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Grilled Thai Chicken

The delicious flavors of Thai street food come alive in this authentic recipe.  It is based on one from Bobby Flay to which I added the brining step along with some other tweaks.  It is simply stupendous.  The sauce is served at the table and can be used as a dipping sauce, or drizzled right onto the grilled chicken.  If you're too tired to make the whole recipe you can skip the sauce all together.  The juicy, seasoned chicken easily stands alone.

4 large split breast halves
1 recipe Classic brine
1 tablespoon red curry paste (in oriental section of supermarket), more if additional heat is desired
2-3 whole Kaffir lime leaves (or a teaspoon of fresh lime zest)
⅔ cup chopped cilantro (see notes)
cup minced garlic
2 tablespoons veggie oil
2 tablespoons ground black pepper
2 tablespoons coriander
3 limes juiced
cup minced ginger
3 limes juiced
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon crushed red pepper
cup sugar
2 tablespoons fish sauce (see notes)
cup minced garlic

Mix the sauce ingredients until combined.  Place in fridge for at least 1 hour to marry flavors.

When preparing the brine add the curry paste and Kaffir lime leaves to the salt and sugar solution and bring to a simmer.  Allow to cook for 1-2 minutes to release the flavors of the curry and lime.  Remove from heat and add 1 cup of ice cubes.  Top off with water to make 1 quart of brine.  Put chicken pieces in a one gallon, re-sealable plastic bag along with the brine and allow to sit in fridge for about 45 minutes. Discard brine and rinse chicken thoroughly with fresh water.

Mix rub ingredients to form a paste.  Put ~ 2 tablespoons under skin of each piece and work in well. Rub the outsides of the chicken pieces with the remainder.  Set aside in fridge until ready to grill.

Build charcoal fire over one side of grill leaving other side for indirect grilling.  Place chicken pieces skin side down over medium hot coals and sear 1-2 minutes. Turn chicken and sear other side.  Move chicken to cool side of grill, cover and cook until breast pieces reach 160.

Serve with Basmati or Jasmine rice with the sauce on the side.


  1. If you don't like cilantro substitute fresh Italian leaf parsley.
  2. Fish sauce is generally available in the oriental food section of most supermarkets.  If you can't find it substitute soy sauce.



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