Balinese Grilled Chicken

Adapted from Bon Appetit (June 2011)

This chicken gets its flavor from a spice paste, which I have toned down significantly. The original recipe called for three times the hot chilies. I’ve included just one for flavor, but the dish has very little in the way of heat. This chicken goes well with simple sides, such as rice and a green salad.

  • 10 garlic cloves
  • 1 red chili, seeded and roughly chopped
  • 3 large shallots, halved
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Black pepper
  • 4 large chicken breasts, bone-in and skin on
  • 4 fresh bay leaves
  • 2 limes, halved
  • In a food processor, combine the garlic, red chili, shallots, ginger, turmeric and oil. Process until nearly smooth. The mixture will have the consistency of a somewhat wet paste. Warm a skillet over medium heat and add the paste to the skillet. Cook until fragrant, about 5 minutes. Season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Allow to cool slightly.
  • Place chicken breasts in a large baking dish. Sprinkle them liberally with salt and pepper. Rub the paste onto the chicken breasts (do you have a fresh manicure? If so, see my tips below before doing this step!), then top with the bay leaves. Cover tightly and refrigerate overnight.
  • Heat the grill over direct high heat. Place two sheets of heavy duty aluminum foil over the grate, then brush canola oil over the foil. Place the chicken breasts on the grill and cover. The breasts I used were very thick, so total cooking time was roughly 30 minutes. As soon as the chicken breasts are done, remove them from the grill immediately so they do not dry out. Squeeze lime juice over the chicken breasts and serve with cut limes.
  • Quick Tips
  • 1. Do you have a pale pink manicure? I’m serious. You might want to consider wearing gloves when applying the spice rub to the bird. I did not do this and the next morning I realized my lovely mother’s day manicure was yellow! Eeek.
  • 2. If you can bother yourself to put this in the fridge in the morning (yeah, I know, I can almost never get my act together to pull off such a stunt either, but a girl can aim high, right?), the marinating time will be just right by dinner. Otherwise, let it sit overnight for the next day.

Preparation time: 10 minutes plus marinating time

Cooking time: 30 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 4

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