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Sabu's Spicy Coconut Chicken Skewers

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Since several people have been asking for this recipe, and since I've just finished making a huge batch for Doctor Z's party tonight, I guess it's about time I got around to posting it. Here is the secret recipe to:

Sabu's Spicy Coconut Chicken Skewers

1/2 cup apricot jam
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1/2 cup canned coconut milk
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
2 tablespoons curry powder
1/4 heaping teaspoon cayenne pepper
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 cup shredded sweetened coconut
wooden skewers

Combine all ingredients, except chicken and coconut (and skewers of course), in a saucepan and heat while stirring until boiling. Reduce heat to medium/low and allow marinade to reduce somewhat, (about 15 minutes), stirring occasionally. Put chicken breasts in a pan and pour most of the marinade on top, saving a small portion in a container for later. Make sure both sides of the breasts are coated with the marinade and let pan sit in a refrigerator at least 2 hours (I leave mine overnight).

Toast the coconut on a baking sheet or shallow pan in a 350-degree oven, turning the coconut with a spatula periodically so that it is a light brown. (dark brown works too, so don't worry if it's overdone).

Grill chicken breasts until done but tender, brushing with the marinade in the pan. Slice breasts in thirds lengthwise. Skewer each strip on a wooden skewer and brush with the reserved marinade you had set-aside at the beginning. Roll in toasted coconut and serve on Ti Leaf. Makes 12 skewers.

You don't have to increase the marinade proportionately for larger quantities. For today's batch of 50 chicken breasts, I multiplied the above recipe by eight. I also used two 10 oz bags of shredded coconut.


[ Edited by: Sabu The Coconut Boy on 2004-07-31 11:53 ]


Sabu-sounds scrumptious!I'm going to make those soon-keep the recipes coming!


Oh yeah these are going in the book!


The best coconut chicken I have ever had in my entire life. It was nice meeting you there. thank you, thank you, thank you. Say can I do this merinade for shrimp????

Nice meeting you too, Hiltiki!

The marinade should work fine for shrimp, although I've never tried it. One other warning: due to the high content of curry in the sauce, make sure that you use ceramic, glass, or metal pans to store this in. You are certainly free to use plastic, (I do), but be sure it's a disposable plastic container, because the sauce will stain it yellow permanently. It also stains clothes, so be careful.


[ Edited by: Sabu The Coconut Boy on 2004-08-02 01:33 ]


Sabu, that was great chicken & shrimp you made for Z's party, thanks for the recipe as well! 1/2 cup apricot jam, thats the flavor i couldnt quite pinpoint when tasting them this weekend.


[ Edited by: Tiki Bird on 2004-08-02 10:29 ]

Y'all, I've been waiting for this recipe for about 4 years.
Certainly worth the wait, and I definitely plan on trying it with seafood (so the good Doctor can have some). I also plan on bringing the chicken to family functions as well.

Thanks (finally!), Sabu!!!

P.S. Hey, now we just need the recipe for the shrimp. (If I remember correctly, that marinade is a bit simpler, but also exceptionally tasty!


did someone say shrimp, what shrimp? Oops I must have missed it.

Thanks Sabu. That chicken was da kine. I'm definately going to try out your recipe soon (as in like...this weekend!)


On 2004-07-31 11:51, Sabu The Coconut Boy wrote:

Sabu's Spicy Coconut Chicken Skewers

"Spicy Coconut Chicken Skewer" - Is that what you kids are calling it these days?

(hey, is this little pun still working? If not, please let me know and I'll start doing the "That's what she said!" routine. Thank you in advance for your advice.)


We'll be fixing up some of these for tomorrow's Tiki Time at the Lagoon Lounge(â„¢AlnShellyProductions).

Mahalo for the recipe.

I'll bring something good in here for you to try as a offering to Mighty Sabu.




I made everyone who complimented me on the chicken, chant that.

Pretty much everyone.

Awesome stuff.
No leftovers.

That and the Poisson Crue were huge hits. TC rules the kitchen.


whoa ~ i made these terrific tidbits today ~ i took a shortcut, and skewered chicken tenders, and then marinated them overnight, and broiled them 7 mins on each side.. oh wow. ONOLICIOUS! my god, there were only 10 of us, but we finished off a Costco-sized bag of chicken tenders.

thanks for sharing the secret recipe!


sounds yummY!

Fantastic recipe Sabu!! THANK YOU!
That was heaven.
I made them yesterday for a mouthwatering group(including myself) Everyone was totally silent until they had finished eating!
"Can't talk...eating"

I've already been asked to do them again for the in-laws that arrive today!

Mucho Mahaloz,


ps: Sabu's right, this makes a LOT of marinade. i doubled the recipe just because i didnt want a half jar of jam left over. there was enough sauce to soak a lot more chicken!
now i have 2 jars of leftover marinade (which i'm going to freeze~will report back how that works)

I had leftover sauce ready to save but the hubby turfed it before I had a chance to get it in the fridge or freezer. DOH!

I just had to post a gigantic THANK YOU and MANY CHEERS to Sabu the Coconut Boy for posting his Spicy Coconut Chicken Skewers. Once I saw the recipe, I knew exactly what I'd be making for 40+ guests for my International Tiki Day Party! They were a HUGE hit! We made a ton of them since we were expecting 2x as many people. In fact, I'm eating one right now...dont'cha love leftovers? This is definitely my party recipe choice from now on...Excellent! Later, we started to think we were running low on chicken and thought we could intersperse chicken and fresh cut pineapple hunks on the skewer to make the chicken go a bit further...yummmm. We also had a rich chocolate fondue with fresh pineapple, strawberries, orange slices and marshmellows for dipping. What a mess, but everyone was wearing that chocolate grin! Drinks served were a quasi-mai-tai punch and my own Rum concoction I named the Sterling Mossman (aka Hula Cop) in tribute to him and his fun wacky hawaiian music...but since no one could remember his name, we renamed it the drink the Hula Cop.

The Sterling Mossman (aka Hula Cop)

Fill your favorite tiki mug with lots of broken ice hunks(not crushed)

1 hefty double shot dark rum (I use Rum of the Gods from Trader Joes for parties, its cheap, comes in a big jug [5 huge bottles were only 55.00!], and it's pretty darn good). Otherwise I use Appleton, VooDoo rum, Redrum, or Meyers...heck they're all good!

1 shot Dekuyper Pineapple Schnapps

1 shot R.W. Knudson Pineapple-Coconut juice (a really thick juice you find in the healthfood section of the grocery store, Trader Joe's, or healthfood store). I tried coconut milk but it tastes a bit greasy so I find this stuff works great and lasts a long time).

1 shot R.W. Knudson All Cranberry (don't ever drink this by itself...its really ALL cranberry...SOOOOO TART, it HURTS!).

Fill mug to top with a really good Ginger Ale like Verner's (my fav), or Ginger Beer.

Get a good strong swizzle stick and swizzle all that heavy sweet coconut juice that sank down to the bottom back up.

Garnish with fruit and a mint sprig. ENJOY!

Thanks again SABU! Your recipe was the best! I can't wait til the next party! Cheers! K

Thanks all, for the compliments, and you are very welcome! I hadn't checked this thread for a while and so had no idea how many of you had tried the recipe! Glad it's meeting with approval. Mixing it up with pineapple on the skewers sounds like a great idea. What I like most about this chicken is that it goes so well with rum-based drinks. Keep on grilling!


i used the sauce on wings..and those turned out just as wonderful as the skewers.

Here's a tip on getting the chicken covered on all sides with marinade:

Put the chicken in an oversized Zip-Loc bag, pour the marinade over it, zip the bag almost closed, squeeze out the remaining air & finish zipping the bag up. Put the whole bag in a large glass bowl in the fridge (in case it leaks). When you're done marinading the chicken just pour it out into the large glass bowl & throw the bag away. No turning, no staining, and the raw chicken's only in the bowl for a few minutes while you take it out to the grill, so you don't have to soak it in chlorine to sterilize it.

Oh man Sabu,
I made a batch of your chicken skewers last night... Ono Kine!
They were a HUGE hit! Damn, I wish there were some leftovers...

freddie, I used your zip-lock bag technique on Tuesday night, it worked perfectly! Especially since fridge space was tight.

10 family members with happy full bellies. It got a little messy though, the cottage we were staying in didn't have a pastry brush! (warning...the sauce temporarily stains silver nail polish :))

dude...i tried it over the weekend and man was that good. People were impressed. I think this is the most popular food/drink thread ever.

thanks a million


man, i finally made these this weekend and they were AWESOME!!!! we had my sister and brother in law over and all of us loved them. sabu, thanks for this great recipe!!!

[ Edited by: tiki5-0 on 2004-09-27 09:33 ]


My Wahine (who doesn't totally get the whole Tiki Thing yet, but is coming around)and my Mom (a mostly teetotaler who, nonetheless could occasionally be persuaded to order a polynesian cocktail during our bi-weekly Chinese dinner when I was a kid--and of which I would discreetly steal a few sips) Absolutely LOVED the skewers! I made 'em tonight, along with some grilled veggie skewers and brown rice....Yum!

Thanks for the recipe. Have you posted your shrimp recipe on here as well??


Hello Sabu,

Just wanted to add my voice to this chorus: They were great! The wife and I made 'em tonight for dinner and they rocked! Thanks for the recipe.


You know - it's nice to have a "menu" of sorts at the Lagoon Lounge (â„¢AlnShelyProductions) and Sabu's Skewers are a successful and much anticipated dish. I'm certain you stole it from Wolfgang Puck... but that accusation aside, once again, last night, the guests speak in hushed reverence:


Your dish and the Tahitian Raw Fish Salad are so good together.

We added some "pineapple and 3 pepper fried rice" and my "island slaw."

A bowl of the Trader Vic's Navy Grog that Atlanta Joel was good enough to grant me the real recipe to... and a bowl or two of the Meihana from Intoxica.

Life is good.

I feel better now - can you tell?


I made these for the first time yesterday and they were magnificent! There are a lot of rich, complex flavors that make them very satisfying. We used 4 large chicken breasts, almost four pounds worth, with one batch of marinade and 3/4 bag of coconut. Next time I think I'm going to double the cayenne pepper to give it a little more heat.

What brand of apricot jam do other people use?

Mahalo Sabu for sharing this spectacular recipe! Did you have one for shrimp as well?

I've made this at least 3 times so far and it's the best. It's a terrific addition to any Pot Luck or grill party. I found it's easiest to cut the chicken into thick strips with a pair of scissors first, then skewer, then marinade on the skewers. Otherwise, it's totally messy to skewer marinaded squishy chicken.
I was sitting in my tiki room last night drinking a pisco sour and thought of Sabu's Spicy coconut chicken skewers! I ran to the store to purchase the ingredients, marinaded the chicken, and they're on the grill right now! YUM! I can't wait........


Must turn chicken......make rum cocktail......

Cheers to all, Kris

I made these for 80+ people at a beach party, I used my 8 foot B-B-Q and had the grill full three times, I used banana leaves to serve them on. I have always loved coconut but toasting it is unbelieveable! The manager of Tropical Jams lives on my street, I barter with him for cases of apricot jam! Sabu, More please! No more cow bell, we want more recipes. Thanks again!


I made this recipe for Mai Tai and in laws last week. Missing a few ingredients, I substituted with Apricot Pineapple jam and yellow mustard. Marinated them for only 15 minutes (we were hungry), and grilled the skewers on the stove top grill. They were still absolutely scrumptious. Bananabobs is right, the toasted coconut is amazing. Wow, great recipe. Thanks!!!!

While everyone is planning their long weekend, they might want to think about serving Sabu's Famous Spicy Coconut Chicken Skewers. Highly recommended!


You know, that's just exactly what I was thinking. Good call. Will do!

Swanky posted on Fri, Jul 7, 2006 7:36 AM

Sabu, this recipe is on for my luau this month. I'll be serving 25-30 people, and I don't want to spend the whole time over the grill, so, can someone suggest an oven method for cooking? 15 minutes at 350 degrees? I dunno. I just want to work less and enjoy more. I am also wondering about keeping them warm after cooking, etc.

I can't wait to try this recipe. I have been waiting years!

These are AWESOME! We used unsweetened coconut instead. And I didn't have enough Dijon so we used some Ginger-Wasabi mustard, too. THE BEST!! Can't wait to make more!!

[ Edited by: coconut cups 2006-07-08 14:53 ]


Thank goodness for the chicken, otherwise I would of been drinking the sauce! good stuff! I've made it twice this month!

Ok, I joined in the fun, and made these Friday for my brother's (small) wedding reception, to be served as apps. Breast tenders were $1.77 a pound, so I marinated up 6 pounds of them, making a triple batch of the sauce. They went over quite well, but people didn't gorge themselves on them, since there was still steak coming for dinner :) I put the remainders in the freezer (after having more for lunch today) for another time.

Suffice it to say that these will be going in my standard recipe bag.

Thanks Sabu!



Awesome awesome awesome. And using the "pre-cut" breast tenders saves time and possibly fingers.

Swanky posted on Sat, Aug 5, 2006 1:23 PM

I made about 40-50 of these for my luau and they were a huge hit! I just sent the recipe to one of the attendees! I screwed up the recipe a bit by uping tablespoons instead of teaspoons on the pepper, but we scrapped it off as best as possible before mixing and it was just fine. I also skewered the chicken before marinating it and cut the skewers in half to have one fat piece of chicken per skewer.


I made about 30 of these last night and everyone fell on them as soon as they were ready. What a great party food. As if Sabu's recipe wasn't enough, I read this in the news today.

Curry may keep elderly minds sharp
Thu Oct 26, 12:10 PM ET
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - A diet containing curry may help protect the aging brain, according a study of elderly Asians in which increased curry consumption was associated with better cognitive performance on standard tests.
Curcumin, found in the curry spice turmeric, possesses potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
It's known that long-term users of anti-inflammatory drugs have a reduced risk of developing Alzheimer's disease, although these agents can have harmful effects in the stomach, liver and kidney, limiting their use in the elderly.
Antioxidants, such as vitamin E, have been shown to protect neurons in lab experiments but have had limited success in alleviating cognitive decline in patients with mild-to-moderate dementia.
In their study, Dr. Tze-Pin Ng from National University of Singapore and colleagues compared scores on the Mini-Mental State Exam (MMSE) for three categories of regular curry consumption in 1,010 nondemented Asians who were between 60 and 93 years old in 2003.
Most of the study subjects consumed curry at least occasionally (once every 6 months), 43 percent ate curry at least often or very often (between monthly and daily) while 16 percent said they never or rarely ate curry.
After taking into account factors that could impact test results, they found that people who consumed curry "occasionally" and "often or very often" had significantly better MMSE scores than did those who "never or rarely" consumed curry.
"Even with the low and moderate levels of curry consumption reported by the respondents, better cognitive performance was observed," Ng and colleagues report.]
These results, they note, provide "the first epidemiologic evidence supporting a link between curry consumption and cognitive performance that has been suggested by a large volume of earlier experimental evidence."
Curry is used widely by people in India and "interestingly," the prevalence of Alzheimer's disease among India's elderly ranks is fourfold less than that seen in the United States.
"In view of its efficacy and remarkably low toxicity," curry shows promise for the prevention of Alzheimer's disease, the researchers conclude.
SOURCE: American Journal of Epidemiology, November 1, 2006.

Now if they can only come out with a study on rum.....


Since October I have been asked to make these multiple times I think its been 5 times now that I have made them for family and friends and everyone wants the recipe including Mario the chef at the Warehouse who wants to offer it there.
I told him that it was your recipe and it was up to you and that if you OK'd it,they should call it Sabu's secret chicken. With your approval I'll give him the recipe. Spice Island has a new spicy curry powder that I use and it was noticeably different from two other curry powders I used before.
Just writing about them makes me want to make them tonight even though it snowed here this week. Guess I could try stovetop grilling. Those of you that have not had Sabu chicken don't know what you are missing.
Thanks again for the best party food ever.


All the world is a stage and all men and women merely players, they have their entrances and exits and one man in his life plays many parts. William Shakespere

Life is a state of mind

[ Edited by: Ojaitimo 2007-01-19 11:14 ]

I made this last night, it was so good I ate the leftovers for breakfast.

Sabu's Spicy Coconuts

This recipe also works with frog legs.


BAM! Another satisfied customer at Sabu's House of Chicken! Marinated it for 6 hours, grilled, chilled, ate it and the tastebuds were thrilled.

I 've been scouring the recipes lately trying to find a few nice bites for an upcoming C'masparty/Luau. This one made it to the next round, easily.

I had to do a few things slightly different. Otherwise, it was created straight from the typings of Sabu.:

No apricot jam-had to buy Apricot Preserves. Just had to mash out the big, pulpy apricot pieces.
Already had LITE coconut milk so I used it.
I used boneless, skinless chicken thighs--they're super cheap--easier to feed the masses plus they're my fav because they're much more tender/juicy/flavorful than white meat. They soak up the marinade like a sponge for xtra flava! And you'd really have to screw up bad to overcook/dry out a thigh.

Hope these pics do the recipe justice (can't imagine that, though):

Formerly known as 'Surf-N-Turf'

[ Edited by: howland 2007-11-09 20:33 ]

I just have to bump this post again, in the event a nubie has not seen or tasted heaven. I am making these for Fathers Day for my family and on the 20th, I am cooking for 60 kids at a graduation luau for my church.
One caution, the jam and coconut milk has sugar in it and it will burn like a mother if you have your fire too hot.
Sabu, you have been quiet lately on TC, hope all is well and again we raise a tall rum drink to the Master of the Grill!

On 2008-06-12 21:01, bananabobs wrote:
I just have to bump this post again, in the event a nubie has not seen or tasted heaven. . .

I am one, so thank you to banana for bumpin'. This is definitely on my menu!

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