicken breasts (they are so lean, it almost cooks the exterior of the meat and creates a leathery texture). I also pounded the chicken breasts first to tenderize them. To the sauce, I added more red curry paste and lots of fresh lime juice to brighten the flavor — otherwise, it was just too rich for my taste. To see the original recipe, click here.

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Grilled Thai Curry Chicken Skewers with Coconut-Peanut Sauce

From food writer Alice Currah, these grilled Thai curry chicken skewers are a crowd pleaser for all ages.

Servings: 5
Prep Time: 30 Minutes
Cook Time: 10 Minutes
Total Time: 40 Minutes, plus at least 4 hours marinating time

Ingredients

For the Chicken

  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons dark brown sugar, packed
  • Zest of one lime
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2½ - 3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts

For the Coconut-Peanut Sauce

  • 1 (13-oz) can coconut milk (do not use low fat)
  • ¼ cup peanut butter
  • ⅓ cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • 1½ tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon red curry paste
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice, from 2 limes

For Serving

  • 1 lime, cut into wedges (optional)

Instructions

  1. Pound the chicken breasts to an even ½-inch thickness between two pieces of wax or parchment paper. Cut the breasts into 1½" pieces and set aside.
  2. Make the marinade by combining the soy sauce, dark brown sugar, lime zest, vegetable oil, garlic, curry powder, ginger, cardamom and salt in a large bowl. Add the chicken pieces to the bowl and mix until chicken is evenly coated. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or overnight.
  3. Make the sauce by whisking together the coconut milk, peanut butter, brown sugar, soy sauce and red curry paste in a medium saucepan. Bring to a simmer, then cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for about 3 minutes. Add the fresh lime juice. Set aside.
  4. Preheat the grill to high heat. Meanwhile, thread the chicken pieces onto skewers. Grease the grill. Place the skewers on the grill and cook for about 10 minutes, turning once, or until the chicken is cooked through. Serve the chicken skewers with the Coconut-Peanut Sauce and lime wedges, if desired.

Pair with

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • Calories: 547
  • Fat: 29 g
  • Saturated fat: 14 g
  • Carbohydrates: 21 g
  • Sugar: 14 g
  • Fiber: 2 g
  • Protein: 52 g
  • Sodium: 1106 mg
  • Cholesterol: 152 mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

Gluten-Free Adaptable Note

To the best of my knowledge, all of the ingredients used in this recipe are gluten-free or widely available in gluten-free versions. There is hidden gluten in many foods; if you're following a gluten-free diet or cooking for someone with gluten allergies, always read the labels of your ingredients to verify that they are gluten-free.

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Comments

  • Hi Jenn,
    I just realized I’m out of cardamom and ground ginger, do you think I can just leave out? Or sub with something else?
    Thanks!

    • — Adina on February 9, 2024
    • Reply
    • You can just omit the cardamom and replace the ginger with allspice or nutmeg if you have either. If not, you can just omit it.

      • — Jenn on February 12, 2024
      • Reply
  • Winner winner chicken dinner!!! Excellent & outstanding flavors! My family devoured this! Served with Chef Jenn’s basmati rice and cucumber and mint salad. Amazing!!!

    • — Tara on February 2, 2024
    • Reply
  • Loved this dish fantastic

    • — Diana Korach on February 1, 2024
    • Reply
  • How would the skewers be at room temperature? I’d like to make ahead and serve as part of a buffet.

    • — Mary Reiling on October 28, 2023
    • Reply
    • Hi Mary, I think they’d still be good served at room temp.

      • — Jenn on October 30, 2023
      • Reply
  • This is the most delicious recipe! Whole family loved it, including autistic 8 year old who used to hate chicken. He said “You HAVE to make this again”. Have recommended to so many friends. Served with the cucumber and mint salad and jasmine rice.

    • — Vanessa on October 11, 2023
    • Reply
  • My family absolutely adores this recipe! So easy and so delicious. I always make your recipes as you write them with no substitutions as they never fail. Thank you, Jenn!

    • — Sharon on September 24, 2023
    • Reply
  • This recipe was amazing … so delicious. Your recipes never disappoint.

    • — Joanne on July 30, 2023
    • Reply
  • This was delish, however I feel the curry powder in the marinade overwhelmed the other flavours and the sauce and my kids all said it just ended up tasting similar to butter chicken. With a similar textured sauce to butter chicken and served with rice, my hubby and I couldn’t help but agree with them. I would leave the curry out of the marinade next time or swap it for something else.

    • — Mel on July 5, 2023
    • Reply
  • This was a miss for my family. The marinated chicken was a hit, very moist and tender. The sauce was not. It just tasted like peanut butter and seemed heavy. I may make the chicken again if I can find a sauce we like. This was a surprise because 95% of your recipes I’ve made are 5 stars…and I’ve made many!

    • — Sharon T on June 25, 2023
    • Reply
  • Really tasty marinade and sauce! Highly recommend. I was a bit skeptical about the sauce, but trust your recipes so much. They are the best.

    • — Amy on June 12, 2023
    • Reply
  • Huge hit with my guests! Everyone raved about this dish. I am allergic to peanuts so I made the peanut sauce for others and almond butter sauce for me, which turned out really well. I didn’t want to deal with skewers, so I marinated and grilled chicken thighs-easy and delicious.
    All your Asian recipes are sooo good! Thanks.

    • — Ellen on June 4, 2023
    • Reply
  • Would love to try this recipe but am allergic to peanuts. Can I use almond or another nut butter?
    Thanks,
    Ellen

    • — EKK on June 2, 2023
    • Reply
    • Sure, that should be fine! 🙂

      • — Jenn on June 5, 2023
      • Reply
  • Five stars and two thumbs up from our home for this outstanding Asian type recipe! It’s always a winner! Have made this recipe before and put everything together today for a BBQ dinner we are hosting with friends. Appys will include Vietnamese Fresh Spring Rolls with Nuoc Cham, Hoisin and Peanut dipping sauces. Serving with your Asian Slaw with Ginger Peanut Dressing (a tough decision because my husband loves your Cucumber Salad with Mint), a crunchy Asian Cucumber Salad (din tai fung) and Coconut Jasmine Rice. Wouldn’t have been able to do it without you sharing your excellent recipes. Many thanx!

    • — missy b on June 1, 2023
    • Reply
  • Love love love this chicken! I’ve made it a few times and the marinade is delicious on its own and in my opinion, doesn’t even need the peanut sauce but it’s a nice addition especially if making it for company 🙂 Your recipes NEVER disappoint. I’m always confident that even if I’m making one for the first time for company, it will turn out

    • — Tanisha on May 17, 2023
    • Reply
  • I’ve hemmed and hawed over trying this recipe for a while, as I’ve never been a huge fan of peanut sauces. Finally gave it a go bc Jenn rarely lets me down! The chicken is delicious and simple to put together. The sauce seemed too sweet for me at first, and I adjusted it with a couple more dashes of soy sauce. It was still very sweet, so wasn’t sure if I’d like it. However, once it was drizzled on the chicken, all the flavors ended up very balanced. Served it with rice and some sautéed veggies and it was enjoyed by all! Next time I might experiment a bit and cut the sugar down in the sauce. But the recipe is delicious as written!

    • — Katie R. on May 9, 2023
    • Reply
  • This recipe hit the spot! The meat was succulent and delicious. I didn’t opt to go with rice but we had wraps instead (a little messy but who cares!) and couldn’t fault it with the cucumber pickle. Amazing and something I would go back to time and time again. Thank you once again Jen.

    • — Liz on April 4, 2023
    • Reply
  • I only tried the chicken marinade. I didn’t pound the chicken either, just whole chicken breast marinated about 3 hours and cooked in air fryer for 15min at 400f.

    I used ground ginger instead of fresh, avocado oil instead of vegetable oil and a little lime juice instead of lime zest. I also did not have cardamom, so I substituted cumin instead.

    It was fantastic, will use again. Going to try it on wings this weekend.

    • — Aaron on January 1, 2023
    • Reply
  • We always joke about the “rule of one” where one of our kids doesn’t like whatever meal we put on the table. Not this one! A great hit, young and old, and that sauce.

    • — Maggie Gorman on November 8, 2022
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn,
    I have a question: can I use the “Thai Kitchen” brand of unsweetened coconut cream in place of the coconut milk? I don’t have coconut milk.

    Thanks
    😊

    • — Lisa on August 14, 2022
    • Reply
    • I think it would work. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on August 16, 2022
      • Reply
  • This was disappointing for me My sauce came out so watery it was like consume. I used full milk coconut and was hoping it just needed to evaporate a little but it never did. I made a roux with flour and butter and that helped tremendously. It was a little too sweet for me (and I love sugar) but it was very yummy. I added a little sriracha for heat but it wasn’t the right note. As for the chicken I would not pound next time. The marinade made the chicken leathery. Almost as if I used lime juice and not zest. Jen’s zest vs juice is brilliance. I think if the chunks were fatter they might have fared better. Definitely had restaurant quality flavors going on.

    • — DR on August 2, 2022
    • Reply
  • This recipe was amazing! We halved the dressing/sauce and it was still more than enough. We served this with the warm couscous vinaigrette salad. Delicious!

    • — Brooke on July 31, 2022
    • Reply
  • Jenn,
    I love your recipes and wanted to try this one. I’m vegetarian and my extra firm tofu is in the process of marinading. I’m hoping it will work to do this in the broiler. Do you have any suggestions for me?

    • — Barb on July 18, 2022
    • Reply
    • So glad you like the recipes! I’ve never worked with tofu, so I can’t give you any guidance – I’m sorry! I’d love to hear how it turns out though! 🙂

      • — Jenn on July 19, 2022
      • Reply
  • I made this and the recommended accompaniments of cucumber salad and basmati rice and it was a fabulous delicious dinner. I had made the chicken some time ago and had not liked it as much as this time—maybe I had not marinated as long. This time I marinated the chicken for the recommended time. I halved the cucumber salad to only use one cucumber and it was sufficient but a little scant as it and the rice were so delicious with this peanut sauce.

    • — Janet on May 27, 2022
    • Reply
  • This sauce sounds delicious! Is there a way to make this with chicken breast without skewers and a grill? 🙂 I have all the ingredients but not those. Thanks!

    • — Adina on May 7, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Adina, I think it’s doable. I’d pound the chicken breast like in this recipe and then broil them on an oven rack in the top position. The broiling time should be about 2 to 3 minutes per side. I’d love to hear how they turn out prepared like this!

      • — Jenn on May 10, 2022
      • Reply
  • For Christmas I received a wonderful electric grill. Now I was on a mission….and came to my favorite site; here. And once again an exquisite recipe! It taught me how fabulous thinly sliced chicken breast grills and tastes. I make it at least once a month now! Thank you

    • — Robin on March 28, 2022
    • Reply
  • Was okay, but wouldn’t make again.

  • We made this tonight and it was superb. The flavour was perfect. I made it according to the recipe with no changes. The sauce was absolutely delicious. Thanks for this super-easy and super tasty meal. I served it with coconut basmati rice with green onions and stir fried spicy green beans. I didn’t marinate it for 4 hours… just maybe 1.5 hours and it was still very flavourful so don’t worry if you don’t have time to marinate.

  • This is my family’s favorite recipe. Thank you so much! Can the peanut sauce be cooked ahead and frozen for later use?

    • So glad your family likes this! I haven’t frozen the sauce before, but I think it would work.

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