Tamarind BBQ Chicken

For an easy side dish for this grilled BBQ chicken recipe, brush a little of the sauce on halved baby bok choy and grill them next to the chicken over direct heat 2 to 3 minutes.

Tamarind BBQ Chicken
Photo: Carson Downing
Hands On Time:
25 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 40 mins


  • 2 tablespoon canola oil

  • ½ cup chopped onion

  • 3 garlic cloves, minced

  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper

  • cup rice vinegar

  • ½ cup packed brown sugar

  • ½ cup tomato paste

  • 3 tablespoon tamarind paste

  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce

  • 1 ½ teaspoon kosher salt

  • 3 pound meaty chicken pieces (bone-in thighs, bone-in breast halves, and/or drumsticks)

  • ½ teaspoon cracked black pepper

  • cup chopped fresh cilantro

  • cup chopped macadamia nuts

  • Coconut Rice with Grilled Coconut (see recipe) (optional)

  • Orange wedges, (optional)

Coconut Rice with Grilled Coconut

  • 1 cup basmati or long grain white rice

  • ½ cup unsweetened flaked coconut*

  • 4 green onions

  • 1 13.5 ounce can unsweetened coconut milk


  1. Prepare grill for indirect heat. (See "How to Set Up Your Grill.") For sauce: In a medium saucepan heat canola oil over medium. Add onion and garlic; cook 3 to 4 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Add crushed red pepper; cook and stir 1 minute. Stir in 1 cup water, the rice vinegar, brown sugar, tomato paste, tamarind paste, soy sauce, and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, about 25 minutes or until thickened and reduced to about 1 3/4 cups, stirring occasionally. Let mixture cool slightly. Set aside half of the sauce for serving and for a dipping sauce.

  2. Season chicken pieces with an additional 1 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper. If using a charcoal grill, place chicken bone side up over drip pan. Grill, covered, over medium 30 minutes.

  3. Brush chicken with some of remaining sauce. Turn chicken and brush again with sauce. Grill 20 to 30 minutes more or until done (170°F for breasts; 175°F for thighs and drumsticks), brushing occasionally with remaining sauce.

  4. Top chicken with chopped cilantro and macadamia nuts. Serve with reserved sauce, and, if desired, Coconut Rice and/or orange wedges. Serves 6.

Coconut Rice with Grilled Coconut

  1. Place rice in a sieve. Rinse with cold running water until water runs clear. Place rice in a medium saucepan. Add cold water to cover. Let stand 30 minutes.

  2. Meanwhile, prepare grill for direct heat. (See "How to Set Up Your Grill.") Place coconut on a 12x9-inch piece of double-thickness foil. Bring up long sides and seal with a double fold. Fold in ends to enclose. Grill foil packet and green onions, covered, directly over medium heat. Grill foil packet 5 minutes, turning once. Grill onions 4 to 5 minutes or until tender and charred, turning once. Let cool slightly; carefully open foil packet to cool completely. Chop green onions.

  3. Drain rice. Return to saucepan. Stir in coconut milk,1/2 cup water, and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt. Bring to boiling; reduce heat to medium. Cook, covered, 10 minutes. Reduce heat to low. Cook 5 minutes more or until tender and liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat; let stand, covered, 5 minutes. Fluff rice with fork. Stir in onions and half of the coconut. Top with remaining coconut. Serves 6.

If you can't find unsweetened coconut, use sweetened flaked coconut.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

463 Calories
23g Fat
27g Carbs
36g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 6
Calories 463
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 23g 29%
Saturated Fat 5g 25%
Cholesterol 104mg 35%
Sodium 768mg 33%
Total Carbohydrate 27g 10%
Total Sugars 22g
Protein 36g
Vitamin C 6.8mg 34%
Calcium 55mg 4%
Iron 2.8mg 15%
Potassium 575mg 12%
Folate, total 13.1mcg
Vitamin B-12 0.3mcg
Vitamin B-6 0.5mg

*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

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