Tamarind BBQ Chicken with Coconut Rice

Grilling chicken on the BBQ, whether they be pieces or a whole chicken spatchcocked is one of my favourite ways to prepare this protein. Basically I preheat my BBQ with the lid on, then turn off all the burners where I will place my chicken. It needs to cook outside of direct heat. Season on both sides (salt and pepper will do), then place it skin side up. The skin will dry out and crisp nicely, no need to turn it over. The only fuss is to adjust the cooking temperature as I find BBQs aren’t a constant temperature. Friends of ours have a fancy Traeger wood pellet grill, which smokes at a constant temperature. Maybe one day...

For this recipe, I used a pack of 9 chicken thighs, bone in, skin on. I cooked them for 30 min, then generously doused them with the homemade Tamarind sauce. It’s sticky and thick, so it really stays on the chicken nicely. I then continued to cook the chicken on the BBQ about 15-25 minutes more until it was done. Again, no need to turn over the chicken at all. Yes, you’ll have to cut into the chicken unless you have a meat thermometer.


Tamarind sauce is from the very trusty Better Homes and Garden website. This sweet, sticky, spicy, and sour chicken goes perfectly with creamy coconut rice. I used my Instant Pot for the rice, it’s way less mess than stovetop and it comes out absolutely perfect every single time.


Step 1: Preheat your BBQ, season your chicken.

Step 2: Make your Tamarind sauce, let it simmer for 20 min.

Step 3: Make your Coconut rice

Step 4: Add chicken skin side up to the hot BBQ but not on direct flames, cook covered for 30 min. Cook between 375-400F

Step 5: Take half the Tamarind sauce and generously douse your chicken. Cook chicken for 15-25 min more or until cooked

Step 6: Toast your chopped macadamia nuts, and chopped some fresh parsley or coriander.

Step 7: Top cooked Tamarind chicken with a little extra sauce, the toasted macadamia nuts, and parsley. Serve the coconut rice on the side. You may serve the remaining Tamarind sauce for dipping, or freeze.


Tamarind Sauce (makes 1 3/4 cups)

Add 2 TB canola oil in a small saucepan, then add 1/2 cup chopped onion, 3 garlic cloves minced. Cook until soft.

Add 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper and cook for 1 min.

Stir in 1 cup water, 2/3 cup rice vinegar, 1/2 cup packed brown sugar, 1/2 cup tomato paste, 3 TB Tamarind paste, 1TB Soy sauce, 1 tsp flaky salt.


Cook on a low simmer for 25 minutes. Save half for basting the chicken and the other half for dipping sauce.


Toast 1/2 cup of chopped macadamia nuts on dry heat in a pan. Let them get a nice brown caramelized colour. Sprinkle on top of the chicken when serving with a little chopped parsley or coriander.


Instant Pot Coconut Rice (2-3ppl)

1 cup washed jasmine rice

3/4 cup chicken broth, low salt

1/2 cup canned coconut milk

1/4 tsp flaky sea salt


Mix the chicken broth, coconut milk, and salt together in the InstantPot. Add the washed rice and stir so all of the rice is covered. Seal, and manual pressure cook for 5 minutes. Let it slow release (don’t move the ventilator) for 10 minutes. The rice is now ready, you can put the lid back on to keep it warm.


Let me know if you make this, and please feel free to tag me on Instagram @wherelizis


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