While I prefer mostly burgers and pork products gracing my grill, my wife loves chicken (not that she doesn’t love the other stuff also) and since I am supposed to be trying to eat healthier, on a more regular basis, I have been trying to cook chicken more often. I tend to find chicken to be on the bland side and, honestly, rather boring, so I am always looking for ways to add some flavor and excitement to it. My most recent experiment has been with Asian flavors, especially those of Thailand.
This recipe calls for a few less mainstream items, but most of the items can be found in the Asian section of most grocery stores. The only item you might have trouble finding is the tamarind concentrate. If you can’t find it just substitute a mixture of fresh lemon and lime juice using about half of the amount called for of the tamarind concentrate. It isn’t a perfect substitute but it does provide the fresh acidity that this marinade needs.
Thai Spiced Grilled Chicken
1/2 cup coconut milk
3 Tbs. green curry paste (you can use red curry paste if you want a hotter, spicier chicken)
2 tsp. soy sauce
1 tsp. fish sauce
3 Tbs. tamarind concentrate
1 piece fresh ginger (about 1″), peeled
1 clove garlic, peeled
5-6 pounds chicken pieces (any mix of legs, wings, thighs and/or breasts), bone in
Roughly chop the garlic and the ginger. Place in a blender with the coconut milk, curry paste, soy sauce, fish sauce, and tamarind concentrate. Blend until smooth. Place chicken pieces into 1 or 2 ziplock bags. Add the marinade, seal the bags and massage the chicken briefly to make sure the marinade is evenly distributed. Allow to marinate at least 6 hours, or better yet, overnight, turning the chicken a couple of times for even marinating.
When ready to cook prepare a medium hot fire, in your grill. Remove chicken from marinade and place skin down on the grill. Grill, covered for 25-30 minutes, or until all the chicken is done. Turn often so as to not burn the chicken, but do allow the skin to get nice and crisp.
My favorite method of cooking various chicken pieces so that they are all done at approximately the same time is to build a medium hot fire in my charcoal grill. Spread the coals out but leave a 2″ ring around the outside of the grill free of charcoal. As pieces get close to being done move them to this outside ring, leaving the less cooked pieces directly over the fire. If you keep the grill covered, and using this method, all the chicken should end up being done at approximately the same time and you avoid the dried out breasts or undercooked thighs.