When it comes to barbequing there is nothing that can even come close to chicken slowly roasted over hot charcoal. Especially juicy and tender bone in cuts of chicken. I am being slightly subjective when it comes to this particular topic, and I know that some of you out there may not agree with me. To all of you who choose to disagree- I urge you to continue reading and give this recipe a chance.
Baring one or two occasions my top chicken hallelujah moments have all taken place in Thailand. Isaan style restaurants like Sabai Jai Gai Yang in Bangkok, or any random grilled chicken joint up northeast for that matter, are usually second to none when it comes to juicy tender barbeque chicken.
When it comes to chicken I prefer wings or thighs, simply because they make for the most juicy meat. The texture needs to be just right and it is highly recommended that you sink your teeth into your chicken of choice a maximum of ten minutes after cooking. Remember to let those fibers relax.
Western Gai Yang Rookies visiting Thailand often make the mistake of consulting street vendors when they are looking for Gai Yang(ไก่ย่าง), that is barbecued chicken to you and me. Instead I recommend that you find a large restaurant that has a line of customers outside or seem to be making a lot sales geared towards locals. It is all quite simple- more sales usually means freshly cooked chicken, sometimes even cooked to order depending on your choice of cut.
If you are not heading over to Thailand anytime soon I recommend that you give my recipe a go. If you are lucky enough to be in Bangkok, I suggest you throw yourself in a taxi and head over to the area around Rajadamnern Muay Thai Stadium on fight nights. You are guaranteed to find a lot of small restaurants specializing in grilled meats, usually chicken, and Isaan style cuisine.
My recipe for Thai barbecued chicken, Gai Yang
1 whole fresh chicken chopped up into 6 pieces, or about a 1,2 kg of your favorite chicken cuts
3 stalks lemongrass
5 coriander roots
6 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tsp white peppercorns, ground
1 tsp black peppercorns, ground
1 tbsp palm sugar, honey or white sugar
½ tsp turmeric powder(for color, optional)
2 tbsp fish sauce
1½ tbsp light Thai soy sauce
Finely mince lemongrass and coriander roots by hand using a mortar and pestle, you could also use an electrical blender. Mix in all the dry and wet ingredients and rub your chicken thoroughly until the marinade covers the chicken. Finally add the chicken along with crushed garlic cloves in a plastic back and marinate for a minimum of three hours. Scrape off excess marinade and prepare for your barbeque.
Roast your chicken over hot charcoals, keeping the chicken away from being exposed to flames. Remember that you want to roast your chicken slowly to render a juicy chicken with crispy skin.
I like to serve my Gai Yang with the Isaan style nam jim jaew dipping sauce(below), fresh vegetables and sticky rice.
Best chicken recipe ever…