Thai Grilled Chicken

I made this Serious Eats recipe for friends and we were thrilled with it. I did not make homemade Thai chili sauce because A) the store didn’t have Thai chilis B) It was a weeknight and I am human. So we served it with bottled Thai chili sauce and some leftover cilantro sauce.

To make this recipe stretch a bit further because our chicken was small, we doubled the marinade and also did a batch of boneless chicken thighs. Both were good – the thighs charred less but soaked up more of the marinade.


1 whole chicken, backbone removed and cut in half

salt and pepper

For the marinade:

6 medium cloves garlic

12 sprigs cilantro, including thick stalks

3 tablespoons palm or light brown sugar (I used palm because I had it but it doesn’t process great)

2 teaspoons ground white pepper

1 teaspoon ground coriander

2 tablespoons fish sauce

2 teaspoons dark soy sauce

2 (3-inch) segments lemongrass (optional)

For serving: Thai chili sauce

Combine marinade ingredients in food processor. Make into a paste. Spread over chicken. Refrigerate and marinate (I did minef for about eight hours).

Set up your grill for indirect grilling.

Stick two skewers into each chicken half (check out recipe link if this is confusing). Place chicken halves on non heated side of grill. Cook for about 45 minutes to 140 degrees internal temperature (note: I only cooked mine for 40 and they were almost overdone and the skin was crisp – I didn’t even have to do the second step. But I’m still sort of learning my new grill). If needed, cook another five minutes, skin side down, to crisp up and finish. Let rest at least 10 minutes. Serve with chili sauce.

If making additional chicken thighs like I did, just cook those on direct heat for 5-10 minutes, turning once.


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