Thai grilled chicken (Gai yang)
- May 2022
- Serves 4
- Hands-on time 15 minutes, plus overnight marinating and resting. Grill time 1½ hours
Try grilling Thai style. Gai yang is Thai grilled chicken and nam jim jaew is a wildly popular dipping sauce – sweet, sour and a bit spicy. Recipe from Live Fire by Helen Graves (Hardie Grant £26), out now.
Fancy a bowl of something hot? You can’t beat our classic Thai chicken curry recipe.
- 10.3g (2.9g saturated)
- 11.5g (9.4g sugars)
- 2–2.5kg whole free-range chicken
- Steamed rice and lime wedges to serve
For the marinade
- 3 tbsp chopped coriander, roots and stalks
- 1 garlic bulb, cloves peeled
- 2 tbsp light brown sugar
- 30g fresh turmeric, grated (see Know-how)
- 2 tsp white peppercorns
- 3 tbsp fish sauce
- 1 tsp dark soy sauce
For the nam jim jaew
- 1 tbsp glutinous (sticky) rice
- 2 small Thai shallots (or 1 regular shallot), thinly sliced
- 1 spring onion, green part only, thinly sliced
- 2 tbsp fish sauce
- 1-2 tbsp light brown sugar
- 3-4 tbsp lime juice
- 1 tbsp chilli flakes (or to taste)
You’ll also need
- Spice grinder or pestle and mortar
- Kitchen scissors
- To make the marinade, pound the coriander roots and stalks, garlic, sugar, turmeric and peppercorns to a paste in a pestle and mortar, then mix in the fish sauce and soy sauce.
- Spatchcock the chicken by cutting either side of the backbone with kitchen scissors. Remove the bone, turn the bird over, then open it out and press down firmly with the heel of your hand to flatten). Rub the marinade all over the chicken, then cover and marinate in the fridge overnight.
- Toast the glutinous rice in a pan or wok over a medium heat for about 10 minutes, stirring continuously to stop it burning. It should have an even golden colour. Let the rice cool, then grind to a coarse powder in a spice grinder/pestle and mortar. You want to retain some of the crunchy texture, so take care not to grind it too finely.
- When you’re ready to cook, prepare the barbecue for indirect cooking with the coals banked to one side. When the coals are ready, almost close the vents, leaving just a small gap at the top and the bottom. Wipe any large clumps of marinade off the chicken and cook the bird away from the coals, breast side up, with the legs facing towards the hotter side, for 1½ hours. You may need to move the chicken during cooking so it barbecues evenly.
- To make the nam jim jaew, combine all the ingredients with the toasted rice powder in a bowl. Let the chicken rest somewhere warm for 15 minutes before serving it with the dipping sauce, steamed rice and lime wedges.
No barbecue? Heat the oven to 180°C fan/gas 6. Put the marinated chicken in a large roasting dish or lipped baking tray and cook, skin-side up, for 50 minutes or until the juices run clear, or a probe thermometer pushed into the thickest part of the thigh reads 70-72°C. Complete the recipe.
Don’t waste it: Store leftover nam jim jaew in a jar in the fridge for several days. Use as a dressing for salads or meat.
Find fresh turmeric in large supermarkets or at Ocado or Amazon. Or use 2 tsp dried turmeric for 30g fresh.
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