I love grilled chicken. I’m pretty sure I could post a different way to grill chicken once a week all summer–and maybe I will. Today’s version is a recipe from Hot Sour Salty Sweet, A Culinary Journey Through Southeast Asia, an excellent cookbook of southeastern Asian cuisine. I have made this many times, sometimes just as wings, as I did here, other times using an entire cut up chicken. If using a whole chicken, cut the breasts in half to have more surface area for the marinade to cling to.
Grilled Chicken with Hot and Sweet Dipping Sauce
2 Teaspoons black peppercorns
5 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons cilantro roots (if roots are not available, stems work just fine)
pinch of salt
4 tablespoons Thai Fish Sauce
Mash the peppercorns and garlic in a mortar and pestle and pound to a paste, add in the cilantro stems and pound some more. Stir in salt and Fish sauce. A mini processor or coffee grinder can be used if your equipment can make a smooth paste.
Pour the marinade into a resealable bag with a cut up chicken (or 3 pounds wings) and let sit in the fridge for up to 3 hours.
Hot and Sweet Dipping Sauce
Any commercially available chile dipping sauce will work, but I encourage you to make this easy homemade version. It is addictive:
1/2 cup rice or cider vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons dried red pepper flakes
In a small saucepan, add the vinegar and sugar and heat to a boil, stirring until the sugar is completely dissolved. Lower the heat to medium and simmer for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, mash the garlic and salt to a paste using the back of a knife, or a mortar and pestle. Stir in the pepper flakes and blend well. Remove the vinegar mixture from the heat, and stir in the garlic paste. Let cool to room temperature. Store refrigerated in a glass jar for up to two days.
Prepare a grill with hot, medium and cool zones. Grill the chicken, starting on the medium heat zone of the grill and cook slowly, moving pieces to the hotter section of the grill periodically to allow them to get some char marks, around 25 to 30 minutes.
Served traditionally with sticky rice (it is great to dip the sauce into), any side will compliment the complex flavor of one of my favorite grilled chicken recipes.