Thai-style Grilled Chicken Breasts

August 1, 2009 | By andrea | Filed in: Asian, Chicken, Grilling/BBQ, Main Dish, Quick Cooking, Recipes.


If you like the flavors of Thai food then you’ll love this simple grilled chicken recipe. After cooking, the chicken is brushed with a flavorful sauce that is a little sweet, a little tart, and little spicy all at the same time. The sauce only takes a few minutes to make and really brings the grilled chicken to life (so to speak). I served it with steamed jasmine rice and a boat load of stir-fried veggies.

Thai-Style Grilled Chicken Breasts
-recipe from America’s Test Kitchen

 Test Kitchen Discoveries
We’re always looking for ways to dress up versatile chicken breasts. A fast, flavorful Thai-style sauce pairs well with tender, juicy chicken cooked on the grill.
•Pat the chicken dry with paper towels before cooking. If wet, the chicken will stick to the grill and cook improperly.
•When it comes to fish sauce—a very potent and pungent Asian condiment made of the liquid from salted, fermented fish—color correlates with flavor; the lighter the sauce you buy, the lighter the flavor. Most supermarkets carry the lighter colored (and flavored) brands.
•If you can’t find any fish sauce, 2 minced anchovy fillets combined with 2 tablespoons soy sauce will work just as well.
•For color and bite, we added some fresh cilantro and red pepper flakes to the sauce. Keep in mind that cilantro becomes soapy-tasting if chopped in advance, so we recommend chopping this herb right before adding it to the sauce.
•Boneless chicken breasts can get dry on the grill. For tender, juicy meat, quickly grill the chicken breasts over high heat. Pay close attention to the chicken as it grills, since boneless meat cooks much faster than bone-in chicken.
•Brushing the chicken breasts with some of the sauce as they come off the grill and allowing them to rest allows the flavors to come together before serving.

Serves 4

1/2 cup white vinegar  
1/3 cup sugar  
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes  
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves   
2 tablespoons fish sauce (see note) 
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger  
3 garlic cloves , minced 
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1 1/2 pounds) 
1 tablespoon vegetable oil  
 Salt and pepper  

Heat vinegar, sugar, and pepper flakes in small saucepan over medium-high heat until sugar dissolves, about 1 minute. Off heat, stir in cilantro, fish sauce, ginger, and garlic.

Rub chicken with oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill over hot fire until cooked through, about 5 minutes per side. Transfer to platter and brush with 1/4 cup sauce. Tent with foil and let rest 5 minutes. Serve, passing remaining sauce at table.

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3 comments on “Thai-style Grilled Chicken Breasts

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  2. Dane says:

    Delicious dish! Very easy to pull together – a little tart, a little sweet and a little heat. It was great!