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Grilled Red Curry Chicken

4 Servings

1¼ hours 35 minutes active, plus marinating and resting

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Jet Tila is a chef, restaurateur, cookbook author and TV personality who spent his formative years in the food-focused environment of his family’s Thai markets and restaurants in Los Angeles. In his latest book, “101 Thai Dishes You Need to Cook Before You Die,” Tila includes a recipe for a simpler way to make gai yang, or Thai marinated chicken, a dish that, made the traditional way, requires a laundry list of items, including cilantro roots, turmeric and lemon grass, plus a way to pound them to a paste. In his new spin, Tila combines only six easy ingredients—coconut milk, Thai red curry paste, curry powder, garlic, sugar and salt—to make an aromatic, flavor-packed marinade that comes together in minutes and tastes fantastic. This is our adaptation of his recipe. We swapped bone-in chicken thighs for Tila’s whole chicken and cut slashes into them so the marinade gets deep into the meat. Serve with steamed jasmine rice.




Don’t use light coconut milk. Its flavor and consistency are thin and watery. Regular full-fat coconut milk, sold in cans or aseptic boxes, is best. Before use, be sure to stir the coconut milk well to incorporate the fat that separates to the top. Any leftover coconut milk will keep the freezer in an airtight container for several months.

1¼ hours

35 minutes active, plus marinating and resting


  • 1

    cup coconut milk

  • ¼

    cup Thai red curry paste


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Anne F.
June 13, 2023
I've made this recipe several times now, both on the grill and in the oven when the grill was not an option. The flavors are outstanding!
Nikita J.
September 15, 2022
This is delicious and quick.
I will definitely be making this again. I used the oven technique, which is easier for me on a weeknight. I also added 1 extra thai chili in the Sweet and Spicy sauce and it was delightful. Lastly, I added a tablespoon or two of the remaining coconut milk into my jasmine rice while cooking and it really brought the whole meal together. Unfortunately I wasn't able to marinate for 4+ hours but it was quite tasty even after 1. This is absolutely being added to the rotation. Thank you Milk Street!
Alan I.
September 3, 2022
Easy and tasty!
I cut down a bit on the red curry paste, sugar and salt and it was still delicious! Easy and I've never used my grill that way. Learned something new.
Oliver V.
September 1, 2022
Super easy and super tasty
Marinade is a quick mix of pantry staples and the bbq technique is spot on. You can also play with different flavors and make variations with the same concept. Don't forget the dipping sauce. That works as a smoking spicy cocktail simple syrup too! ;)
Yaoli Y.
August 14, 2022
So so delicious
Use real Thai red curry from an Asian grocery store! I also used Madras curry powder rather than regular. It’s so delicious, the skin came out so crispy and the flavor went all the way through. We had it with a peanut slaw on the side.