Thai chicken satay recipe by Sebby Holmes

Sebby Holmes, the head chef and owner of Farang, London’s most exciting Thai restaurant, reveals how to cook this lip-smacking Asian alternative to roast chicken

Chicken is always a great go-to meat when it comes to preparing a simply and hearty Sunday lunch. If you are looking for something different to spice up your roast, try my Thai twist on roast chicken, marinated in sweet, fragrant satay sauce that is guaranteed to have you going back for a second plate. 

Satay is commonly eaten across Asia and traditionally is used to marinate meats or vegetables before skewering and barbecuing over open flames. It takes a little dedication to make the curry paste but, once you have, marinating and roasting the whole chicken is a breeze.  

In a rush? You can make a quick-and-easy satay using 200g of my red curry Payst. Swap the shallots, garlic, ginger and dried chilli for the paste in this recipe. Combining the peanuts and coconut to a premade red curry, this Thai chicken satay recipe is quick, easy and extremely tasty. 


Payst sauces

Serves four, gluten free


  • 1 whole large chicken, around 1.5kg, corn-fed and free-range  
  • 8 large dried red chillies, chopped in half with scissors, soaked in warm water to soften, drained, de-seeded 
  • 6 banana shallots, peeled 
  • 5 garlic cloves, peeled 
  • 1 large knob, roughly 40g, peeled ginger 
  • 80g desiccated coconut 
  • 80g roasted peanuts 
  • 500ml coconut cream 
  • 2tbl fish sauce 
  • 2tbl palm sugar 
  • Large pinch of coarse salt 
  • 6tbl coconut oil (vegetable oil can be used instead) 


thai chicken satay ingredients


Firstly, make the Thai chicken satay paste. In a large pestle and mortar, individually pound each of the ingredients one at a time until the mixture begins to resemble a paste, then remove from the pestle and place to one side. Start with the dried chilli, ginger, garlic, shallots, peanuts and then coconut, using salt as an abrasive if needed. Once all the ingredients have had a good bashing, continue to add all the ingredients together in the pestle and mortar until they have all become one paste. It is normal for this process to take some time to complete properly. Because of the coconut content this paste will only last a week or so, so keep the container it is in wrapped airtight and refrigerated or freeze. 

Now, cook out the satay curry. In a large non-stick pan, add the coconut oil and heat to a high heat. Add the paste and continue to cook out using a metal spoon so you can scrape the paste as it will want to stick to the pan. Continue to fry the paste for around 15-20 minutes until it darkens slightly and the smell becomes one. I always find when cooking out a curry that you can smell the individual ingredients cooking in turn, until it all blends into one smell once all the ingredients are cooked and fused together. At this stage, add the palm sugar and turn the paste down to a medium heat, continue to stir and scrape until the sugar caramelises and the paste begins to darken. When this happens, add the fish sauce. Adding this moisture to the paste will deglaze any paste that has stuck a little to the pan (bear in mind if you are using my red curry Payst, it is already pre-seasoned with palm sugar and fish sauce). Next, take off the heat and add the coconut cream and mix well. 

Allow this mix to cool and then place the chicken in a tray and cover with the cooked-out curry paste, making sure to completely cover the whole chicken under and over with the cooked paste. Then leave this to marinate for a minimum of two hours, ideally overnight.  

Once marinated, preheat an oven to 200°C and place the chicken, skin side up, in a non-stick tray, covered with tin foil on the middle shelf for 40–45 minutes, then remove the tin foil and cook for a further 20 minutes to colour the skin. The paste on the top should be beginning to crisp a little and the chicken juices should be running into the curry paste. Check that the chicken is cooked throughout by making an incision at the leg all the way down to the bone and checking if there are any signs of blood. If there are, return to the oven for a further 5–10 minutes until it is cooked, and the juices run clear. For best results use a temperature probe. You can take it out at 75–80°C and it will still be moist and succulent. Allow to rest for five minutes before serving. 

Serve your Thai chicken satay recipe with steamed jasmine rice.

This recipe is written by Sebby Holmes, founder of Payst and Thai restaurant, Farang. 


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