This recipe is inspired by the flavors of Thailand and Vietnam. Lemongrass, ginger, garlic, chili, and fish sauce are the essential ingredients in the glaze. The addition of lime and fresh cilantro, added at the end as a garnish, provide an extra layer of freshness and acidity. The chicken thighs are quickly marinated, charred on the grill, then painted with this utterly flavorful glaze. A simple and delicious recipe.
This chicken works well served alongside rice, or you can serve it at room temperature atop a salad. It's also tasty inside a sandwich. —Josh Cohen
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Grilled Chicken Thighs With Lemongrass Glaze
6 whole chicken thighs
light brown sugar
cloves garlic, minced
fresh red chili, minced (fresno chili works here, or something hotter if you prefer spicier food)
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the water, fish sauce, sugar, garlic, chili, and ginger. Using a microplane, finely grate two of the lemongrass stalks into the marinade. As you are grating the lemongrass, discard any fibrous outer layers that are too hard to grate. Set the final piece of lemongrass aside for later. Add the chicken thighs to the marinade, and refrigerate for 45 minutes.
When the chicken thighs have marinated for 45 minutes, remove them from the marinade and grill them over medium-high heat for a couple minutes on each side. The chicken will caramelize quickly, due to the sugar in the marinade. When the chicken looks nicely charred on each side, grill them over lower heat for an additional 5-10 minutes, flipping them occasionally, until they are fully cooked.
While the chicken is grilling, transfer the leftover marinade to a large skillet, and cook the marinade over high heat for about 3-5 minutes, until the liquid has reduced to a syrupy consistency. This reduced marinade will now be your glaze.
When the chicken is finished cooking, toss it in the glaze. Transfer to a platter and garnish with the chopped cilantro and lime juice. Using a microplane, finely grate the remaining lemongrass over the platter of chicken. Serve immediately. Enjoy!
Born and raised in Brooklyn, I’m perpetually inspired by the diversity of foods that exist in this city. I love shopping at the farmer’s market, making ingredients taste like the best versions of themselves, and rolling fresh pasta. I learned how to make fresh pasta in Italy, where I spent the first 6 months of my career as a chef. I've been cooking professionally in New York City since 2010.