Asian BBQ Chicken

By Jennifer Segal
metrocurean contributor,

This is a great dish to add to your repertoire, especially if you’re looking for interesting and different ways to serve chicken. Think of it as chicken teriyaki with a South Asian flair, or India meets the other flavors of Asia. The secret ingredient is garam masala, an aromatic spice blend containing cinnamon, coriander, cardamom, cumin, nutmeg, mace, peppercorns and cloves — worth adding to your spice rack for sure.

For the chicken, you'll need boneless, skinless thighs. It’s possible to substitute chicken breasts but keep in mind that thighs are juicier and more flavorful, which makes them a better match to the bold flavors here. The key is to get them from a good butcher so they’re well-trimmed and lean.

Serve with basmati rice. Enjoy!

Asian BBQ Chicken
Serves 4

¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar, packed
¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice (you'll need 2-3 limes)
1½ tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
½ teaspoon Asian sesame oil
¾ teaspoon garam masala (available at Whole Foods or other specialty markets)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1½ teaspoons fresh ginger, grated*
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper (use more or less depending on how much heat you like)
8 skinless, boneless chicken thighs
2 scallions (light and dark green parts only), thinly sliced

In a medium bowl, mix together all ingredients except for 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 chicken is evenly coated, then place bag in refrigerator (in a bowl in case of leakage); let marinate for 3-4 hours.

Preheat grill to high heat.

Grease grill. (Lightly dip a wad of paper towels in vegetable oil; then, using tongs, carefully rub over grates several times until glossy and coated - repeat as necessary.) Place chicken on the grill; cover and cook 3-5 minutes on each side, or until nicely browned and done. Place chicken on serving platter, then top with reserved marinade and sliced scallions. Serve hot.

*To grate fresh ginger, first peel the skin and then rub along a fine grater. Watch your fingers!

Jennifer Segal is the founder and publisher of Once Upon a Chef, a cooking blog featuring easy and elegant recipes. Before launching her blog, Jennifer earned her culinary stripes work ing front and back of the house at some of DC's top fine dining restaurants, including L'Auberge Chez Francois, Sam & Harry's and The Caucus Room.

She has also done private catering and restaurant public relations. Jennifer is a graduate of the professional Culinary Arts Program at L'Academie de Cuisine.