Hot Off the Grill: Chicken from Around the World

by Lexa Pennington / May 01, 2012 /
Lexa Pennington's picture

Shake up boring or bland meals with exotic chicken recipes from around the world! While everything tastes better fresh off the grill, even your favorite summertime dishes can use a little inspiration. Keep in mind that marinades, barbecue sauces, seasonings and cooking methods vary by region.

 

Even in the United States, you may find several different sauces in one area. For instance, backyard grilling enthusiasts in South Carolina swear by mustard-based, vinegar-based or tomato-based sauces, depending on the region. While you could fill a library with chicken recipes from across the globe, start off with five versions travelers often try to recreate at home.



Gai Yang

Gai Yang

Image Source: Migrationology.com

 

Try gai yang (grilled chicken) if you want a taste of Thailand. You’ll likely find this marinated grilled chicken dish in restaurants and street vendors throughout Thailand, according to Epicurious. While the cooking methods and ingredients vary by region, this dish usually is grilled over charcoal.


Gai yang may include such ingredients as Thai oyster sauce, Asian fish sauce, chili paste, coriander root, soy sauce, turmeric, black or white pepper, garlic and sugar. Serve gai yang with nam prik jaew, which is a spicy anchovy dip made with lemon grass, to add another level of flavor to your meal. This dish pairs well with a simple side, such as sticky rice.

 

Chicken with Piri Piri Sauce

   Chicken with Piri Piri Sauce

Image Source: Tesco Real Food

Foodies who prefer their grilled chicken with a little kick may enjoy piri piri. This Portuguese dish is marinated in a chili-based sauce. Depending on the chef, the type of peppers used to make piri piri may include malagueta, red, poblano or jalapeno peppers. The marinade also may contain balsamic vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, sweet paprika, salt, pepper, garlic, port, whiskey or brandy.

 

Chicken Tikka

Chicken Tikka

Image Source: Indian Tiffin Exeter

 

In India, cooks use the word “tikka” for small pieces of skewered meat. Ground turmeric, toasted cumin and coriander seeds, ginger, and other Indian spices impart plenty of flavour to this yogurt-based marinade. Serve this dish, which also is popular in Great Britain, with rice.

 

Tandoori Chicken


   Tandoori Chicken
Image Source: lipelorojo

 

India’s tandoori chicken provides a tasty dish if you prefer dark meat. Recipes for this dish usually call for skinless chicken legs and thighs, which are cooked in a tandoor, or clay oven. The tandoor’s high temperatures sear the outside of the meat while leaving the inside juicy and succulent. The chicken is marinated in a spicy, yogurt-based mixture for several hours or overnight before it’s cooked.
Depending on the recipe, tandoori chicken may include such spices as sweet paprika, ground cumin, cardamom, cayenne pepper, ground turmeric, ground coriander, ginger, salt and garlic. Serve tandoori chicken with Naan, which is an Indian flatbread.

 

Yakitori Chicken


   Yakitori Chicken
Image Source: Napoleon Grills

 

Japan’s yakitori has been around for centuries. While yakitori, like tikka, refers to skewered chunks of chicken, the difference is in the sauce. This salty-sweet dish gets its flavor from such ingredients as ginger, soy sauce and sake.

 

Considerations


Whether you use your oven, an outdoor fireplace, a grill or a pit, you can convert almost any poultry recipe to work with what you have available. Your cooking method will have just as much impact on the chicken as your additional ingredients. In India, for example, cooks often use tandoors to grill and bake food.
This cylindrical clay pot provides a constant high temperature through a combination of fire, radiant heat, hot air and convection cooking. Gas grills are easy to use and take less time to prepare than charcoal grills. However, chicken cooked on a gas grill lacks the smokey flavor imparted by charcoal. Grills powered by charcoal also offer a higher temperature range than gas grills.


What chicken recipe is your favourite?