Slow Cooker Chicken Satay Curry is deliciously rich and fragrant with tender pieces of chicken in a lightly spiced thick and nutty sauce. It’s incredibly flavourful and is a fantastic alternative for a weekend fake-away.
Origin of Chicken Satay
Chicken Satay originates from South East Asia and is commonplace in Indonesian and Malaysian cuisine. There, it is often served as street food where meat is seasoned, skewered then grilled or barbecued and served with an intensely flavoured dipping sauce.
In fact, the name satay is actually derived from the way the meat is cooked on a kebab stick rather than the flavours for the sauce. The dipping sauces can vary in ingredients but peanut and soy is the usual combination.
This recipe is based on the traditional ingredients but instead of serving the meat and sauce separately, they are cooked together in the pot to make a delicious satay curry. So you still get all of the amazing flavours of the dish but with the ease of cooking it in a single pot in the slow cooker! What could be better?
Ingredients in Chicken Satay Curry
The prominent flavours in satay dipping sauce are peanut, soy and coconut cream. In this recipe, the richness of these ingredients is cut through with the sharpness of lime, rice wine vinegar and a fragrant herb and spice mix of coriander, chilli, cinnamon, turmeric and mild curry. So the sauce remains thick and creamy but you get a lovely fresh and fragrant finish.
Traditionally, various types of skewered meats are used for satay with chicken being the most popular. I use chicken thighs here rather than breast meat because their higher fat content allows the meat to remain succulent after hours of cooking. Chicken breast will also work but will cook faster so adjust the cook time accordingly.
Tips to make a peanut satay sauce
The following ingredients create the base for that famous peanut satay sauce and here are some tips to make sure it comes out rich and silky!
- Peanut butter. Comes in smooth and crunchy varieties. Different brands also contain different quantities of oil, so more oil means a runnier butter which will produce a slightly thinner sauce. My preference is thick and crunchy peanut butter as the little chunks of peanut add a lovely texture. I usually buy the Whole Earth or Meridian butters which turn out great. I have also cooked this dish with other brands which also work well!
- Coconut milk. Full fat milk has a more intense flavour and is thicker which works better in the slow cooker.
- Soy sauce. There are several brands of soy sauce available with variance in taste and saltiness. I use Kikkoman sauce which is a fragrant soy sauce and tastes on the saltier side so I need to add less in cooking (one tablespoon). It’s worth starting off with a smaller amount and adjusting to taste at the end of cooking if using different brands.
- Cornflour. A small amount of corn starch helps to stabilise creamy sauces in the slow cooker, meaning they are less likely to split.
- Vegetables. Adding vegetables is another great way to add texture and broaden the taste of the dish. I would recommend red and green peppers (capsicum), mange tout or baby corn. To help the vegetables retain their shape and texture, cut them into thick strips and add to the pot half way through the cooking time. Also note that vegetables will always release varying degrees of water whilst cooking so the sauce will be thinner. Adding a little extra corn starch in the beginning can help with this.
Making Chicken Satay Curry in the crock pot
Slow Cooker Chicken Satay Curry takes around fifteen minutes to prepare and then it’s simply a case of leaving it to cook! The steps are below.
Start by preparing the onion, ginger and garlic and removing any sinew from the chicken thighs before chopping into thirds and adding everything to the pot. Next coat the chicken and onions in the crumbled stock, brown sugar, coriander and spice mix. Drizzle over the lime juice, soy and vinegar before sprinkling over the cornflour and stirring again. Add peanut butter and coconut milk to make up that delicious sauce and that’s it, cook!
Serve the curry with freshly cooked jasmine rice and a sprinkling of coriander. Add chopped red chilli for a little extra kick!
How long will this keep?
Chicken Satay Curry can be kept in the fridge for up to three days or frozen for up to three months.
More Delicious Slow Cooker Curries
Crockpots are perfect for making curries. Why not try one of these alternatives?
Slow Cooker Chicken Satay Curry
- 1 kg chicken thighs
- 2 red onions medium, finely sliced
- 5 garlic cloves minced
- 1½ tsp ginger thumb sized fresh ginger (finely grated) or 1 tsp of ground ginger
- 1 lime juice only
- 400 ml coconut milk (1 can) full fat ideally
- 6 tbsp peanut butter crunchy or smooth
- 1 chicken stock cube crumbled
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar mirin
- 1½ tsp brown sugar
- 2 tsp coriander finely chopped dried or fresh coriander
- 1½ tsp mild curry powder I used Bart Mild Curry Powder
- 1½ tsp turmeric ground
- 1 tsp mild chilli powder
- ½ tsp chilli flakes
- ½ tsp cinnamon ground
- 1.5 tbsp cornflour
- Slice the onions, peel and grate the garlic and ginger and trim any sinew from the chicken thighs before cutting them into large pieces (dividing each thigh into three roughly). Put everything into the slow cooker.
- Add the crumbled chicken stock cube, sugar, coriander, spice mix (turmeric, curry powder, chilli flakes and powder, cinnamon) and stir to coat the chicken and onions. Add the lime juice, soy sauce and rice wine vinegar.
- Sprinkle over the corn flour and stir through to cover the ingredients.
- Add the peanut butter and coconut milk.
- Mix well to combine all of the ingredients and then cook on low for 6-8 hours.
- Serve with freshly cooked jasmine rice.