Summer is winding down, but we’re lucky to live in an area where we can grill outside for most of the year. And with a broken oven and stove (grrrrr) we’ve been doing a lot of grilling lately. There are lots of different flavors you can use to grill a chicken (and trust me, I’ve tried most of them), but in the end my favorite is an Indonesian-flavored one.
I first came across this recipe when I got The Complete Asian Cookbook by Charmaine Solomon. It is a compendium of different recipes from across Asia. Each chapter covers a different country. I like this aspect of it. I have books on Indian food, and Chinese, but I have to say I didn’t really have any on the foods of the Philippines, Japan or Sri Lanka. It is kind of fun to read and explore those cuisines, even if you only end up trying one or two new things you haven’t heard of before. The first edition is from 1992 (it’s been reprinted a number of times since then, and my copy is a paperback from 2005) so some of the substitutions she makes wouldn’t need to be made these days. We have much more access to ingredients that were hard to find 20 years ago. Still and all, most of what I’ve made I’ve really enjoyed and the directions are clear.
This chicken recipe is especially easy. You can toss the marinade together in about 15 minutes, add the chicken in (and leave for work), then come home and put some rice on the stove (or in your rice cooker) and start up the grill. This is slightly spicy, but nothing that is going to send most people rushing for a glass of water (my seven year old daughter eats it without any mention of spice). I’ve changed it up a bit to make it as easy as possible:
Ayam Panggang Pedis (Grilled Chicken with Hot Spices)
3 lbs chicken thighs or drumsticks
2 teaspoons salt
3 teaspoons ground black pepper (feel free to just eyeball this)
3 teaspoons sambal ulek (available in Asian markets and even many grocery stores) or Sriracha sauce
2 tablespoons grated onion (just use the large hole on your cheese grater; again, eyeballing this is fine)
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
2 tablespoons dark or regular soy sauce (the dark adds a nice touch, and is available in Asian markets)
2 teaspoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons peanut or other oil
Make slices in the skin and flesh of the chicken. This helps the chicken soak up more of the flavor. Combine all other ingredients in a bowl or a large zip-lock bag and rub all over the chicken. Cover or zip the bag and leave for at least an hour (it can sit overnight if you want to make it up the night before).
Heat your grill until it is glowing hot. Cook straight through – I do thighs for 15 minutes on each side. Be careful not to let the flames touch the skin and burn it – the skin is delicious and you’ll want all of it for the flavor.
Pretty easy, right? And delicious. I like to serve it with rice. A fairly plain vegetable will be fine to compliment because it has so much flavor. Enjoy!