Asian BBQ Chicken
Think of this dish as Chicken Teriyaki with a South Asian flair, or India meets the other flavors of Asia. It sounds exotic but it’s actually kid-friendly and easy to make.
The marinade is a simple mix of soy sauce, brown sugar, fresh lime juice, a bit of oil, garlic, ginger and spices. What makes it unique is Garam Masala, an aromatic Indian and South Asian spice blend containing cinnamon, coriander, cardamom, cumin, nutmeg, mace, peppercorns and cloves. You can find it at Whole Foods or other specialty markets — it’s worth adding to your spice rack for sure.
After the chicken marinates a few hours, you simply grill it until it turns a dark, golden brown, then scatter finely sliced scallions over top. Serve with basmati rice and enjoy!
Note: For the chicken, you’ll need boneless, skinless chicken thighs. I know some people might prefer white meat, but I hope you’ll give the thighs a try – they’re juicier and more flavorful than boneless chicken breasts (not to mention more economical!), which makes them a better match for the bold flavors here.
Asian BBQ Chicken
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar, packed
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice, from 2-3 limes
- 1-1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1/2 teaspoon Asian sesame oil
- 3/4 teaspoon Garam Masala (substitute curry powder if you can't find it)
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1-1/2 teaspoons fresh grated ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (use less if you don't like heat)
- 8 skinless, boneless chicken thighs
- 2 scallions light and dark green parts only, thinly sliced
- In a medium bowl, mix together all of the ingredients except for the chicken and scallions. Set ¼ cup of the marinade aside and cover (you'll use this later for the sauce), then place the rest in a zip-lock freezer bag with the chicken thighs. Be sure the chicken is evenly coated with the marinade, then place the bag in the refrigerator (in a bowl in case of leakage); let marinate for 3-4 hours.
- Preheat grill to high heat.
- Grease the grill. (Lightly dip a wad of paper towels in vegetable oil; then, using tongs, carefully rub the towels over the grates several times until glossy and coated.) Place the chicken on the grill; cover and cook 3-5 minutes on each side, or until nicely browned and done. Transfer the chicken to a serving platter, then top with the reserved marinade and sliced scallions.