According to research, the sense of smell is closely linked with memory, probably more so than any of our other senses. Many people are able to think of smells that evoke particular memories; the scent of an orchard in blossom conjuring up recollections of a childhood picnic, for example.
Our Sompao Tong Thai Grilled Chicken is one of those recipes that, for us, invokes memories of Bangkok street vendors... The smell of grilling smoke dense with the aroma of chicken, garlic, black pepper and lime as it chars on the open charcoal stoves. This delicious and addicting grilled chicken is best served with sticky rice and papaya salad.
- 8 Medium cloves garlic
- 12 Sprigs cilantro, including thick stalks
- 3 Tablespoons palm or light brown sugar
- 3 Tablespoons Zen Sompao Tong Black peppercorns
- 1 Teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 Lime, juiced
- 2 Tablespoons fish sauce
- 2 Teaspoons soy sauce
- 2 (3-inch) segments lemongrass (optional)
- Whole chicken, spine removed, split in half along the breastbone (or your boneless will be fine too)
- Thai-Style Sweet Chili Dipping Sauce (Mae Ploy brand is best)
- Combine garlic, cilantro, sugar, peppercorns, coriander, fish sauce, soy sauce, and lemongrass (if using) in the bowl of a food processor (or better yet, use a traditional Thai mortar and pestle). Process until a rough paste is formed. Set aside.
- Rub on all surfaces and under the skin with marinade. Cover, transfer to refrigerator and allow to marinate for at least 2 hours and up to overnight. The longer it marinates, the better.
- Grill the chicken over white coals (or equivalent), for 7-8 minutes per side. Baste often with any left-over marinade to keep the chicken from becoming dry.
- Serve with sticky rice and papaya salad.