Cast Iron Skillet Chicken Satay Thighs


Everything about this dish screams childhood nostalgia. Is it the wonderbread? Is it the tender juicy bits of chicken marinaded in turmeric. I've adapted this to be a easier and healthier.  The classic dish, Moo Satay (มูสะเต๊ะ) uses pork tenderloin. Street vendors slice it in the tiniest of pieces and continually baste until cooked. In many places you'll find yourself ordering 25 sticks for the table and wiping up any excess peanut sauce with grilled bread.

However, when I'm hungry... I do not wish to skewer 50+ skewers for a meal. For this, I love the juiciness of the chicken thighs and how it bastes in its own in a cast iron skillet. Starting the skillet from room temp and bringing it up to heat makes sure that the chicken doesn't burn on the outside before cooking on the inside. The end result is super juicy thighs with crispy skin. If you want to go the skewer route, I have some tips below too. 

Also, for you girls with nail polish, both no chip or classic manicure, be sure to use gloves. Turmeric does stain but will come in a few days. Soaking your nails in diluted vinegar also helps speed up the process.

You can modify this dish and use boneless skinless chicken thighs. Cube the chicken before marinating. Soak bamboo skewers in water for at least an hour so they don't burn on the grill. Thread the chicken onto the skewers and voila! - You have a really fun party dish. Now just sit back and watch those sticks stack up. Nothing is better than meat on a stick at parties. 


Cast Iron Skillet Chicken Satay Thighs

Active Prep Time : 40 mins | Cook Time 40 Minutes

Serves 4-6

Printable Version

  • 1½ pounds chicken thighs, about six good thighs
  • ½ cup coconut milk
  • 1 stalk of lemongrass, minced
  • ½ teaspoon of ground coriander
  • ½ teaspoon of ground white pepper (black pepper is okay too)
  • ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon cumin


  1. In a bowl, mix chicken thighs, coriander, ground white or black pepper, turmeric, cumin, chopped lemongrass, and coconut milk until evenly coated. 
  2. Let marinate for 2hrs or overnight. 
  3. Nestle chicken thighs skin side down in a room temp skillet and place on medium heat stove. 
  4. Let the cast iron come to temperature and cook for 10 minutes, flip, and let second side cook for ten minutes until cooked.
  5. Serve with peanut sauce and cucumber sauce.


Crazy Easy Peanut Sauce

  • 2 tablespoons of natural peanut butter
  • 2 oz of red curry paste
  • 2 tablespoons of cooking oil
  • ¾ cup of coconut mik
  • 2 oz of curry paste

Achad, Cucumber salad

  • ½ cup of chopped cucumber
  • 1 medium sized shallot 
  • 1 sliced fresno or fingerling chili
  • ½ cup vinegar
  • 1 tsp of sugar
  • ½ tsp of sea salt
  • cilantro to garnish

For the peanut Sauce

Video tutorial here

  1. Heat oil on medium and fry the curry until fragrant
  2. Add peanut butter and coconut milk
  3. Bring to a low boil and whisk

For the Achad

  1. Mix all in a bowl right before serving, cucumbers will pickle really quickly leaving them soggy
  2. Garnish with cilantro to serve, optional

For this dish you can grill Wonderbread or Butternut. Honestly, the really cheap white bread works best or serve on a bed fluffy white rice.