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Curried Grilled Chicken Thighs

Photo: Greg Dupree
Active time 20 mins
Total time 8 hrs, 30 mins

Serves 4 (serving size: 2 thighs)

Curry paste is a flavor powerhouse, full of roasted aromatics, earthy spices, fiery chiles, and more. Yellow curry powder is commonly used in green curry paste recipes, serving as the flavor backbone; it's convenient, too, providing lots of spices in a single handy ingredient. Like store-bought, our version will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for several months. You can substitute 1 tablespoon lemongrass paste (found near the fresh herbs) for the fresh stalks; simply add right to the food processor instead of roasting. This recipe goes with: Curry-Poached Cod with Snap Pea Slaw and Thai Sweet Potato Noodle Bowls.


  • Curry Paste:
  • 1 large garlic bulb, top 1/2 in. removed
  • 1 large shallot (about 4 oz.), peeled and halved
  • 1 (3-in.) piece peeled fresh ginger
  • 1 (3-in.) piece fresh lemongrass, halved lengthwise
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro stems
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 4 teaspoons curry powder
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons ground turmeric
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 5 green Thai chiles or 1 medium jalapeño, stems removed
  • Chicken:
  • 3/4 cup canned light coconut milk
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 8 skinless, boneless chicken thighs (about 1 1/2 lb.)
  • Cooking spray
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 2 tablespoons chopped unsalted roasted peanuts
  • 4 lime wedges

Nutrition Information

  • calories 371
  • fat 19.9 g
  • satfat 3.4 g
  • monofat 9.9 g
  • polyfat 4.8 g
  • protein 36 g
  • carbohydrate 12 g
  • fiber 3 g
  • cholesterol 160 mg
  • iron 2 mg
  • sodium 530 mg
  • calcium 50 mg
  • sugars 2 g
  • Est. Added Sugars 0 g

How to Make It

  1. To prepare the curry paste, preheat oven to 375°F.

  2. Wrap garlic and shallot in foil. Wrap ginger and lemongrass in foil. Bake at 375°F for 1 hour or until very tender and fragrant. Cool.

  3. Squeeze pulp from garlic cloves into a food processor; discard skins. Add shallot, ginger, lemongrass, and next 6 ingredients (through chiles) to food processor; process until combined. Reserve 5 tablespoons curry paste for Curry-Poached Cod with Snap Pea Slaw and Thai Sweet Potato Noodle Bowls. Reserve 1/3 cup curry paste for another use.

  4. To prepare chicken, combine remaining 6 tablespoons curry paste, milk, and 1 1/2 tablespoons oil in a large ziplock plastic bag. Add chicken; seal. Refrigerate 8 hours or overnight.

  5. Preheat grill to medium (350°F to 400°F). Coat grill grate with cooking spray. Remove chicken from marinade; discard marinade. Sprinkle chicken evenly with salt and pepper. Arrange chicken on grill; cook 5 minutes on each side or until done. Place chicken on a platter; top with cilantro leaves and peanuts. Serve with lime wedges.