Tamarind Chicken

May  6, 2013
Photo by James Ransom
Author Notes

We eat a lot of chicken, a lot. I am constantly looking for new ways to reinvent the wheel. This one is a take on southeast Asian cuisine. It is by no means is intended to be authentic -- I just follow the mantra of hot, sour, salty, sweet. —Summer of Eggplant

Test Kitchen Notes

WHO: Summer of Eggplant is a lighting designer who lives in Atlanta.
WHAT: A hot-sour-salty-sweet chicken dish that grills up in minutes.
HOW: Marinate your chicken in tamarind pulp, soy sauce, fish sauce, lime zest, sugar, and spices. Then, 4 to 6 hours later, grill it up!
WHY WE LOVE IT: We love how easy this dish is to prep -- if you can put ingredients into a bag, then you can make this dish. When it's too cold to grill, we use a grill pan and then finish it in the oven -- feel free to do the same. —The Editors

  • Serves 4
  • 4 leg quarters
  • 3/4 cup tamarind cooking pulp
  • 1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, sliced
  • 1 lime, zested
  • 2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
  • 2 teaspoons Chinese five spice (I use Reims from La Boîte Epice)
In This Recipe
  1. Place the ingredients in a large Ziploc or seal-able bowl. Mix until combined, add chicken, and marinate for 4 to 6 hours. Rotate the chicken in the marinade every so often.
  2. Set up the grill for direct/indirect heat. We do this by making a semi circle of charcoal. You'll know when the grill is hot but not too hot when you can count to 3 with your hand over the fire.
  3. Remove the chicken from the marinade. Sear the chicken skin side down for about 4 to 5 minutes until crispy. You may pour the excess marinade over the legs at this point. Turn the legs over and cook skin side up for another 2 minutes over the high heat, then move them to the cooler side of the grill, but still near the coals for indirect heat, put the grill lid on and cook for about 25 minutes. They are done when the internal temperature reaches 160°F.
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