We had THE most beautiful weather this past weekend. Mid-70s and sunny all day long both Saturday and Sunday. I had grilling in my sights.
I am not the biggest fan of traditional BBQ chicken. I find the flavors sometimes muddled and overwhelming. I much prefer marinades that impart flavor and tenderness to the meat, rather than something you kind of baste on as an afterthought. I know it’s probably un-American to dislike BBQ sauce, but I’m just not the biggest fan.
This Thai-inspired marinade/glaze totally knocked my socks off. I kinda threw together some of my favorite Asian flavors in hopes that the end result would work. And boy, did it ever. It’s probably one of the best chicken dishes I’ve ever made. It’s smoky, sweet, and salty and completely addicting. This marinade does double duty. Not only does the chicken soak in all its flavors for hours, but then it gets cooked down to an incredibly thick and glossy glaze, much like that of a more traditional BBQ sauce.
I chose to use bone-in, skin-on chicken parts for this recipe because they hold up MAGICALLY on the grill. There is no loss of tenderness or juice when cooked with both the skin and bone. The meat was practically falling off the bone like succulent ribs tend to do. Heaven!
These would be absolutely PERFECT to serve this upcoming weekend for Memorial Day (can we just talk for a minute about how I am completely overwhelmed that it is MD already?! Time is going TOO FAST!). It’s definitely a crowd pleaser.
I’m thinking of doing this exact marinade/glaze on some grilled chicken wings. I think it will work perfectly!
BBQ Thai Chicken (makes 4 servings, but is easily multiplied)
2 bone-in chicken breasts
2 bone-in chicken thighs
2 tablespoons canola oil
¼ cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon fish sauce
¼ cup sweet chili sauce
3 tablespoons chili-garlic sauce
¼ cup brown sugar
3 tablespoons dry sherry
6 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
¼ cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
Salt and black pepper
More cilantro, for serving
1. Place the chicken breasts and thighs in a large baking dish or resealable plastic bag. Mix all the remaining ingredients together until well combined. Check marinade for seasoning (heat, salt, etc.) before pouring it over the chicken.
2. Marinate the chicken for at least 8 hours and up to 24 hours, flipping the chicken occasionally to ensure everything is evenly covered in the marinade.
3. Preheat your grill to high and lightly brush the grate with oil. Add the chicken skin-side down and close the lid to the grill. Cook for 5 minutes per side and then reduce the grill heat to medium-low.
4. Meanwhile, place the marinade in a small pot and bring to a boil. Boil for several minutes to ensure all bacteria is cooked off. Brush the marinade over the chicken and cook for another 15-25 minutes (depends on the size of your chicken pieces). Occasionally brush the reduced sauce over the chicken as it cooks. Once the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165°F, remove from heat, and garnish with cilantro. Serve warm.