Recipe: Chef Michael Symon's barbecue chicken two ways

CLEVELAND - Cleveland's own Chef Michael Symon spans the world with his Alabama and Thai style BBQ chicken!

Servings: 10 | Cook time 1-2 hours


  • 2 whole chickens (about 3 pounds, split in half down the back bone)
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons whole coriander (toasted and cracked)
  • 1 recipe Alabama-Style BBQ Sauce
  • 1 recipe Asian BBQ Sauce
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


  • 2 cups mayonnaise
  • 3 tablespoons freshly grated horseradish
  • 4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • 2 teaspoons Kosher salt
  • 4 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper


  • 1 1/2 cups unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup red onion (minced)
  • 1 tablespoons freshly grated ginger
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 lemons (halved)
  • 4 limes (halved)
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons fish sauce
  • 1/4 cup sambal
  • 1/4 cup cilantro (finely chopped, plus more for garnish)
  • 1/4 cup scallions (finely chopped)
  • 1/4 cup mint leaves (to garnish)
  • 1/4 cup roasted peanuts (roughly chopped)
  • olive oil
  • Kosher salt (to taste)

The night before: season chicken with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Cover and refrigerate.

For the Alabama White BBQ Sauce: Whisk or blend all ingredients together until well combined. Refrigerate, covered, until ready to use. The flavors in the sauce will become stronger the longer it sits 

For the Thai Style BBQ Sauce: Blend the coconut milk, red onion, ginger and honey together until almost completely smooth then pour into a sauce pot. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook over medium -ow heat for 30 minutes, until reduced and thickened. Pour into a mixing bowl and let cool. Meanwhile, preheat a grill to medium-high heat. Drizzle the lemon and limes with olive oil on the cut side. Place on the preheated grill, cut side down and grill for 5 minutes without moving until they are nicely charred with grill marks. Remove to a plate and set aside. Squeeze both citrus juices into the reduced sauce, followed by the soy sauce, fish sauce, sambal, herbs and a pinch of salt. Refrigerate until ready to use.

The next day: place two of the chicken halves in a baking dish and cover with Thai-style BBQ sauce. Let marinade for 30 minutes at room temperature, or up to 4 hours in the refrigerator. Reserve the other half of the sauce. Meanwhile, allow the remaining two chicken halves to rest at room temperature.

Preheat grill or grill pan to medium-high heat. Wrap two bricks in aluminum foil. Drizzle all four halves of chicken, the Thai-marinated and remaining two halves, with olive oil and season with the cracked coriander.

Place them on the grill skin-side-down. Place the bricks on top of the chicken and put the lid down. Cook for 10 minutes, remove the bricks, and flip all of the chicken over. Put the grill lid down and cook for another 10 minutes.

Brush on a good amount of Thai Style BBQ Sauce evenly on the Thai-marinated chicken. Brush the remaining two chicken halves with a good amount of the Alabama White BBQ Sauce.

Close the grill lid and cook for an additional two minutes. Remove all of the chicken to a cutting board, tent with foil, and let rest for 10 minutes. Cut each chicken between the breast and the leg. Brush the Alabama BBQ Sauce chicken with more sauce and serve immediately.

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