• Partnered with
  • Quick
  • Easy
  • Serves 4
  • 30 mins cook
  • 30 mins marinate

Char-grilled chilli chicken

Char-grilled chilli chicken

Inspired by Thai street food, Nici Wickes' barbecued chicken recipe is flavoured with lemongrass, chilli, salt and lime. It’s always popular! The chicken is spicy but served with a cooling salad, it’s just right


Char-grilled chilli chicken

  • 8 or 12 chicken pieces, bone in (drums, thighs and wings are all good)
  • 1 fresh pineapple, skinned, cored and cut into chunks
  • 4 or 5 whole red chilli
  • 1/2 cup peanuts
  • 2 or 3 baby cos lettuce, to serve
  • small handful fresh coriander
  • lemon or lime wedges, to serve


  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp minced chilli
  • 2 tbsp lemongrass, minced
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 tsp tamarind pulp, soaked in a little warm water to loosen
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • juice from 2-3 limes (or one lemon)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp cooking oil


  1. Using a sharp knife, trim any excess fat or skin from the chicken pieces, then score the skin and flesh. This is to aid penetration of the marinade flavour and to shorten the cooking time.
  2. Mix all the marinade ingredients together in a bowl, stirring well until the sugar has dissolved. Reserve half of this sauce and add the chicken pieces to the rest. Coat them evenly, turning the chicken in the marinade. Allow to marinate for 15-30 minutes or for up to 24 hours (covered and in the fridge).
  3. Grill on the BBQ, turning often, until the skin is well-coloured. Then turn the heat to low and cook for 30 minutes or until cooked through. It is ready when the inner flesh is opaque and the juices run clear.
  4. Add the pineapple, chilli and peanuts to the grill plate for the last 10 minutes of chicken cooking, and cook until char-grilled.
  5. Serve the chicken, pineapple and chillies on a bed of lettuce, scattered with peanuts. Garnish with coriander and wedges of lemons or limes.

This recipe first appeared in New Zealand Woman's Weekly.

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