I made these because I had bought some chicken leg quarters on sale and needed to figure out what to do with them. I came across this recipe in a magazine and immediately marked it for our kitchen queue. We really enjoyed the unique sweet and spicy tang that the chicken gets from the marinade. It’s a bit more exciting than the usual sweet and sour chicken you get in most restaurants. The chicken is perfectly good without it, but the Thai Sweet Chili sauce kicks the flavor up a notch so I’d highly recommend getting some! You can usually find it in the Asian or international aisle in the grocery store. We served this with green beans and coconut rice.
Thai-Style Chicken Legs
Source: Adapted from Food & Wine magazine
Serves 4 (with leftovers)
7 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
1/3 cup Asian fish sauce
3 Tablespoons hoisin sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 1/4 teaspoons ground coriander
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground pepper
8 whole chicken leg quarters, or 8 drumsticks and 8 thighs (about 5 pounds total)
Thai Sweet Chili sauce for serving
In a blender or food processor blend the garlic, cilantro, fish sauce, vegetable oil, hoisin sauce, coriander, kosher salt and pepper until smooth.
Arrange the pieces of chicken in a large shallow dish or large plastic ziploc bag. Pour the marinade over the chicken and turn to coat the pieces thoroughly. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Light a charcoal grill. When the coals are covered with a light gray ash, push them to opposite sides of the grill and set a disposable drip pan in the center. If using a gas grill, preheat the grill on high heat and then turn off the center burners before cooking the chicken. Arrange the chicken on the hot grate above the drip pan and away from the coals, skin side down. Cover and grill for 40-50 minutes, turning once, or until the skin is crisp and the meat is cooked through. Transfer to plates and serve with Thai chili sauce.
Note: The marinade can be made ahead and refrigerated overnight before adding to the chicken. Also, as long as you begin with fresh chicken (i.e. it has not been frozen before), the raw chicken can be frozen with the marinade for a few months. Thaw completely in the refrigerator before grilling.