Thai-Inspired Sweet & Spicy Chicken

posted by Al Matthews - 

I recently hosted a boys' weekend at the house, and this was one of the dishes I served. It's easy to make a lot, and you can even cook the chicken ahead of time, simply warming it up when it's time to serve, drizzling the sweet and spicy sauce right at the end.


6 lbs. chicken pieces


1 1/3 cups soy sauce 
1 cup fresh cilantro 
4 tablespoons canola or peanut oil 
5 garlic cloves, roughly chopped 
1 teaspoon white pepper


1 cup sugar 
1/2 cup white vinegar 
2 teaspoons red pepper flakes or crushed dried chiles 
2 teaspoons salt

For the marinade, combine the soy sauce, cilantro, canola oil, garlic and white pepper in a food processor and let it run. Place the chicken pieces in a Ziploc bag and pour half of the marinade in. Save the other half for basting later. Seal the bag and let the chicken marinate overnight, or at least a few hours, squishing the bag around so that all the chicken gets marinated.

For the sauce: In a saucepan, combine the sugar, white vinegar, pepper flakes and salt. Bring it to a boil and make sure the sugar dissolves. Remove it from the heat and let it cool to room temperature.

After marinating overnight, discard the used marinade in the Ziploc bag. Place the chicken pieces over a hot hardwood fire or bake them in an oven at 350, basting them with the leftover marinade until fully cooked. If the coal fire gets too hot, move the chicken to a cooler part of the grill to prevent burning. If using the oven, switch to the broiler at the end to give the chicken a nice char.

Drizzle the sweet and spicy sauce over the chicken pieces right before serving, or use it as a dipping sauce.

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