Friday, May 20, 2011

Friday Food - Thai Grilled Chicken

This morning we woke up to 71℉ and 95% humidity and are expecting 86℉ this afternoon. Summer has arrived and from now until October or November it will not get any cooler than that at night and definitely much, much hotter during the day. It's not my favorite time of the year here...
During those hot and humid summer months, we like to grill. Actually, I should say that I love that Daniel likes to grill in the summer ... and stay out there by the hot grill with the mosquitoes swarming around him. Not a job for me, that's for sure!!
One of our very favorite dishes is this Thai grilled chicken with a dipping sauce and cucumber relish. We've been making it for years and still haven't gotten tired of it! Although we don't eat it too often because of the all the sugar in the dipping sauce and cucumber relish...

Today, I'd like to share the recipes with you.

Barbecued Chicken Chiang Mai Style
from True Thai, the Modern Art of Thai Cooking (I think the cookbook is out of print by now, which is too bad - it is excellent!)

2 frying chickens (about 3 1/2 pounds each), split in half (we usually make this with one chicken if it's just for us, but still make the full recipe for the marinade)
1 small bunch cilantro
1 large orange
3 1/2 tablespoons roughly chopped garlic
2 tablespoons whole black peppercorns, ground
1/2 tablespoon salt
1 bottle (12 ounces) beer, allowed to go flat
Sweet and Spicy Dipping Sauce (recipe to follow)

Place the chicken halves skin-side up, in a shallow roasting pan. Lightly score the chicken to allow the marinade to penetrate. Set aside.

Chop the cilantro stems and reserve the leaves for another use. You should have about 3/4 cups loosely packed chopped stems.

Trim off the ends of the orange and discard.

Cut the orange into 1/2-inch slices and remove any seeds. Stack and cut the slices into small cubes. You should have about 3/4 cups.

Combine the cilantro stems, orange cubes, garlic, pepper, and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Process until the mixture is ground to a rough-textured paste. With the motor running, pour the beer through the feed tube. Process until the mixture is well blended.

Pour the marinade of the chicken halves, then turn them skin-side down. Spoon some of the marinade into the cavities. Marinate in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours, or up to 24 hours, turning occasionally to coat each half well.

Grill or roast (in 425℉ oven) the chicken for about 30 to 40 minutes, turning the chicken now and then and  basting it frequently with the marinade. If you are roasting it in the oven, brown the chicken at the end by turning on the broiler.

Cut chicken into smaller pieces and serve hot, warm or at room temperature with the dipping sauce.

Sweet and Spicy Dipping Sauce
from True Thai, the Modern Art of Thai Cooking

1/2 cup distilled white vinegar
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon Chinese-style chili-garlic sauce, preferably Lee Kum Kee brand

In a small saucepan, combine the vinegar and 1/2 cup of the sugar. Bring to a low boil over medium-high heat. stirring occasionally. Lower the heat to medium and stir in the rest of the sugar. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently as the mixture comes to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and add the salt. Simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the chili-garlic sauce and remove from heat.

Let cool and serve at room temperature.

Covered and refrigerated, this sauce will keep for 2 to 3 weeks.

Spicy Cucumber Relish
from True Thai, the Modern Art of Thai Cooking

1 cup distilled white vinegar
1 cup golden brown or white sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 large cucumber, hothouse or common variety, or 1 pound small pickling cucumbers
4 to 6 small Thai chilies or 2 to 3 serrano chilies, finely chopped
1/2 cup roasted unsalted peanuts, crushed in a mortar or finely chopped
1/3 cup loosely packed chopped cilantro

Combine the vinegar, sugar and salt in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar and salt. Cook for 1 minute at a gentle boil, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and cool to room temperature.

When ready to serve, peel the cucumber and cut in half lengthwise. (If using a common cucumber, scrape out the seeds with a spoon.) Cut the halved cucumber crosswise into thin slices. Place the cucumber, chilies, peanuts and cilantro in a mixing bowl. Pour the cooled vinegar dressing over the relish ingredients and mix gently.

Add to that some jasmine rice and you'll have an amazing meal!!

Now, it may seem complicated, but it really isn't as most of it you can do ahead of time, even the dressing for the relish. Plus, the marinade is done in the food processor well in advance - super easy! So, at mealtime, you simply grill the chicken, cook the rice and put together the relish ingredients.



  1. Wow! This sounds absolutely delicious.

  2. Ohh, ich liebe Thai Food. Und das Relish muss ich unbedingt probieren!

  3. Il me faudrait un "Daniel" comme le vôtre pour me cuisiner un tel bon poulet!... Cependant, je ne dois pas me plaindre j'aime tant cuisiner que j'accepte de m'y mettre!!! merci pour la recette...
    Gros bisous à vous.

  4. Where is the "TASTE SAMPLE" button?

  5. I feel so bad that it's so hot over there! We've been deluged with rain. The sun FINALLY came out late this afternoon - and it was beautiful to see. We love grilling during the warmer months, too. Thanks for sharing these recipes. :) Enjoy the weekend! Theresa

  6. Oooh, now this is something that I have to try...perhaps for our next get together BBQ!

  7. Oh Silke- what a wonderful way to celebrate a beautiful spring day- this recipe looks fabulous. Thanks for sharing- I think it is a keeper!