GRILLED CHICKEN WITH THAI SPICES AND SWEET AND SOUR (GAI YANG) DIPPING SAUCE, (for four)
1 chicken (3-1/2 pounds), cut into eight serving pieces
For the brine:
½ cup sugar
1 cup Diamond Crystal salt, ¾ cup Morton Kosher salt or ½ cup table salt
For the rub:
12 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed through a garlic press (about ¼ cup)
1 piece (about 2 inches) fresh gingerroot, minced (about 2 tablespoons)
2 tablespoons ground black pepper
2 tablespoons ground coriander
2/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
¼ cup lime juice (from 2 to 3 limes)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus more for the grill grate
Gai yang sauce, for dipping
- Brine the chicken. Dissolve the sugar and salt in 2 quarts water in a large container or bowl. Submerge the chicken in the brine and refrigerate at least 30 minutes but no longer than 1 hour. Rinse the chicken under cool running water and pat dry with paper towels.
- Make the rub. Combine all rub ingredients in a small bowl. Work the mixture with your fingers to thoroughly combine. Thoroughly rub an even layer of the mixture onto all exterior surfaces of the chicken pieces, including the bottom and sides. Place the chicken in a medium bowl and marinate while preparing the grill for cooking.
- Grill the chicken. Light 20 to 25 briquettes and when fire is medium hot (you can hold your hand 5 inches above the grill rack directly over the coals for 3 to 4 seconds), build a 2 level fire by pushing the coals onto half of the grill, piling them about 3 briquettes high. Oil the rack and heat it for 5 minutes. If you are using a gas grill, preheat all burners to high, then reduce to medium-high.
- Discard marinade, then pat chicken dry. Grill chicken, skin side up, 3 minutes on the hotter side of the grill. Flip it over and grill 3 minutes on the other side. Move to the cooler side of the grill, skin side up, cover and grill 15 minutes longer, until an instant read thermometer registers 160* (do not touch the bone). Let stand, tented with foil, 10 minutes before serving. Serve, passing the sauce separately.
adapted from Americas Test Kitchen Live!
NOTE: See A Thai Grill for a menu that features this recipe.