Thai Grilled Chicken that you can make in a jiffy, or in advance if you prefer! Plus, there’s a dipping sauce here that carries all the flavour!
There’s nothing like grilled chicken. Make that a Thai Grilled Chicken and you have a winner! Don’t let the title think that this is cumbersome dish. Just marinate and chill (or freeze), then chuck the chicken on the grill when you’re ready for it!
The marinade for this chicken is a mixture of dark and light soy, so naturally this dish doesn’t need extra salting. There’s something about this marinade that helps to tenderise the chicken completely. Although I’ve used breast meat here (as I do in most of my chicken recipes), you can always spatchcock a chicken for this and use wooden skewers to grill the whole chicken. If you’re doing that, then it’s best to grill it outdoors and cover the grill while cooking the chicken. A whole chicken is not easy to grill and will take time to cook.
This dish is unique because it is nothing without the dipping sauce. In fact, this dipping sauce is so punchy and dynamite that I make it to go with other meats and vegetables, or even prawns! It’s a combination of common Thai ingredients that makes this dipping sauce more of a pour-over kinda sauce than anything else. You’ll strictly need a pestle and mortar for this, though. There’s something very unique about the grinding of the spices and herbs against the stone of the pestle and mortar that seems to bring out the best of flavours. I am no foreigner to this kitchen equipment, having grown up with it thanks to my mum’s rasam.
Although I cooked this grilled chicken on a griddle, this is the perfect wing marinade for an outdoor BBQ session with the family, if you’re into that. You can also use a hot skillet if you don’t have a griddle or outdoor grill. The meat will still taste the same, though you won’t get the beautiful grill marks that you see on the chicken now.
400g Chicken Breast, butterflied
For the Marinade
3 Cloves Garlic, minced
2 Tbsp Light Soya Sauce
1 Tbsp Kicap Manis (Sweet Soy)
1 Tbsp Garlic Oil
Salt to taste
For the Dipping Sauce
3 Cloves Garlic, peeled
3 Chilli Padis, stemmed
As much Coriander as you like
2 Tbsp Lime Juice
1 Tbsp Water
1 Tsp Fish Sauce
Marinade the chicken with the garlic, soy and salt. You can either leave it in the chiller overnight for it to absorb all the flavours, or you can freeze it (as I did) for use another day. When ready to cook, thaw the meat or leave to come to room temperature for about 30 minutes. Then, place it on a hot, hot griddle or grill and cook for 6 to 10 minutes on each side. You can leave the pan covered if you like, but keep checking for the right amount of char you’d like to achieve on the chicken. The sweet soy sauce will caramelise in the heat.
Flip the chicken when it’s ready. In order to achieve the gorgeous grill marks, do not move the chicken around in the pan. I know it’s hard to achieve this, I am a fiddler by nature so I will keep fiddling with the food in the pan. But have faith, establish self-control and stay focused. You’ve got this.
Once the chicken is equally charred on both sides, remove from heat and place on a plate. Then, tent a piece of foil over it to prevent the chicken from drying out while your prepare the dipping sauce.
Place the garlic, chillies and coriander in a mortar. Pound it till it’s pulverised and becomes a thick, choppy paste. Place this in a jug and add the liquid ingredients, including the water. Stir through and your dipping sauce is ready!
Serve with the warm, grilled chicken. Your guests will be talking about this for daaaaaays to come.