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Thai Barbecue Chicken with Cilantro

I’m experimenting with an idea that I may abandon later; I can be fickle that way. But right now I’m thinking it might be fun to use the same herb for an entire month for Weekend Herb Blogging, so October is the month of cilantro. Obviously this choice was inspired by the fact that cilantro was selected as *most preferred herb* when we celebrated the one year anniversary of Weekend Herb Blogging last weekend. I don’t mean to rub it in to all you lovers-of-other-herbs, but I just haven’t had my fill of cilantro yet, despite my post featuring a collection of some of my favorite cilantro recipes.

So when I was out surfing around, I saw a recipe that caught my eye. I’ve seen some other tasty looking dishes at Is It Edible, and this recipe for Thai Barbecue Chicken just spoke to me. It sounded easy, I had all the ingredients, and it contained cilantro. Done!

I did use the one tablespoon of sugar the recipe called for, which might surprise some people who know I’m a fan of the South Beach Diet. But come on; we’re talking about one tablespoon of sugar for eight chicken thighs, and it’s being used in a marinade so most of the sugar won’t even be eaten. You can certainly use Splenda, but I thought the caramelizing of the sugar might be important here.

This was so delicious and such an interesting flavor for so few ingredients. My version didn’t get as delightfully browned as Ed’s did, but I thought it still looked pretty good. Surprisingly for me, I followed the recipe pretty closely, but I did add extra chopped cilantro on top when I ate it.

Thai Barbecue Chicken
(Makes 8 servings; recipe very slightly adapted from Is It Edible)

8 chicken thighs, fat well trimmed and only minimal amount of skin left on

Marinade Ingredients:
3 T soy sauce (I use Kikkoman)
3 T sherry
1 tsp. garlic puree (also called ground garlic)
2 T (or more) finely minced cilantro (plus additional chopped cilantro for garnish if desired)
1 T sugar or Splenda
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper (preferably white pepper)


Trim loose skin and extra fat from chicken thighs. (I save scraps like this to make chicken stock.) Mix marinade ingredients. Put chicken in ziploc bag and pour marinade in. Seal bag, turn over a few times to be sure chicken is well coated with marinade, then marinate for 45 minutes or longer in refrigerator. (I increased the marinating time a little bit. Next time I might marinate it for a few hours, although it was really flavorful with this short marinating time.)

To cook, preheat oven to 350 F. (I used a toaster oven, which worked very well here.) In a large foil-lined baking pan, place the chicken skin-side down in a single layer. Bake 25 minutes. Turn chicken over and bake for 20-25 minutes more.

Change oven setting to broil and broil chicken (skin side up) for 8-10 minutes, or until skin is crisp and browned and chicken is cooked through. Serve with chopped cilantro if desired.
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South Beach Suggestions:
South Beach recommends boneless chicken breasts, so if I was on phase one I would have used those instead of thighs and subbed Splenda for the sugar. I ate this with Cucumbers Caesar, but maybe it should have been Wake Up Your Mouth Thai Cucumber Salad! For phase two or three, I think this would taste amazing paired with My Favorite Herb Salad.

Of course, you’re smart enough to figure out that this is my post for Weekend Herb Blogging #53, where Ruth from Once Upon a Feast is hosting this week.
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28 comments on “Thai Barbecue Chicken with Cilantro”

  1. So glad I've gotten it fixed now, thanks again!

  2. We made this a couple of months ago, and that time my girlfriend said "450 sounds too high", so we did 350 and they turned out so good that she'd been talking about doing them again. This time I started it myself because she was running late, and I was not sharp enough to make the change on my own 😉

    We also have made the wake up your mouth cucumber salad a few times and even took it to a dinner party once. Thanks!

  3. OMG, I'm upset to find that I made a mistake like that which has been here for so many years. It's much too long ago for me to remember what temperature I used, but I'm pretty sure the temperature should have been 350F. So sorry, and thanks for letting me know so I can edit the post and printable recipe.

  4. I made this last night with the oven at 450 degrees as listed, and the smoke alarms were going off! Looking at the original recipe on Is It Edible, it calls for 350. The meal was saved by turning the oven down, total cook time was 40 minutes though the skin was glued to the pan by the heat so no turning of the thighs, and no tasty broiled skin! Still delicious though!

  5. Sofia, so glad you liked it. (And now I want a new photo for this post!)

  6. Thanks for another great recipe, Kalyn! I made this for dinner last night, accompanied by your Tomato, Cucumber, and Radish Salad with Yogurt and Tahini Dressing. So flavorful! It was the perfect light meal for a warm Spring evening, we'll definitely be making it again.

  7. well i tried this recipe and made a few variations on it (added Serrano peppers for some spice, and a little lime juice for some tangyness, and a little sesame seed oil) this was one of the most flavor full things ive eaten ever!!!!!! i made it a second time and sliced the chicken and made wraps with cucumber shredded carrots cilantro jalapenos and dakon radish and lettuce tomato and of course the Thai chili sauce, yumm

  8. Wow, that Thai BBQ Chicken looks good. It looks like I could make it as a frozen “dump” recipe-throw everything in a ziplock, freeze it, and then take it out some morning to grill in the evening.

  9. Made this tonight and my husband loved it! Thanks.

  10. Thank you for the response. I’m on the learning curve with this whole blogging thing and just spent the past hour cruising your blog again. You are so gracious to share your information (I desperately needed the tips on food photography!). I also read your Woman’s Day story and am sure you have inspired many with your food journey. What a nice path you’ve taken. Are you familiar with the word, dharma? This appears to be yours, helping people with food issues. Me too, but in a different way.

    I’m very interested in trying the WHB, but will wait, watch, and learn. Once I’m up to speed, I’ll give it a try. I love the idea of sharing healing and therapeutic information about foods. Keep up the good work, Kalyn. I’ll check back with you once I feel confident I know what I’m doing (at least minimally anyway!).

  11. Melissa, welcome, and thanks for the nice feedback. Would love to have yo join in for WHB.

  12. Hi Kalyn – my first time commenting here. Lovely site with wonderful recipes! I’ve had a blast looking through your recipe file. I will definitely try the Thai Chicken as it looks so good and I’m a huge fan of cilantro and coriander. Coriander seeds are high on the list of healthy spices (good digestive properties, anti-diabetic, anti-inflammatory) and cilantro leaves are good for detoxing. I’m interested in your Weekend Herb Blogging and will read your info on it. Nice, nice blog!

  13. I’ve also bookmarked to try this from Ed’s site. Now, i really must do soon. Thanks for the reminder!

  14. Oh wow. Cilantro and Thai! Thumbs up from me 🙂

  15. EJM, a green chile and cilantro omelette sounds great. (Ok, I’d probably like anything with cilantro.)

    Sher, sorry to hear you’re still feeling sick. Chicken soup with cilantro!

    Krista, me too!

    Naudee, thanks. It was really good.

    Ed, I thought your picture looked great. It made me want to try it, didn’t it?

    Christine, I agree. I do love Penzeys. I don’t like spice blends in general that much either, but I do like a few of theirs.

  16. Yum, Kalyn, this sounds great. I bet you could use the same marinade/glaze on tofu and it would be pretty wonderful. Though I am not in general a real big fan of spice blends, Penzey’s Florida Seasoned Pepper is a keeper. Must be the citrus that brightens up food so nicely.

  17. Kalyn – Thanks for trying this out! I’m really glad you liked it. And I will definitely try the longer marinating time when I make this again. And I must say “Wow!” Your picture looks SO MUCH better than mine. I might have to do a reshoot. =)

  18. Oh this sounds great!

  19. Cilantro is one of my favorite herbs along with basil.

  20. It’s always cilantro month here! That looks fabulous. Will it clear up the congestion in my chest? No? Well, it will taste great, I’m sure. I’ll fix that as soon as the jackhammer in my head stops. 🙂

  21. Cilantro this month, eh? Good choice! Just in case you run out of ideas (ha) for dishes featuring cilantro, you might want to try a green chili and cilantro omelette then….

    Your chicken looks delicious, Kalyn.


  22. CC, great minds think alike. 🙂

  23. That’s cute, Kalyn. I believe I’m going to be using bay leaves as my herb of choice throughout October. But I was gonna do it anyway. 🙂

  24. WMM, a little sugar is ok, but a lot of sugar, for me – very bad! Sugar makes me go crazy.

    Ruth, thanks. I’m having fun with my new camera.

    Veuveclicquot, I have a Canon Rebel XT, which is a great camera. I also use photo studio in a box when I’m taking pictures where there is not enough light. It’s made a huge difference in my photos. (Thanks to my wonderful brother who gave it to me!)

  25. gosh… how do you get your photos to look so good? when i photograph chicken, it doesn’t look nearly as appetizing!

    Cilantro is also one of my fave herbs – right behind mint, and tied with basil!

  26. Yum it does look delicious. And although I voted for basil, I use cilantro much more frequently. Obviously this dish is on my list.

    Thanks for sharing.

    By the way – your photos are looking awesome!

  27. Did the Spoonfull of sugar make the bbq go down in the most delightful day?

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