The cold, harsh winters don’t deter Minnesotans from doing anything. They bike to work in parkas and snow tires. They drill holes in lakes, drop their bobbers, and fish for hours. And even when temperatures plunge to -10 degrees Fahrenheit, they’ll grill outdoors. I vividly remember my mom doing so at least once a week, dressed like an abominable snowman, only her eyes peaking through a face mask, tongs in hand, tending to our dinner.
I don’t have that in me. Although it’s not exactly the same, I use a cast-iron grill pan (this one) when I’m craving something I typically put over the open flame during summer, like these Thai Chicken Skewers. Slippers on, glass of wine in hand — I’d say that’s a great substitute, without giving up blackened char marks or great flavor.
Similar to the marriage of brisket and barbecue, I feel like chicken and peanut sauce were destined for the same kind of love. In fact, peanut sauce has replaced ketchup as my condiment of choice, elevating just about anything whether dipped or drizzled.
This recipe works well on a weeknight, as it comes together in less than 45 minutes, or you could use shorter skewers and serve these as an appetizer that most everyone will love. The chicken is flavored throughout with an uncomplicated marinade, then showered with chili flakes, lime juice, and cilantro before serving.
Tips for Indoor Grilling:
Foods that cook quickly over direct-heat, and those that aren’t too thick are best. Think steaks, chicken, burgers, and veggies. Things that need indirect grilling, like ribs, roasts, and thick cuts should be saved for outdoors.
Since you won’t be getting the same smoky flavor from charcoal or gas, you’ll need to replace that with something. Marinades are great, like I’ve done with these skewers, finish your dish with liquid smoke or a pinch of smoked salt.
Be sure that your pan is well-seasoned (greased), and even your food has a thin coat of oil.
Resist the urge to flip your food early. Letting it cook is what sears and releases it from the pan. In other words, it won’t stick.
1 1/2poundsbonelessskinless chicken cut into 3/4 inch cubes
1/2tablespoontamari (which is gluten-free),or soy sauce
metal or wooden skewers
cilantro for serving
for peanut sauce:
1/2cupnatural peanut butter,no sugar added
1 1/2tablespoonstamari (which is gluten-free),or soy sauce
3tablespoonsfresh lime juice
1 1/2teaspoonssesame oil
Prevent your screen from going dark
To make peanut sauce, whisk all ingredients together in a large bowl until completely smooth. (Mixture will seize up at first, but keep whisking, it will even out.) Set aside.
Before making chicken, if you are using wooden skewers, be sure to soak them in water for 20 minutes to prevent burning. To make chicken, toss chicken cubes with salt. Then mix together olive oil and tamari, and pour over top of chicken. Mix with hands to coat, and let sit for 20 minutes in the refrigerator.
Then thread chicken cubes, about 6-7, on each skewer. Turn grill (or indoor grill pan) to medium-high heat. Grill for 10-12 minutes, turning every 4 minutes so that all sides get a nice char. Test one piece of chicken to see if it is cooked all the way through. Then serve with peanut sauce drizzled and lightly brushed over the top. Sprinkle chicken with minced cilantro, and put extra peanut sauce on the side for dipping.
I use this cast-iron grill pan (affiliate link), which heats evenly, and holds heat well.
The peanut sauce is very good. I stir fried a mix of veggies to have as a side. I’m diabetic and avoid rice. I ate toasted whole wheat pita bread as a dipper for the sauce. The chicken was very good along with everything. I have added this recipe to my go to for quick and tasty meals.
glad you liked the recipe!
I found this recipe on the 25 gluten free kindle dinner recipes but is soy sauce gluten free?
hello! the recipe calls for tamari or soy sauce, tamari is the gluten-free option for soy sauce. enjoy!
YESSSS!!! Thai chicken peanut skewers are the BOMB!! (Note to self: don’t read this post when you’re hungry, or you’ll end up cooking/eating 1 1/2 lbs of chicken by yourself)
hah! that’s a good note to self. ;)
Oh my gosh, I can’t even function outside if it is anywhere below 40 degrees!!! How do those people do it?? Thank you so much for the indoor grilling tips! I don’t own a grill and most likely won’t in the foreseeable future. I do have a grill pan that needs to be used more often. These skewers are beautiful!
I’ve gotten more use out of the grill pan than I thought I would! For some reason I was intimidated at first, but it isn’t difficult at all. I really love making grassfed burgers on it too!
It’s my first time to comment!, but I have been a reader of your blog. It’s nice to have some grilled pork together with friends and your recipe is perfect. I am also gonna try your sauce, just not into peanut, but hoping to find some alternative for that. Can you recommend some healthy alternative for peanut butter sauce?
Hi Kate! And thank you for being a reader. :) That means a lot to me. If you wanted to make the peanut sauce, without peanuts, I would suggest using almond butter instead. Enjoy!
Uh, sign me up! I could eat peanut sauce every day, and this one is sounding mighty fine right now.
And it’s funny to read this right now, because I am also completely anti-cold-weather, yet somehow I found myself GRILLING IN THE SNOW yesterday. What?! I don’t think I’ll be doing that again. Gotta get me one of those grill pans!
You are the definition of “girls who grill.” Booyah! But yes, the grill pan is nice. :) Peanut sauce on everything. Everything.
I’ve been missing grilling season so much lately, so this recipe is a sweet surprise to me! These chicken skewers look amazing with the irresistible thai peanut sauce :)
As a fan of Thai flavors, I can eat this chicken dish every day. I loved that you simplified it and made it so do-able on a weeknight.
Bookmarking this for future.
Thanks for sharing.
i can’t get enough of thai chicken + peanut sauce. whenever we go out for thai, we always order skewers as an appetizer. it never occurred to me i could make it at home until now, lol. bookmarking this recipe for SURE! xo
I live in Texas, and we are straight-up WIMPY when it comes to the cold, but we really love our grills! Some people are hardcore enough to grill outdoors anyway, but I’m not so I take the same approach as you ;) I somehow have NEVER had peanut sauce so I’m looking forward to making these chicken skewers. They look so yummy!
Whew. Saved. I was starting to feel guilty at your intro. I just won a grill pizza oven and haven’t been brave enough to try it. We have also converted to a grill pan (the less expensive Lodge, though I am a Le Creuset braiser addict) for the worst winter Wisconsin weather . Have usually done bigger pieces of meat–now this is on my list–great idea!
Oh, what an awesome win! And a grill pan – it took me a year to get into it, but I love it now. Makes the best grilled veggies too! Stay warm, midwest neighbor. :)
I’ve got a Thai themed dinner party coming up so you KNOW these came in perfect timing to serve my meat-eating guests. Such great finger food ? Thanks for sharinnnng!
wow – now that is perfect timing. and sounds like a super fun dinner party. they are perfect appetizers because you don’t need a plate or utensils! xo
These look so good. We love thai skewers. Will have to try your recipe out.
they’re one of my favorite appetizers when we go out. so wanted to make a version for at home! xo