A blog about food in Thailand
and elsewhere.



If you find yourself in Bangkok

Posted date:  June 29, 2009
5 Comments


Hock grilling Portuguese-style chicken on the streets of BKK

and happen upon a drunk Kiwi chef grilling chicken on the side of the street, don’t be alarmed; foreigners haven’t started taking menial jobs, and food standards haven’t yet dropped that much. Rather, Hock and I simply wanted to make frango no churrasco, Portuguese-style grilled chicken.

You see, my new place doesn’t allow coal-burning stoves, so we asked the streetside Isaan restaurant downstairs if we could use their grill. They were kind enough to oblige, and the next day we brought down two small Thai free-range chickens that I had marinated overnight in my own homemade molho de piri-piri (dried phrik kariang chilies from Mae Hong Son, olive oil, garlic, vinegar, salt):

Portuguese-style chicken ready to be grilled on the streets of BKK

After removing the birds from the marinade, Hock spatchcocked them two different ways: one he cut down the breastbone and the other down the spine:

Portuguese-style chicken ready to be grilled on the streets of BKK

After a few minutes of grilling, it appeared that the latter seemed to work better, as it meant that the thicker breast meat was in the centre of the chicken, directly above the fire. Hock also pointed out that, whereas Americans and Australians happily go about spending hundreds and sometimes thousands of dollars on complicated barbecue systems, this guy, like many other Thai street vendors, gets by with an enamel basin and a wire grill. This is really all one needs, since we were grilling, not smoking, and a lid isn’t even necessary.

The coals were hot but not flaming, and it took a good 45 minutes to cook, all the while we drank our beers and received strange looks from passing Thais. Our kind sponsor helped us pass the time with shots of yaa dong, a bright-red, sickly-sweet Thai herbal liquor. In return, we gave him some chicken, our recipe and money for new coals.

The result was so tasty we forgot to take a pic of it.


5 Comments for If you find yourself in Bangkok


Good ol’ Kiwis! Cooking anything outdoors comes naturally. To be fair, we are also guilty of spending too much on fancy schmancy barbies…but don’t tell the Aussies that!

That marinade sounds great and I love the rustic barbie. The very fact that you were too busy to take a picture of the finished product says a lot!

So which one was better – cut down the spine or breastbone?

Also: you were planning on eating a whole chicken each?

Cutting down the spine seemed to work best, it allowed the thicker breast meat cook directly over the coals as opposed to on the sides where it may not be fully cooked.

And, no, but I think I could have! We had lots of help in eating that night.

HA! I recognize your drunk kiwi chef in these pictures!I was looking for singaporean chicken rice and came upon your blog. Surprise!Surprise! I didnt know you had one!
I love it!!!! Gonna try the chicken rice and rojak soon!!!!(i miss that so much!!!!)
Thanks- (Justin’s wife)



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