This Chicken Skewers recipe features the most delicious smoky grilled chicken marinated in ginger, garlic, coconut cream, and soy sauce for the best chicken skewers you’ve ever had! It’s big on flavor yet super easy to throw together!
Table of Contents
- What are Chicken Skewers?
- Why You’ll Love This Chicken Skewers Recipe
- Ingredients You’ll Need to Make Chicken Skewers At Home
- How to Make Chicken Skewers (Step by Step)
- Quick and Easy Peanut Sauce
- Joyce's Tips For Making the Best Chicken Skewers Every Single Time
- Serving Suggestions
- Recipe Variation Ideas for Chicken Skewers
- Frequently Asked Questions
- How to Store Leftover Chicken Skewers
- More Thai Recipes You May Like
- Did You Make This Thai Chicken Kebab Recipe?
- Recipe Card
If you’re looking for a delicious chicken skewers recipe that’s packed with flavor yet easy to make, then this recipe is absolutely perfect for you!
These Thai chicken skewers are flavored with coconut cream, soy sauce, garlic, and ginger from the marinade and then grilled over a bbq for a smoky flavor.
I glaze it at the very end with a bit of coconut cream glaze, which gives it a bit of sweetness at the end. I like to pair this chicken with a super-easy peanut satay sauce and ta-da! You have some seriously good eats to share with everyone (or hoard yourself).
Plus, the skewers not only make for an eye-catching presentation but also make them convenient for outdoor gatherings or as an appetizer at a dinner party.
Whether you are a fan of Thai cuisine or simply seeking to elevate your grilling repertoire, these grilled Thai coconut chicken skewers are a must-try recipe that you’ll seriously fall in love with.
Read on to learn exactly how to make this delicious chicken skewers recipe today!
What are Chicken Skewers?
Chicken skewers are a popular and delicious dish found in various cuisines worldwide. They consist of small pieces of tender chicken, threaded onto skewers and typically grilled or cooked over an open flame. The preparation process involves marinating the chicken in a flavorful blend of herbs, spices, and sometimes sauces, which infuses the meat with rich tastes and aromas.
These skewers offer a versatile and enjoyable dining experience. They can be served as appetizers, main courses, or even in salads and wraps. The variety of marinades and cooking techniques used with chicken skewers allows for a wide range of flavors to suit different palates and cultural preferences.
My recipe features grilled Thai coconut chicken skewers that are not only easy to make but super delicious too! I’m sure you’re going to love my recipe!
One of the standout features of this dish is the combination of flavors. The coconut cream adds a creamy and slightly sweet taste, while the Thai curry paste adds a spicy twist. Plus, the addition of oyster sauce and garlic adds depth of flavor to the chicken skewers.
Another great aspect of this dish is the cooking method. Grilling the chicken skewers gives them a smoky and slightly charred flavor which enhances the overall taste of the dish. The grilling process also helps to lock in the moisture, resulting in tender and juicy chicken. I’m sure you’re going to love it!
Why You’ll Love This Chicken Skewers Recipe
Delicious: The combination of the marinated chicken, Thai spices and sauces, along with coconut cream creates a mouthwatering taste that is hard to resist. The chicken is tender with the perfect balance of sweet and savory flavor.
Easy: This recipe is simple to prepare, making it accessible to both experienced cooks and beginners. The marinade requires only a handful of ingredients, and the skewers can be easily grilled!
Versatile: These skewers can be enjoyed as a main dish, served with steamed rice and a side of fresh vegetables, or they can be a highlight at a summer barbecue or party. They can also be customized by adding more vegetables or adjusting the spice level to suit individual preferences.
Crowd-pleaser: These grilled Thai coconut chicken skewers are guaranteed to be a hit with everyone. The combination of flavors is universally appealing, making them a perfect choice for family gatherings, potlucks, or any occasion where you want to impress your guests.
Ingredients You’ll Need to Make Chicken Skewers At Home
All you need are some incredibly simple, pantry-staple ingredients to make this delicious grilled Thai coconut chicken skewers recipe at home.
Here's an overview of the specific ingredients for this recipe. For the exact ingredients and measurements, please scroll to the recipe card below.
- Chicken: For this Thai chicken skewers recipe, I like to use boneless dark meat. I usually like to debone the chicken myself and save the bones for a broth but you can buy pre-deboned chicken to make it easier. I prefer dark meat over white meat, mostly because I find it juicier and less dry. You can use white meat for this recipe if that is what you prefer.
For the Marinade:
- Ginger: We will be using fresh ginger in the marinade, which will add a warm and spicy twist to the chicken as it marinates and tenderizes, resulting in a delightful dish.
- Garlic Cloves: The garlic cloves will be crushed and combined with other marinade ingredients, infusing the chicken with their aromatic essence as it marinates and enhances the overall taste of the dish.
- Soy Sauce: Marinating the chicken in soy sauce will give it a savory and umami flavor, creating a delicious base for the dish and providing a rich depth of taste. I like to use light soy sauce as the salt for this recipe.
- Dark Soy Sauce: The dark soy sauce will add a deeper and more intense brown color to the marinade giving it a beautiful color. If you cannot find dark soy sauce, you can substitute it with regular soy sauce.
- Coconut Cream: As the chicken marinates into the coconut cream, it goes on to become tender and moist, while also absorbing the creamy and slightly sweet flavors, resulting in a delicious and satisfying dish.
- Sugar: The addition of sugar to the marinade will help to balance the flavors and provide a subtle sweetness that compliments the other ingredients, creating a harmonious taste profile.
- Oyster Sauce: Oyster sauce gives the marinade an extra layer of umami flavor. If you cannot find it, you can substitute it with soy sauce and a pinch of sugar.
For the Coconut Cream Glaze:
- Coconut Cream: For the coconut cream glaze, you’ll be using more of this rich and creamy ingredient, adding a velvety texture and a tropical flavor to the dish. I use coconut cream a lot in my recipes because it has a much stronger coconut flavor. I also like the thicker consistency of coconut cream since it makes the marinade stick to the meat better. If you cannot find coconut cream where you are, you can substitute it with coconut milk but try to look for coconut milk with a higher fat content which usually will make the coconut milk thicker. When you are buying coconut cream or coconut milk, make sure the ingredients are just coconut extract and water. I find that the ones with chemicals in them (ie. polysorbate 80 etc) aren't as flavorful.
- Honey: The honey will be mixed with the coconut cream to create a sweet and sticky glaze that will caramelize as it bakes, giving the chicken a glossy and sweet finish. I like to use honey on the glaze because it is already in liquid form so it mixes in with the coconut cream more evenly. Alternatively, you can use sugar instead.
- Soy Sauce: In addition to the honey and coconut cream, soy sauce will be added to the glaze, providing a savory and salty element that will balance out the sweetness and add depth to the overall taste.
For the Peanut Sauce:
- Peanut Butter (unsweetened): If you choose to make the optional peanut sauce, natural peanut butter will be the base of our sauce. It will result in a creamy and delicious sauce that will complement the chicken perfectly. I like to use peanut butter without emulsifiers in them so that they are easier to mix with the rest of the ingredients (the kind where the oil and peanut butter separate).
- Rice Vinegar: The rice vinegar will add a tangy and slightly acidic note to the peanut sauce which balances out the richness of the peanut butter.
- Thai Red Curry Paste: By adding Thai red curry paste to the peanut sauce, it will provide a spicy and aromatic kick, adding depth and complexity to the overall taste.
- Maple Syrup (or Honey): The maple syrup or honey will provide a touch of sweetness to the peanut sauce, balancing out the savory flavor.
- Water: The water will be added to the peanut sauce to achieve the desired consistency. If you like your peanut sauce thinner, mix in more water.
- Sesame Oil (optional): If desired, a small amount of sesame oil can be added to the peanut sauce, giving it a nutty and toasty flavor that will complement the other ingredients and add depth to the overall taste.
- Chili Oil (optional): For those who enjoy a bit of heat and garlic flavor, chili oil can be added to the peanut sauce. It will add a bit of garlic flavor that will elevate the sauce and give it a bold and exciting twist.
- Crushed Peanuts (Optional, for garnish): As a final touch, crushed peanuts can be sprinkled over the sauce as a garnish. It will add a crunchy texture and a nutty flavor that will complement the other ingredients and provide a delightful contrast.
How to Make Chicken Skewers (Step by Step)
Making this incredible grilled Thai coconut chicken skewers recipe at home is super easy and will give you great results every single time. Here's how to make it step by step:
Step 1: Marinate the Chicken
There's no right or wrong way to prepare this coconut marinade.
You can use a mortar and pestle, a small food processor or you can chop the ginger and garlic finely by hand. Use the method that is easiest for you 🙂
Once the marinade is done, and the meat is mixed in with it - I let it marinade for approximately 1-2 hours. Sometimes if I know I need to make a huge batch for a big event, I will even pre-skewer the meat and marinate it overnight. It marinates fine pre-skewered with no issues.
Step 2: Prepare and Skewer the Thai Chicken Skewers
Skewering is definitely the most tedious part of this recipe. Soak the ends of the skewers that will be exposed to the heat in a cup of water for a few minutes so that they don't burn off. No need to worry about the pointy end, it will be covered with meat.
I personally like to keep the chicken skin on because it adds a bit of flavor and texture to the skewers but you can choose to remove the chicken skin if you want it to be a bit healthier. If you remove the chicken skin, it will definitely be a lot easier to skewer as I find the skin is the hardest part to pierce.
I also find it easier to keep the meat at the top 1-2 inches of the skewer and push the meat down as more get skewered on. You may need to skewer some pieces twice as you don't want floppy bits of chicken dangling while you are grilling since those pieces can easily burn.
Step 3: Grill the Chicken Skewers and Finish Them Off with the Coconut Glaze
When it comes to chicken skewers, I find one of the best parts is the smoky flavor so I love using a charcoal BBQ for this and grilling this over direct heat.
However, if you do not have a charcoal BBQ, you can still use a gas BBQ as well.
Regardless of what type of BBQ you decide to use, you want to cook these over very high heat (500F), over direct heat.
Make sure to watch the meat and don't walk away from it while you are cooking it.
When the meat is almost done, brush a few layers of the coconut glaze you prepared onto the chicken for a bit of sweetness and char.
You don't want to keep the glazed meat on the grill for too long or the sugars will burn. 2-3 minutes should be enough time to caramelize the glaze.
Quick and Easy Peanut Sauce
This chicken skewer recipe doesn't really need a sauce but if you're like me and like to dip everything, here is a great quick and easy Thai peanut satay sauce I usually like to throw together to dip my chicken skewers in.
The details of the ingredients are below in the recipe card as well.
If you are up for it, I also have a Thai peanut sauce recipe you can create from scratch as well which has a bit more texture to it.
Joyce's Tips For Making the Best Chicken Skewers Every Single Time
Coconut Cream Substitute: I highly recommend using coconut cream for this recipe, but if you can't find it, you can use full fat coconut milk. I like shake the can of coconut milk to listen to how thick it is before I buy it.
Marinate for Maximum Flavor: Marinate the chicken for at least 2 hours, or overnight if possible. This will infuse the chicken with delicious Thai flavors and make sure it is tender and juicy when cooked.
Use Dark Meat with Skin On - For the best flavor, use boneless dark meat with the skin on. The fat will render out of the chicken skin and create smoke in the BBQ which will give your chicken a delicious smoky flavor. The crispy skin is delicious as well.
Soak the Wooden Skewers: Soak wooden skewers in water for at least 30 minutes before threading the chicken onto them. This will prevent the skewers from burning on the grill. I like to soak the tips and ends in a cup of water because that is what will be exposed to the flame.
Preheat the Grill: Preheat the grill to medium-high heat before cooking the chicken skewers. This will make sure that the chicken cooks evenly and develops a nice char on the outside.
Thread Chicken Tightly: Skewer the marinated chicken onto the skewers tightly, making sure there are no gaps between the pieces. This will help the chicken cook evenly and prevent it from drying out or burning.
Rest Before Serving: After cooking, let the chicken skewers rest for a few minutes before serving. This allows the juices to redistribute and helps to guarantee a more tender and delicious final result.
- Serve the grilled Thai chicken skewers on a bed of steamed jasmine rice or pad thai and top with chopped fresh cilantro and a squeeze of lime for a delicious and complete meal.
- Create a Thai-inspired salad by tossing together shredded cabbage, carrots, and cucumber. Top with the grilled chicken skewers and drizzle with a peanut dressing for a refreshing and satisfying dish.
- Wrap the grilled Thai coconut chicken skewers in lettuce leaves with rice noodles, red peppers, carrots and cucumbers salad and serve as lettuce wraps. Garnish with sliced red chili peppers, chopped peanuts, and a drizzle of sweet chili sauce or peanut satay sauce for a fun and interactive meal.
- Make a tropical-inspired bowl by arranging the grilled chicken skewers on a bed of coconut-infused quinoa. Top with diced pineapple, sliced avocado, and a sprinkle of toasted coconut flakes for a burst of flavors and textures.
- Serve the grilled chicken skewers as an appetizer or party snack with a side of peanut sauce for dipping. Garnish with chopped green onions and crushed peanuts for an extra layer of flavor.
- Serve it with a side of Thai sweet and sours soups like Tom Yum or Tom Kha soup for a simple meal with lots of flavors.
Recipe Variation Ideas for Chicken Skewers
This delicious grilled chicken kabobs recipe is so flavorful and easy to make, you'll want to try out some of these delicious variations! Here are some great ideas:
Spicy twist: Add a teaspoon of red pepper flakes or a tablespoon of sriracha sauce to the marinade for an extra kick of heat. This is perfect for those who enjoy spicy flavors and want to add some heat to their dish.
Veggies: You can easily add any veggies you like to the skewers or even alternative it with the chicken for a delicious chicken and veggie skewer combination! Bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, zucchini, and red onions, all work great!
Meat: Switch out the chicken for pork for some delicious Thai pork skewers! I find pork shoulder or pork butt works best because of the marbling of fat to meat ratio. Make sure to adjust cooking time to ensure they’re cooked all the way through.
Frequently Asked Questions
For best results, make sure to marinate the chicken for at least 2 hours, or overnight if possible. This allows the flavors of the coconut milk, fish sauce, and spices to fully penetrate the meat.
Yes, you can use boneless skinless chicken breasts if you prefer. However, keep in mind that chicken thighs are more flavorful and tend to stay moist and juicy when grilled.
Yes, you can definitely grill these skewers on an indoor grill or stovetop grill pan. Just make sure to preheat the grill or pan and cook the skewers over medium-high heat until the chicken is cooked through and slightly charred.
Yes, you can make these skewers ahead of time and reheat them later. Just make sure to store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator. To reheat, you can either grill them again for a few minutes or heat them in the oven at 350°F (175°C) until warmed through.
How to Store Leftover Chicken Skewers
To store the leftovers, first, allow the cooked chicken to cool down to room temperature. Then, transfer the leftovers to an airtight container or wrap them tightly in plastic wrap. Store the leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
When you are ready to eat the leftovers, you can reheat them by grilling them again for a few minutes or by using a microwave or oven. If you are using a microwave, place the chicken on a microwave-safe plate, cover with a damp paper towel, and heat in 30-second intervals until heated through.
If you are using an oven, preheat it to 350°F (175°C), place the chicken on a baking sheet, and heat for about 10-15 minutes or until warmed through.
It is not recommended to freeze these cooked grilled Thai coconut chicken skewers as freezing can cause the chicken to become dry and to lose its flavor and texture but to save time you can freeze the raw chicken with marinade in the freezer ahead of time and when you are ready to make it, fully thaw it in the fridge before you grill them.
More Thai Recipes You May Like
- Tom Yum Goong (Thai Hot and Sour Soup)
- Thai Basil Turkey Fried Rice
- Khao Soi (Thai Coconut Curry Noodle Soup)
- Creamy Thai Red Curry
- Thai Peanut Sauce (From Scratch)
- Thai Larb Meatballs
- Thai Basil Chicken (Pad Krapow Gai)
- Tom Kha Gai (Thai Coconut Chicken Soup)
- Pad Thai
Did You Make This Thai Chicken Kebab Recipe?
If you made this Thai Coconut Grilled Chicken Skewers recipe leave me a comment to let me know how it went! I also want to see! Follow Pups with Chopsticks on Instagram, snap a photo, and tag and hashtag it with @pupswithchopsticks and #pupswithchopsticks. I love to know what you are making!
Grilled Thai Coconut Chicken Skewers
Joyce's Recipe Notes
- If you can't find coconut cream, you can substitute it with coconut milk however it will not have as strong a coconut flavor and the consistency of the marinade may be runnier. If you use coconut milk, try to find a high full fat content coconut milk and try to find a coconut milk with just 2 ingredients in it - coconut extract and water. Any coconut milk that has chemicals (ie. polysorbate80) tastes less coconutty.
- This recipe works great with pork as well. Try switching up the chicken for chunks of pork shoulder! 🙂
- When it comes to chicken, I usually prefer dark meat over white meat because it has more flavor albeit less healthier. If you choose to use chicken breast, I find brining it (1 ½ tablespoons of salt with 4 cups of water) for a few hours in a salt water, prior to marinating it makes the chicken breast less dry.
- Chicken skin is added flavour and texture, but it can be removed to make these chicken skewers a bit healthier
- Oyster sauce gives the marinade an extra layer of umami flavor. If you cannot find it, you can substitute it with soy sauce and a pinch of sugar.
- I like to use light soy sauce for as the salt for this recipe. Dark soy is slightly thicker and has a thin syrupy consistency. It gives the chicken its dark brown color. If you cannot find a dark soy sauce, you can substitute it with light soy sauce.
- I like to use honey on the glaze because it is already in syrup form. You can substitute it for sugar, but you will need to melt the sugar in ½ tablespoon of hot water to melt it before mixing it with the coconut cream glaze.
- 1 kg chicken (dark meat preferably)
Simple Peanut Sauce (Optional)
- 2 tablespoons coconut cream
- ¼ cup natural peanut butter (unsweetened)
- 1 teaspoon rice vinegar
- 1 teaspoon Thai red curry paste
- 2 teaspoon maple syrup (or honey)
- 2 teaspoon soy sauce
- 2-3 tablespoons water (or enough to thin it out to the consistency you like)
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil (optional)
- 1 teaspoon chili oil (optional)
- crushed peanuts (optional, sprinkled on top)
Quick & Easy Peanut Sauce (Optional)
- In a small bowl, combine all the ingredients from the peanut sauce ingredient list and mix well.
- Set aside until the chicken skewers are ready to be served.
Marinating & Skewering the Chicken
- If you are using wooden skewers, in a tall cup, add water and soak the back ends (the ends that are not pointy) so they don't burn on the grill.
- Cut the chicken up into 1x1 inch chunks and set it in a bowl
- Using your preferred method (mortar and pestle, food processor, or finely chop by hand) chop the garlic and ginger up as finely as you can and add it to the chicken
- Add the rest of the marinade ingredients from the 'Marinade' ingredient list into the bowl and mix everything together.
- Let it marinade in the bowl for 1-2 hours in the fridge
- Remove them from the fridge 30 minutes before you are about to grill them.
- Skewer the chicken. You may need to skewer some pieces twice so that there are not a lot of loose pieces. The loose pieces usually burn the quickest, so you want the meat to be snug with the skewers. (Also make sure not to run your fingers along the skewers to prevent splinters. Salty marinade splinters are not fun. Use the meat as a shield to run them down the skewers 🙂 )
Making the Coconut Cream Glaze
- In a small bowl, combine the coconut cream, honey and soy sauce and set aside for glazing the chicken at the very end.
- Set the charcoal or gas grill to approximately 500F (260C)
- When the grill has reached the temperature, add the skewers on the grill. You want to cook them over direct heat.
- Flip them every 2-3 minutes, 4-5 times or for approximately 15-18 minutes. Do not leave them un-attended, they will burn quickly. Once the meat has browned and charred over the direct heat for 15 minutes, it should feel a bit more solid on the stick and should be cooked.
- Brush on the coconut cream glaze and flip them every minute, 2-3 times to get that sweet and sticky caramelized char.
- Serve over a bed of green lettuce with the peanut sauce. (The green lettuce is not just a garnish, but a great way to do mini chicken lettuce wraps with the peanut sauce! 🙂 )
*Nutritional information is calculated using online tools and is an estimate*
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