Bangkok Barbecued Chicken


by: Breadman

Have you been to that party? You know the one where the host—let’s call him Innocent Ed—takes a stab at making barbecued chicken. Innocent Ed is a great guy but he is not much of a cook and he sees no use for cookbooks. He figures all guys can grill. It’s part of our genetic code. So Innocent Ed trots off to the market to buy bone-in chicken pieces and some barbecue sauce. Back home, he fires up the coals, taking great delight in the blazing heat. He scatters the raw chicken pieces on the grate and begins a male ritual that has survived countless generations. He flips his food. He figures he is not really grilling unless he is poking the food and turning it over regularly. Trouble is, the chicken is sticking. Every time he picks up a piece, he leaves a little skin behind on the grate. The fat in the skin melts and drips into the grill. With the lid open, the fat begins to flare-up. Innocent Ed has created the ideal environment for burning: lots of heat, lots of fat, and lots of air. Ed notices that the chicken pieces are looking dark, so he tries to cover up the blackened spots with some barbecue sauce. He brushes the sauce on liberally and continues the ritual. Turn, turn, turn. Burn, burn, burn. Eventually the sauce has burned so much that he figures the chicken must be cooked, so he pulls it off the grill and serves it. Guess what? It is still raw at the bone. I’ve seen Innocent Ed in backyards and patios from coast to coast. You have probably seen him, too. Please do us all a favor and ask him to sear bone-in chicken pieces over direct medium heat, waiting patiently for them to release from the grate before trying to turn them. Tell him that once the chicken pieces have a nice golden brown color on all sides, move them over indirect heat, where they will roast evenly. And explain to him that by keeping the lid closed as much as possible, he will prevent flareups, he will speed up the cooking time, and he will capture the smokiness that gives grilled food its unique appeal. In short, Innocent Ed will be Excellent Ed, a true grilling guru and a much better host.


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serves: 4

1 whole chicken (4-5 pounds)


4 large garlic cloves

1 large shallot, roughly chopped

1 piece (one-inch) of fresh ginger, roughly chopped

1 medium jalapeno chile pepper, stem removed and roughly chopped

1 cup lightly packed fresh basil leaves

1/2 cup coconut milk

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1 tablespoon fish sauce

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

Nutrition Facts
Bangkok Barbecued Chicken

Servings Per Recipe: 4

Amount per Serving

Calories: 999

  • Total Fat: 41.7 g
  •     Saturated Fat: 15.4 g
  •     Trans Fat: 0 g
  • Cholesterol: 381.4 mg
  • Sodium: 936.7 mg
  • Total Carbs: 11.5 g
  •     Dietary Fiber: 0.9 g
  •     Sugars: 4.4 g
  • Protein: 137.7 g

how is this calculated?

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1.  To make the marinade: In a food processor with the motor running, drop the garlic, shallot, ginger, and jalapeno through the feed tube and process until they are finely minced. Add the basil and process until finely chopped. Add the remaining marinade ingredients and process until well combined.

2.  Cut the chicken into 6 pieces: 2. breast pieces, 2 legs with thighs, and 2 wings [remove and discard the wing tips]. Cut 3 or 4 slashes, about 1/2 inch deep, into the meatier side of the breast and leg-thigh pieces. Place the chicken pieces in a large, plastic resealable bag, and pour in the marinade. Press the air out of the bag and seal tightly. Turn the bag to distribute the marinade, place the bag in a bowl, and refrigerate for 4 to 6 hours, or as long as 12 hours, turning the bag occasionally.

3.  Remove the chicken pieces from the bag and discard the marinade. Grill, skin side down, over Indirect Medium heat until fully cooked. The breast and wing pieces will take about 30 minutes. The leg-thigh pieces will take about 40 minutes. During the last 10 minutes of grilling time, move the chicken over Direct Medium heat until well browned all over, turning once. Serve warm.

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