STRONG was the call of the July Bon Appetit magazine ┬ácover and I, and clearly many others have answered that call already! The recipe was posted on on July 1 and already has 29 comments of folks waxing lyrical primarily on the recipe’s awesomness/level of heat. And I’m here to add.. wait for it… it’s awesome, and it’s hot.

It was after a tough dinner service at Equinox Restaurant when the grill guy handed my a spiced chicken thigh and lime wedge straight from the grill. I weerily layed it on my messy station, sprinkled sel gris, gave the lime a squeeze and have been forever in love with grilled chicken thighs. I also like very spicy food, so trying this recipe was a no-brainer.

Generally a first time with a recipe I try to follow it to the letter so I can get the full intent of the cook who wrote it before I make adjustments for my own taste. So many times I’ve questioned a recipe to be pleasantly surprised or shocked by the results, so that was my plan going in on this one. And probably because I had family here and had bought double on chicken and made double on the marinade, I got a little nervous when I tasted to the final marinade. It’s hot! So I wound up mellowing mine out slightly with some honey and molasses as I cooked it down.

Next time I’ll try without any modifications, but the results I got with them were great. You gotta try this one, one way or another, this summer.

Sambal Chicken Skewers

Yield: 4 servings

This is the Bon Appetit recipe with the addition of some honey and molasses and the omission of cubing and skewering the thighs because I think they grill perfectly the way they are and we don't need extra work : )


1/2 cup (packed) light brown sugar
1/2 cup rice vinegar
1/3 cup hot chili paste (such as sambal oelek)
1/4 cup fish sauce (such as nam pal or nuoc nam)
1/4 cup Sriracha
2 tsp finely grated ginger
1 1/2 lb skinless boneless chicken thighs
honey and or molasses to taste, about 1/4 to 1/3 cup total


- prepare grill for medium high heat
- whisk brown sugar, vinegar, chili paste, fish sauce, Sriracha and ginger in a large bowl
- add chicken to toss and coat
- remove checken to a dish and transfer marinade to a small saucepan; bring to a boil, add honey and/or molasses, reduce heat and reduce sauce by about half (about 7 - 10 minutes)
- grill chicken basting often with reduced marinade until cooked through, about 8 - 10 minutes

July print edition of Bon Appetit magazine and online at Epicurious