Next time you want to mix up your grilling, try Thai grilled chicken with sweet chili sauce. Smoky, sweet and spicy, it’s a south-east asian flavour explosion. Seriously. Try it.
I’m always looking for better ways to grill chicken. Different ways. Anything to avoid serving grilled chicken with BBQ sauce. Thai grilled chicken fits the bill.
I’m not saying grilled chicken with BBQ sauce is bad. It’s a staple. It’s easy. The fact that every supermarket sells 6200 types of BBQ sauce tells me it’s popular.
It also tells me everyone is doing it. Run of the mill. Boring even. Burn a little chicken. Hide it with some Bull’s Eye BBQ sauce. Sound familiar?
Thai grilled chicken is about big flavours
Doesn’t have to be like that. Thai grilled chicken isn’t boring or run of the mill. It is a double layer of big flavours. A good soak in a blend of red thai curry paste, garlic and ginger makes sure of that.
Add the kiss of smoke and you have something special. Grill marks. Crispy skin. Summer grilling heaven.
Add Thai chili dipping sauce to push it over the top
This Thai grilled chicken and marinade can stand on its own. No doubt. Big flavours at their best. You don’t need anything else. Nobody will be disappointed if you serve it on its own. No danger there.
But if you want to make something crazy. Make something people will rave about. Then add the dipping sauce. Big bold marinade meets big bold dipping sauce.
This dipping sauce isn’t just for this chicken dish. You can use it as a dip for anything grilled. Or deep fried. Or on a sandwich. It’s sweet, sour, salty and a bit hot. All the big south east Asian flavours in one place.
Grilling technique is key for perfect Thai grilled chicken
Grilling technique figures here as well. Charcoal is better but gas will work too. A mix of direct and indirect heat. Start your chicken over indirect heat. You want the temperature high. Like 450-500F.
When it’s almost done put a few pieces over the direct heat. Let it char a bit. Get some grill marks. Watch it closely though. There’s sugar in the marinade. Sugar burns easily.
When they are just right move them back to the indirect zone and repeat with a few more pieces. Keep going until all the chicken is just the way you want it.
Flavourful marinade. Smarter cooking technique. A really, really good home-made sauce. A bit of smoke. Thai grilled chicken with sweet chili sauce isn’t a whole lot more work. But it’s a whole lot tastier.
thai grilled chicken with sweet chili sauce
- 8 pieces chicken I used boned, skin-on chicken thighs
- 2 cloves garlic crushed
- 1 tsp grated ginger
- 5 good sized sprigs of cilantro leaves, stems and even roots if you have them
- 2 Tbsp soy sauce
- 1 Tbsp fish sauce
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper - white is more authentic if you have it
- 1 1/2 Tbsp Thai red curry paste
- 2 Tbsp neutral vegetable oil
Sweet Thai chill sauce
- 3 Tbsp sambal oelek chili paste
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
- 2/3 cup white sugar
- 2/3 cup water
- 1 tsp salt
- 4 tsp cornstarch
- good handful of chopped cilantro
- Combine all the ingredients except the chicken in a food processor and pulse until you get a smooth paste.
- Toss the marinade with the chicken and set aside for up to an hour.
- Prepare your grill for indirect heat. Place a drip pan under the chicken. Grill, skin side up, for about 10 minutes. Turn the chicken and continue to grill another 5 minutes. Keep the grill lid down for this step.
- Working with two or three pieces at a time, place the chicken over direct heat and grill to crisp and colour the skin. The lid stays up the whole time. It will flare up so be ready to move it out of the way. Repeat until all the chicken is coloured up.
- Return the chicken to indirect heat, cover again and cook until an instant read thermometer registers 160 for white meat and 170 for dark meat. Allow the chicken to rest briefly and serve with sweet Thai chili sauce.
Sweet Thai chili sauce
- Combine all the ingredients except the cilantro. Stir to combine thoroughly and heat, over medium low heat until it comes to a gentle boil.
- Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
- When cool, add the chopped cilantro and stir to combine.
11 thoughts on “thai grilled chicken with sweet chili sauce”
This is THE best Thai chicken and the sweet chili sauce is incredible too. It’s my in laws favorite and they get very excited when I make it! Foolproof, easy and just plain delicious. I also serve with a peanut sauce and either white or coconut rice. Yum!!!!
Delighted to hear everyone likes it! You are making me wish my grill wasn’t completely buried in snow right now:-)
How do set up for indirect and direct heat on a bbq? I’ve only ever just cooked on a bbq. I’m fairly savvy in the kitchen and can cook but this has me wondering.
You build your fire on one side (or turn on one burner but not the other if using gas). That way you have a source of hot, direct heat on one side (over the fire) and what is effectively an oven on the other. It’s a handy technique in general because it gives you a safe zone. Always remember to use a drip pan under the indirect cooking zone. Otherwise you’ll wind up with a nasty grease fire the next time you use your grill.
I want to try this recipe. I wanted to know how would it work on an electric grill or could i sear it and finish under the broiler.
I have never tried cooking on an electric grill but if it’s anything like a conventional gas or charcoal grill it should work.
This looks exceptionally good. I am going to grill it soon—on the charcoal grill I bought because of *your* Portuguese chicken recipe and because you are so passionate about charcoal grilling. (You were right, by the way. Charcoal is way better than gas for Portugu se chicken and for this recipe too, I reckon.)
This looks exceptionally good. I am going to grill it soon—on the charcoal grill I bought because of *your* Portuguese chicken recipe and because you are so passionate about charcoal grilling. (You were right, by the way. Charcoal is way better than gas for Portuguese chicken and for this recipe too, I reckon.)
I’m pretty sure you will love it! Especially on charcoal.
I have made Thai Grilled Chicken twice. The chicken is very moist and flavorful. The sauce adds another flavor component. Finding the Thai red chili paste was hard; I live in a small Texas town, but I found it on Amazon. Your recipe was easy to follow with great results! Thank you.
Thanks for taking the time to comment. I’m glad you were able (and determined) to get the chili paste. This makes my day!