Grilled meats are a staple for my family and I during in the summer months. Don’t get me wrong, I grill year-round. Rain, sleet or snow (all of which are regular occurrences in Toronto). I just do it more often in the summer. My wife doesn’t complain because it means less clean-up for her! I love it because I get to be outside, which also benefits my dogs Charlie and Nicky who always want to dig around the yard! Everyone’s a winner!
This recipe for Grilled Thai Chicken Drumsticks wasn’t planned. It just sort of happened. Last night I cleaned out the fridge and did my best to organize it. It’s amazing what you’ll find in the deep recesses of the ol’ ice box! Aside from dangerously old jars of mustard and horseradish, I found some Thai curry paste. My first thought was to make Basil’s Thai Coconut Curry. That idea didn’t last very long because even though I always have coconut milk in the pantry, I didn’t have any boneless chicken – breast or otherwise. I did have some drumsticks in the freezer! I really didn’t want to debone a package of chicken legs though. What if I were to use the curry paste and coconut milk to marinate the chicken? Hey, there’s a thought! And voilà, a recipe was born! In case you’re wondering, this is how most of my meals come to fruition – out of a mixture of necessity and sheer laziness.
In all fairness, it’s not my first time marinating chicken in coconut milk. I did it with this Lemongrass Chicken and loved it. But for some reason unbeknown to me I never thought to use the curry paste as a marinade. It really is a beautiful thing. The paste is spicy, salty, briney and packed with umami. I assure you this won’t be a one-time affair. I plan on having multiple encounters with this curry paste and rubbing it over everything. There may or may not be chicken involved. Can you tell this is me trying to be scandalous? I know, not my best work!
This recipe, on the other hand, is right up there with my other top hits. What those are, I’m not quite sure. I’m biased and love everything I make. OK, maybe not everything. I once tried adding sea vegetable powder to a salad dressing and ended up tossing a 1/4 cup of expensive AF olive oil.
Grilled or Baked?
There are a few things I should mention with this recipe.
- I used drumsticks because, as mentioned, that’s what I had on hand. You can use this marinade for chicken thighs, breast, wings or even pork. Beef is not as delicate and probably won’t absorb the marinade as much as ‘white’ meat. If you are adamant on substituting steak, I won’t stand in your way.
- I grilled the chicken drumsticks because I’m ’bout that life. If the weather was not cooperating I may be inclined to roast them instead. If I were to go that route, I would place the marinated legs on a cooling rack set over a baking tray. That way, the air could circulate around the chicken. I would roast in a 400F oven for around 45 or until the internal temperature reaches 165F. I would also flip the chicken half-way just to make sure it cooks evenly.
I hope you like this recipe and be sure to let me know what you think in the comments below!
Grilled Thai Curry Chicken Drumsticks – Whole30
INGREDIENTS: (serves 4)
8-10 chicken drumsticks (substitute thigh, breast, wings or pork medalions)
1/2 cup full-fat coconut milk
1 tbsp red curry paste
1 tsp fresh ginger root – grated
2 cloves garlic – grated
1 tsp fish sauce
1 tbsp lime juice
fresh cilantro for garnish
lime wedges for squeezing
- Add all ingredients except for chicken, cilantro and lime wedges to a bowl and whisk thoroughly to combine. *Note: take extra care to disperse the curry paste which can be rather clumpy.
- Rinse and pat dry chicken drumsticks. Add chicken to a zip-top bag set in a bowl, pour in the marinade and gently massage the marinade all over the chicken. Fold the top of the bag over, squeeze out all of the air and seal tight. Transfer chicken to a fridge and let marinade 4 hours to overnight.
- Preheat a gas grill to medium-low heat. Place the chicken over direct heat and close the lid. Grill approximately 30-40 minutes or until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165F. Turn the chicken as necessary to ensure even cooking. *Note: I strongly recommend grilling chicken drumsticks on a medium-low heat and monitoring it closely. High heat will cause the marinade to burn.
- Meanwhile, transfer the chicken marinade to a sauce pan set over medium-low heat. Cook the marinade until it reduces by 1/4 to form a sauce. If the sauce becomes too dry, add 2-3 tbsp of water.
- Baste the chicken with the sauce towards the end of the grilling process.
- Transfer grilled chicken to a serving platter, garnish with fresh cilantro, lime wedges and serve with the remainder of the sauce.