Thai Chicken Skewers with Peanut-Free Satay Sauce

Posted by on Apr 9, 2013 in 21DSD, Appetizers, Chicken, Dinner, Paleo, potluck, Shmooper's Top 10, Whole 30 | 22 comments

Thai Chicken Skewers with Peanut-Free Satay Sauce

It is very rare that you’ll find me in a woe-is-me state of mind in regards to food. I see the fact that I can’t eat gluten as somewhat of a blessing in disguise; it’s what led me to better health, and eventually to a mostly paleo diet, which led to even better health. As I state in The Paleo Miracle, I was never really sick or overweight. I was just unwell. Constant headaches, brain fog, lethargy, skin issues and mild depression were all a part of my “normal”. Changing my diet to correct all of those things is really a small price to pay, especially considering my diet is extremely delicious and satisfying. It’s gotten to the point where I’ll be out for burgers with the family, and will find myself completely amazed that people actually eat their burgers on a bun. As if that’s abnormal. Hah!

But I’m human. And I’m a human who cooks for a living and sometimes doesn’t feel like making dinner. I’m also a human who grew up in a place where there was no such thing as delivery anything, and at 30, moved to a place where there’s delivery everything. And that was something I enjoyed very much for a few short years. So once in a while, I have a little pity party about the fact that I can’t go online and check boxes next to the pictures of the food I would like to appear at my house in about 40 minutes.

I’ll admit it, I miss Thai delivery. But in all honesty: although slightly more time consuming, my chicken satay is better than takeout. And did I mention it’s peanut-free, 21 Day Sugar Detox friendly and Whole 30 friendly? I love you too.

Better Than Take Out

Better Than Take Out

Straight grillin'

Straight grillin’

These skewers are great either warm or cold, making them perfect party food.

These skewers are great either warm or cold, making them perfect party food.

All of the Ingredients

All of the Ingredients

Thai Chicken Skewers with Peanut-Free Satay Sauce

1.5 – 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast *
1/2 cup coconut aminos
2/3 cup unsweetened natural almond butter, divided
1/2 cup lime juice
1 handful fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon curry powder
2 cloves garlic, minced or crushed
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
3/4 cup canned coconut milk
1/2 cup (or as needed) water or chicken stock, preferably homemade

you’ll also need bamboo or metal skewers

  • If using bamboo skewers, soak them in water for at least one hour before threading the chicken on them.
  • Cut the chicken into one inch wide strips. ** Place in a glass dish large enough to fit the chicken and marinade.
  • In a blender, combine coconut aminos, garlic, ginger, lime juice, curry powder, cilantro, and 2 tablespoons of the almond butter. Blend until smooth.
  • Pour all but 2 tablespoons of the marinade over the chicken, reserving the remainder for the sauce. Allow the chicken to marinade for one hour, at room temperature. (much longer you’ll have chicken ceviche because of all the lime juice)
  • In a small saucepan, combine the reserved marinade, reserved almond butter, and coconut milk. Heat on medium low heat for about 5 minutes. You just want the flavors to marry, and mellow out some of the rawness of the lime juice. If it gets too thick, add some liquid. Set aside to cool.
  • After the chicken has marinated for an hour, turn your grill on medium-high heat. Once hot, grill the chicken for about 3 minutes on each side or until cooked through, with the top down. If it’s sticking, it’s probably not ready to turn.
  • Serve the skewers with the sauce and garnish with cilantro, if desired.

* Boneless skinless chicken breast is rarely my first choice, but is what tastes best with this recipe
** If serving this at a party as finger food, use short skewers and bite sized strips of chicken

2013-04-08 18.14.10

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  1. Sounds really good! You put into words so much of my feelings, sorrow for losing the “easy” meals…

  2. My feelings exactly to everything you said!!! Do you think tahini or sunbutter would work for this? I am out of almond butter and wanted to make these for dinner tomorrow. My mouth is watering!!!

    • I think the flavor would be a bit different, but would definitely work! I wanted to try it with sunbutter, but couldn’t find an unsweetened one at the little market by my house… Let me know how it turns out!

  3. YUM. Makes me want to throw a bbq just to make these!

    • Do it! I’ll RSVP now: Yes. :)

  4. Would this work with light coconut milk?

    • I think so! I only use the full fat kind, so haven’t tried it. My only recommendation would be to add the additional water or chicken stock as needed, since light coconut milk is thinner.

  5. This is dinner tonight ! With cauliflower curry and apple “rice”

  6. I have chicken defrosting on the counter and was searching for a recipe to try out a new nightshade-free curry blend I’m trying. This looks perfect. Thank you!

  7. I made this in my oven tonight (500/broil, 3 mins per side) and it was good! When I had the sauce on the stove I tasted it and thought it was amazing, then remembered that I had forgotten to add water. Added the half cup, tasted it again, let it simmer down, tasted it, and never got back that original flavor of awesomeness, even after adding a hefty bit of salt. Other than that, these were amazing! Thank you for the recipes, I’m thrilled to finally find another blog as reliable as Nom Nom Paleo.

    • oh my goodness that is quite a compliment!

      For the sauce; sorry it got less awesome when you added water. Mine was so thick that it couldn’t really be simmered, and I felt it needed to be to mellow out the flavors a bit. I’m sure thickness of almond butter and coconut milk can cause a variation… I’ll make it again and see if I should lower the water / stock amount.


      • If you do end up repeating it, I used Barney Butter almond butter… totally cheated and used the one with a little sweetener, but their unsweetened Barney Bare is absolutely unbelievable. Both are made with blanched marcona almonds…omfg!!

  8. made with 1/2 almond butter (cause all I had)and 1/2 sunbutter and it was AMAZING!!!!! Forgot about curry being a nightshade… wondering if that’s why I have felt a lil “off”?? I need to take the time to study more why these nightshades effect my autoimmune stuff. That’s the only thing I really struggle with. I love all those spices and tomatoes!!! And then hard to know… was it the curry? lack of sleep this week, hormones… sigh. Anyway, didn’t mean to digress!! LOL
    Either way it was sooooooo good!!!!
    Eileen, where di you find the nightshade free curry? are there other nightshade free spices?

    • Marcie; I can totally relate to all of this. On days I feel “off” it’s tough to tell if I got a little glutened, didn’t get enough sleep, didn’t drink enough water, stress, etc…

      I know Balanced Bites has a lot of info regarding autoimmune stuff, might be a good resource. And HERE is a list of nightshade-free spice mixes.

  9. Alright, I think I know what I’m making for dinner tonight! Beautiful!

  10. I made this for the first time a couple of weeks ago and my dd loved it so much that she decided to make it for a party snack for a game night she was hosting with some friends. We don’t have a grill but it worked out great cooking them under the broiler. For the party she just cut into bite-size pieces and served with toothpicks. The second time, we ran out of raw-almond butter and used roasted-almond butter. The sauce seemed thinner and a bit zingier that way, but it may have been because we made the marinade the night before? Either way, it is delicious and makes a great re-heatable snack. We just drizzled extra dipping sauce over the leftovers and heated in the microwave.

  11. I would use chicken tenders for white meat and chicken leg meat for dark.

  12. OMG, these are AMAZING!!!! My husband was in heaven eating these, and I’m giving him leftovers as snacks for his lunch – he’s a very happy husband this week :) Thank you for the awesome recipe, it is definitely a keeper!

    • Thanks, Julianna! I’m so glad to hear it!

  13. Hi, what is *divided* almond butter?
    And btw i looove your bone broth recipe! I too now get beautiful bone jello

    • divided means you’re using it in two places, specifics are in the instructions part of the recipe. It’s basically a heads up to not dump it all in the first time you see it in the instructions :)

      • Yeah, silly me, sorry. I posted my question before i’d read the whole recipe.
        Am planning to make it this weekend…


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