grilled tamarind ginger chicken legs

grilled tamarind ginger chicken legs

This grilled tamarind ginger chicken is sweet, tangy. sticky and full of flavor. I’ve been experimenting with different ways to use tamarind these past few months, and my new favorite recipe is this sweet tart barbecue style sauce. The sauce, combined with smoky char, warm ginger and a touch of spice make these chicken legs an incredibly delicious and unique summer meal.

how do you grill the perfect chicken?

This is a hotly debated question, but my preferred technique is to grill the chicken over indirect heat while generously basting with the tamarind sauce. The low heat slowly renders the fat to prevent flare ups and burnt meat, and then I finish the chicken over high heat for crispy, caramelized char. The process couldn’t be simpler and makes for an incredibly juicy, unique take on barbecue chicken.

Feel free to use any cut of chicken you have— a whole spatchcocked bird, just the thigh, or even the wings— just be sure to adjust the cooking times accordingly.

what wine should you drink with this grilled tamarind ginger chicken?

I’m all about being adventurous with wines and bucking the old school food and wine pairing rules of “white wine with white meat”. For a fun and unique wine pairing, try Brachetto from Piedmont, Italy. This red grape variety is made in a whole range of sweetness and carbonation levels, but typically it’s slightly sweet, low in alcohol and fizzy. The best versions are intensely aromatic, light bodied, refreshing and reminiscent of wild strawberries and black cherry— a wonderful pairing with the tangy, plummy flavor of tamarind and simplicity of a grilled summer meal.

grilled tamarind ginger chicken legs

serves 4

grilled tamarind ginger chicken legs


  • 4 chicken leg quarters

  • kosher salt

  • freshly ground black pepper

  • ¼ cup olive oil

  • 3 tbsp tamarind concentrate

  • 2 tbsp soy sauce

  • ¼ cup honey

  • juice of 1 limes (about 2 tbsp)

  • 2" piece of ginger, peeled and grated

  • 1 tbsp chili sauce (like Sriracha)

  • cilantro, chopped, for garnish


  1. The night before cooking, season chicken generously with salt and pepper then refrigerate. A half hour before you’re ready to grill, remove chicken from the refrigerator.

  2. To preheat the grill, turn one side of the grill on medium high heat (leaving a few burners off for indirect heat) then lower cover and heat for 15 minutes.

  3. Meanwhile, whisk to combine olive oil, tamarind, soy sauce, honey, lime juice, ginger, chili sauce, 1 teaspoon kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper in a large glass measuring cup or bowl. Transfer a third of the sauce to a small bowl and set aside for the last few minutes of grilling.

  4. When you’re ready to grill, oil grates and place chicken, skin side down, over the indirect heat and cook for about 35 minutes, flipping chicken and basting with sauce every 5 minutes or so. When chicken is browned, crispy and almost cooked through, move to hot side of grill and baste with reserved sauce and a clean brush for 5- 10 minutes until juices run clear, or when an instant read thermometer reads 165°F.

  5. Transfer chicken to a platter, garnish with cilantro and serve.

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