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Juicy Grilled chicken legs in one Thai-inspired marinade is a favorite Grill recipe. Bold delicious flavors and perfectly grilled chicken every time with some great tips that will make you a pro!
Chicken legs are a perfect meat for grilling.
They have a lot of natural aroma, stay moist and juicy when grilling.
Add a bright Thai style marinade and you have your favorite summer barbecue recipe.
Coupled with a sweet and spicy dip sauce, this meal is one that everyone will prepare again and again!
Chicken thighs with bones in the skin
- Garlic cloves
- fresh ginger root
- Safflower oil – This oil is used specifically for its light taste and higher smoke point. It is also a good choice for grill recipes and high temperature pan recipes.
- Lemongrass powder – You can find this spice in a spice shop and on amazon (or other online spice providers). It’s a wonderful way to get the typical lemongrass taste without struggling with the woody, fresh lemongrass stalks.
- Kosher salt
- ground black pepper
Why chicken thighs?
Dark meat has more taste. It also has more fat than chicken breast, which is perfect for grilling as it stays moist and juicy.
Chicken thighs are usually a little cheaper than chicken breasts.
Chicken thigh sizes
When this recipe was originally developed and published, 8 chicken thighs were 2 1/2 pounds.
I recently found that the size can be incredibly different. The thighs can still be around 8 for 3 pounds, or they can be almost double if they only get 4 for the same weight.
The recipe fits both sizes.
We have given general cooking times and the measurement with an instant read thermometer ensures a perfect chicken every time.
How to prepare grilled chicken legs Thai-style – step by step
Make the marinade and marinate the chicken legs
Combine all marinade ingredients (in a gallon-sized plastic bag)Photo 1). Stir well to combine (Photo 2).
Add the chicken legs (Photo 3), Press air out of the bag and seal it.
Massage the sachet to coat the chicken with the marinade (Photo 4).
Place in the fridge for 2-3 hours until overnight.
Grill the chicken
Preheat the grill to HIGH. Brush and oil the grill.
Place the SKIN SIDE DOWN chicken legs on half of the grill to fry 2 minutes (Photo below)
Turn off the opposite side of the grill and leave only half of the grill on.
Move the chicken legs to the side of the grill with the burners;; Turn it up to the skin side (Photo below).
Close the grill and cook until they register 165 degrees F. with an immediately readable thermometer. You can find general cooking times in the following pro tips.
Take the chicken off the grill and let it Let it rest for 10 minutes before serving.
How to grill perfect chicken legs – pro tips
Use the same size chicken legs
Buy chicken legs that are all similar in size to ensure that all of the chickens cook in about the same time.
Smaller or larger doesn’t matter. They should just be the same.
Always start with a clean, oiled grill
Heat the grill and then brush it thoroughly with a wire grill brush to remove any particles cooked on food particles.
Fold a paper towel into quarters, pour some cooking oil on it. Brush the saturated paper towel onto the grids with long tongs or a grill brush to fully lubricate them.
Now you can grill!
This prevents food from sticking to the grill.
Set up a two-zone grill
The key to success is to roast the chicken legs over the flame for a few minutes and then move them so that they cook over indirect heat for the duration.
This ensures that the meat is sealed, the skin becomes nice and crisp and the meat becomes juicy.
This applies to either a charcoal or gas grill.
What is a two zone grill?
Here half of the grill is above the flame and the other half has no heat underneath.
By grilling in this way, meat can be cooked almost like an oven. Get heat from the grill, but not over a direct flame.
This is the right way to get juicy, aromatic meat without flare or charring.
With a gas grill, half of the burners are switched on, the other half is switched off.
With a charcoal grill, a divider in the charcoal area can be used, or it can be done manually by putting the coals aside when they are ready to grill.
The inside temperature should reach 165 degrees F.
The chicken is ready when it measures 165 degrees.
Use an instant thermometer and measure the thickest part of the meat, being careful not to touch the bone.
General grill times:
Smaller chicken legs: 25-30 minutes in total
Larger chicken legs: 45-50 minutes in total
Let rest after grilling
The chicken will rest after being removed from the grill for 10 minutes.
This allows the juices to be redistributed in the meat after grilling for a juicy piece of meat.
During this time the temperature still rises slightly.
What should you serve with it?
There are two recipes a must with this chicken:
It doesn’t stop here! Here are some more ideas:
Also try these Thai-inspired recipes!
Did you do it? Please rate the recipe below!
Grilled Thai chicken legs with sweet and spicy dip sauce and coconut rice
Delicious, grilled Thai style chicken legs will enrich your outdoor meals with the taste of world cuisine. Bright aromas of lemongrass, ginger, chilli flakes and coconut milk underline this delicious summer dish, paired with coconut rice and a sweet and spicy dip sauce.
Ingredients for Thai style chicken thighs:
- 12th Carnations garlic peeled and diced or pressed
- 2nd big Jalapenos (3-4 inches long), cored and diced
- 1 4 inch piece fresh ginger root unpeeled and cut into thin slices
- 1/2 Cup Safflower oil
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 4th teaspoon Lemongrass powder
- 8th Chicken thighs (about 2½-3 pounds), Bones in and skin on
- 1 stack Thai style dip
Instructions for the grilled chicken legs Thai style:
Mix in a zipped plastic bag or a large bowl of garlic, jalapenos, ginger, safflower oil, kosher salt, black pepper, and lemongrass powder.
Add chicken thighs and twist them to completely coat them. Cover (or seal if you are using a sachet) and leave chilled for 2-3 hours (or overnight).
Preheat the gas grill too high. When the grill is hot, brush it well and run a paper towel with some vegetable oil over the grates to oil them. NOTE:: I use the grill brush to slide the paper towel over the grids.
Put chicken thighs, Skin side down on a heated grill for two minutes to fry them.
Turn off half of the grill and move your thighs to that side. Skin side up, for indirect cooking.
Close the grill and cook until the inside of the chicken thighs reaches 165 degrees. The thighs do not have to be turned over when cooking.
With smaller chicken thighs about 25-30 minutes, larger thighs can take 45-50 minutes. Juices should run clear and there should be no pink, but the meat will be moist and juicy.
Remove the chicken thighs and let them rest for 10 minutes before serving.
Use a charcoal grill
A charcoal grill can also be set up 2-zone grilling. Fry the chicken legs on the hot side and push them aside without coals to finish cooking.
Pro tips – chicken thighs
- Choose chicken thighs of the same size so they cook at the same time.
- If you choose larger chicken legs, the ex exceed the estimated weight of 2 1 / 2-3 pounds There will be enough marinade, but it will take longer to cook.
- Measure the inside temperature of the chicken legs an instant read thermometer. Insert it into the thickest part of the meat, do not touch the bone and do not let the thermometer leave the chicken on the other side when measuring the temperature.
- The chicken thighs should reach 165 degrees F.. Then remove from the grill and let rest for 10 minutes.
- The mead will no longer be pink and the juices will run clear. The chicken legs should still be juicy.
- Smaller chicken legs take 25-30 minutes. Larger chicken legs up to 45-50 minutes. Always use the inside temperature to check the degree of cooking.
Recipe update (2020)::
The marinade had been doubled to accommodate larger chicken thighs.
Grilled Thai chicken legs with sweet and spicy dip sauce and coconut rice
Amount per serving (1 g)
Calories 482 Calories from fat 234
% Daily value *
Saturated fat 5g25%
cholesterol 110 mg37%
sodium 384 mg16%
potassium 324 mg9%
protein 20 g40%
Vitamin A. 180IU4%
vitamin C 3.3 mg4%
calcium 26 mg3%
iron 1.4 mg8th%
* The daily percentages are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Originally published June 2, 2013
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