Chicken Skillet Satay

Shannon Vavich
Creamy, spicy, and deeply flavorful; this dish is restaurant-good!

Absolutely delicious!! This has been the most popular main-dish recipe on my website for the past six years. Creamy, spicy, and deeply flavorful, this dish is restaurant-good! I’ve written this recipe with ease in mind (there is even a freeze ahead option) and I’ve eschewed skewers for safety purposes. Back when I wrote this my children were all little and I tried not to intentionally introduce impalement devices into my home. You know how it is.

Chicken Skillet Satay

Shannon Vavich
Creamy, spicy, and deeply flavorful; this dish is restaurant-good!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Marinate time 6 hrs
Total Time 6 hrs 50 mins
Course Main Course
Servings 4 people


  • gallon-size ziplok bag for tenderizing chicken and marinating
  • a mallet or hammer for tenderizing chicken
  • indoor grill (like George Foreman) or outdoor grill
  • Heavy-bottom skillet (like cast iron, or enameled cast iron)
  • a good chef's knife
  • cutting board
  • measuring spoons
  • fine grater for grating ginger
  • wooden spatula or heat resistant silicone spatula
  • medium mixing bowl
  • small mixing bowl
  • dinner plate for holding raw chicken breasts


  • 4 chicken breasts


  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp ancho chili powder
  • 1 tsp white pepper
  • 1 tbsp red pepper flakes Scale down if you know your family does not like spicy food.
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp freshly grated ginger

Satay Sauce

  • 1/2 cup chopped onion about 1/2 of an onion
  • 2 crushed garlic cloves
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbs brown sugar
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 3 tbsp lime juice
  • 1/2 cup crunchy peanut butter
  • 1 can Thai style coconut milk 14-16 ounces
  • 1 bunch cilantro Add as much or as little cilantro as a garnish as you would like. I've found that cilantro use is very personal. It really does add the perfect touch to the end.


  • In a medium bowl, combine ¼ cup olive oil, ¼ cup lime juice, 1 tbsp onion powder, 1 tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp ancho chili powder, 1 tsp white pepper, 1 tbsp red pepper flakes, 1 tbsp cumin, 1 tbsp salt, 1 tbsp honey, 1 tbsp freshly grated ginger.
  • Put 2 chicken breasts at a time into a gallon-sized freezer bag and pound with a mallet to tenderize and flatten. Transfer the pounded chicken breasts out of the bag and onto a plate, then put new chicken breasts into the bag and pound them. When you've pounded all the chicken breasts, check to make sure you bag does not have any holes in it, put all of the chicken breasts back into the bag, add the marinade, squish it around a little, and zip the bag. Store in the fridge for 6 hours to marinate, or for a freeze-ahead option you can freeze this whole bag for up to 8 weeks. Defrost in the fridge a day before grilling.
  • Grill the chicken on an indoor or outdoor grill until cooked through. It should not take long, so keep an eye on it.
  • Put the grilled chicken on a cutting board and slice, preferably on a bias.
  • Over medium-high heat, saute the ½ cup onion and 2cloves of crushed garlic in 1 tbsp olive oil. Turn down the heat while you combine and add the next ingredients.
  • In a small mixing bowl, combine 2 tbsp soy sauce, 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes, 3 tbsp lime juice and ½ cup crunchy peanut butter. Don't worry about mixing the peanut butter into the other ingredients. It will melt in the hot pan and mix easily then.
  • Heat the skillet back to a medium-high setting. Pour the sauce ingredients from the bowl into the skillet and stir to combine and simmer for about four minutes. Keep stirring throughout and soon you'll have a very fragrant mixture.
  • Keep the heat at a medium-high setting and add the can of coconut milk. Stir to incorporate.
  • Let the sauce simmer for 3-4 minutes. Stir consistently. The coconut milk will melt into the peanut sauce.
  • Now add the sliced, grilled chicken into the satay sauce and fold to coat all the chicken in the sauce.
  • Add the chopped cilantro as a garnish.
  • Serve with steamed white rice. I like to use a good Japanese short grain.


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Chicken Skillet Satay