Have you ever tried gai yang or Thai grilled chicken?
If not, you must! It’s so good! Better yet, it’s quite easy to make.
It does take some time though. You’ve got to marinate the chicken and then the cooking process takes about 80 minutes. This chicken is cooked low and slow.
Trust me… The wait will be worth it.
What is in the name ‘gai yang’?
In Thai, ‘gai’ means chicken. So when you see the word gai on the menu for famous dishes such as tom yum gai and tom kha gai, you will be getting a chicken dish.
‘Yang’ means grilled. So here you are getting just as it sound Thai grilled chicken.
Why Make Thai grilled chicken – gai yang?
That’s easy. It is one of the most popular Thai dishes around. I love grilled chicken but this has to be one of my favourite recipes for it.
It’s the Thai marinade and the slow grilling that gets it for me. The flavours are amazing.
How is gai yang served?
In my opinion, grilled Thai chicken just wouldn’t be the same without the nam jim jaew sauce that usually accompanies it.
No worries… I have a recipe for that here too. You are about to be in Thai grilled chicken heaven.
Can gai yang be cooked in the oven?
If you would rather cook this indoors, no problem. It won’t be grilled of course but still very good. Pre-heat your oven to 200c (400f) and place the chicken skin side up on a rack in the centre of the over for about an hour or until the juices are clear and not at all red.
So are you ready to get started? You’re going to love this one!
- 20 garlic cloves
- 1 lemongrass stalk
- 1 ½ tbsp. black peppercorns
- 2 tbsp coriander stems – finely chopped
- 1 tbsp palm sugar
- 4 tbsp tamarind water
- 2 tbsp light soy sauce
- 2 tsp dark soy sauce
- 2 tsp Thai fish sauce
- 1 x 1.5k (3 lb.) chicken
- Place the black peppercorns in a pestle and mortar and pound until course. Add the garlic cloves and continue pounding until you have a course paste. Throw in the lemongrass and coriander stalks and continue pounding so that all of the ingredients are coarsely pounded with no really big bits.
- Stir in the remaining ingredients and transfer to a large bowl or deep plate.
- Place the chicken upright on its legs so that it looks like it is sitting down. Using a sharp knife slice downwards between the two breast to butterfly it. Put the butterflied chicken into the marinade and rub the marinade all over it. I usually loosen the skin too and rub some of the marinade under the skin so that it is in direct contact with the meat but this is optional.
- For best results allow the chicken to marinate overnight but this isn't necessary.
- When ready to cook, set up your barbecue for direct heat cooking. This is a slow cooking process so when the coals are white hot and ready, spread them out some so that the heat isn't too intense.
- Place the chicken skins side up first and grill for about 20 minutes. Turn it over and grill for ten minutes. Then flip over again and continue cooking until the chicken has been on the grill for about 80 minutes or until cooked through.
- Be sure to check your coals regularly so that you get a medium heat that is not too hot.
- When cooked, transfer the chicken to a cutting board to rest for about 10 minutes and then cut into about 8 pieces to serve.