Thai Chicken Recipe

Of the many Asian-inspired recipes in my food arsenal, this particular one is not what I would call the most "authentic". But here's the thing: it tastes absolutely wonderful and it's really really easy to make. I like easy. I can do easy.

Let's first look at the main ingredient:  Thai sweet chili sauce. It's sweet and sticky with a little kick to it. What's better'n that??  However, since the sauce is syrup-like in consistency, the flavor won't penetrate the poultry like an acidic marinade, even after an overnight bath in the stuff. It's not a marinade but a glaze and/or dipping sauce.

To give the chicken more flavor, I brine it first (which also adds moisture).  Afterward I let the chicken soak in the chili sauce for 4 hours to overnight because it does impart a deeper flavor when compared to just grilling the chicken and brushing on the sauce at the end.

If you're pressed for time, though, you can skip brining the chicken.  But this is an essential step and your chicken simply will not taste as good when omitted.

Thai Chicken Recipe
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Updated 01/29/2015. I no longer wet brine my meats. I discovered that dry-brining is both easier and less wasteful. For this recipe, start your dry-brine in the morning if you want to cook chicken in the evening.
Recipe type: Grilled Chicken
Cuisine: Thai
Serves: 4 servings
  • 1 whole fryer cut into 8 to 10 pieces
  • 1 large bottle of Thai sweet chili sauce

  • For Dry-Brine:
  • ¼ cup of kosher salt
  1. Rinse chicken and pat dry. Sprinkle all pieces on both sides evenly with kosher salt.
  2. Cover chicken and refrigerate 4-5 hours.
  3. Next, pour chili sauce over chicken until every pieces is covered. Don't use all of the chili sauce, though. We'll need some for basting the chicken later.
  4. Let chicken soak in chili sauce for 4 more hours to overnight.
  5. When the chicken is done soaking in the chili sauce, remove it from the refrigerator.
  6. Start your coals and get your grill going. You're going to be using medium high, indirect heat. So you want your grill at about 375°F.
  7. Once your coals are nice and hot, oil your grill grates so the chicken won't stick.
  8. Grill chicken 10 minutes per side. Then baste your chicken with the remaining Thai Sweet Chili Sauce and grill for another 5 minutes per side, basting each side.
  9. Once the chicken is done, remove it from the grill and let it rest for 5 minutes. Serve with sticky rice and a stir-fry!

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