Grilling: Thai Chicken Satay


Fire up your grill and get ready for some serious smoke.


[Photographs: Joshua Bousel]

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I'm all over beef skewers. The thinly sliced flank steak sears well and remains tender over a very hot fire. Unfortunately, I can't say the same for chicken, which dries out quickly and ends up becoming flavorless sticks of poultry. Of course, chicken skewers can be delicious when done right, with this chicken satay being a prime example.

The sweet, pungent marinade for these chicken satays includes fish sauce, lemongrass, sugar, lime, and turmeric, which embeds the chicken with flavor even after a relatively short soak of only an hour. On the grill, in order to maintain juiciness, a careful eye must be kept to ensure the chicken is pulled off when just cooked through. Even if you go over just a little, the skewers are still plenty good, thanks to the powerful marinade. A dip in a spicy peanut sauce also added to the success here.

The pairing of the earthy and bright chicken with a creamy, spicy, and sweet sauce produced a chicken skewer that has the ability to change your mind about chicken skewers.