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Categories Poultry Malaysian Spatchcocked Spicy Grilled Chicken
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Malaysian Spatchcocked Spicy Grilled Chicken

Recipe comes from a Primal Grill episode that turns a bland chicken into the tastiest chicken you have ever had!

  • 1 chicken (3-1/2 to 4 pounds)
  • For the marinade:

  • 1/4 cup grated coconut (fresh or dried)
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled and rough chopped
  • 2 shallots, peeled and rough chopped
  • 2 stalks lemongrass, trimmed and rough chopped
  • 2 inches fresh ginger, peeled and rough chopped
  • 2 hot red chilies, like jalapenos or horn peppers, seeded and rough chopped (for spicier chicken, leave the seeds in), or 2 tablespoons Malaysian chili paste
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 2 teaspoons salt

  • 2 tablespoons diced red or yellow bell pepper (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds (optional)
  • fresh calmonsis or lime wedges for squeezing
  1. Spatchcock the chicken and place the bird in a non-reactive baking dish just large enough to hold it.
  2. Make the marinade. Place the dried shredded coconut in a dry cast iron or stainless steel skillet (not nonstick) and cook it over medium heat until browned and fragrant, stirring with a wooden spoon to prevent scorching. Transfer the coconut to a bowl to cool.
  3. Place the garlic, shallots, lemongrass, ginger, chilies, coriander, cumin, turmeric, and salt in a heavy mortar and pound to a paste with a pestle. Pour in the toasted coconut and about 3/4 cup cool water enough to obtain a thick but pourable paste. Alternatively, puree the marinade ingredients in a food processor. Again, add water as needed to obtain a thick but pourable paste. Spoon this mixture over the chicken, forcing it into the slits in the legs, turning the bird to coat well on both sides. Marinate the chicken anywhere from 2 hours to 24 hours, your choice, in the refrigerator.
  4. Set up your grill for direct grilling and stabilize at 350 - 400. Brush and oil the grill grate.
  5. Drain the chicken and arrange it on the grill grate bone side down. Grill until golden brown and cooked though, 15 to 20 minutes per side, turning half way through. Move the chicken as needed to dodge any flare-ups. To check for doneness: use an instant read meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh but not touching the bone: the temperature should be about 170 degrees. Alternatively, make a cut in the chicken meat where the thigh connects to the body: there should be no traces of red at the bone.
  6. To serve, transfer the chicken, skin side up, to a platter. Sprinkle the top with sesame seeds and diced bell pepper (if using). Serve with calamansis or lime wedges for squeezing and Malaysian Peanut Sauce if desired.

Note: you can also indirect grill the chicken a processes which, although, not traditionally Malaysia, has the advantage of eliminating all risk of flare-ups. Set up your grill for indirect grilling and stabilize at 350 to 400. Place the chicken skin side up in the center of the grate over the drip pan. Indirect grill the chicken until browned and cooked through, 40 to 60 minutes.


I left out the heat (jalapeńos), as we are pretty wimpy, and the optional ingredients but otherwise followed instructions.

Number Of Servings:4Source:Primal Grill with Steven Raichlen
Vegetarian:NoTime To Prepare:
Date:Wed 16 Jan 2013 15:11:10 UTCViewed:7786 times
Rating:4,50 (4 votes)

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