Chili Garlic Chicken


If you like some sweet heat, marinate your chicken thighs in this chili garlic sauce. They cook quickly on the grill and are especially good served with white rice.

Photography Credit: Nick Evans

It’s finally grilling season and I couldn’t be more excited to spend afternoons outside with my friends and family, making great food on the grill.

I like making burgers and hot dogs as much as the next person, but for me, this chili garlic chicken has become my favorite reason to light the grill.


The marinade for this chicken uses chili garlic sauce (I like Huy Fong), which you can find in almost any supermarket these days. Look for it near the Asian ingredients or the other condiments.

Chili garlic sauce is spicy and flavorful, and a few tablespoons of it goes a long way to season your marinade. The honey in the marinade balances the spiciness, so don’t skip it!

Grilled Chicken Recipe with Chili Garlic Sauce


I prefer to buy a whole chicken and butcher it into parts, but you can use any mix of chicken pieces for this recipe. Skin-on, bone-in pieces are my preference for the grill. The skin gives the chicken some protection from the high heat of the grill, keeping it juicier.

While you can use skinless pieces, there’s more risk of overcooking it. If you do decide to substitute skinless pieces, reduce the cooking time by 5 to 10 minutes and make sure to use a digital thermometer so you will know when the chicken is cooked through.


If you don’t have access to grill, have no fear. Marinate this chicken and then sear it, skin side down, in a hot cast iron skillet. Transfer it to a 375°F oven to finish roasting (skin side up) until it reaches an internal temperature of at least 165°F.

Again, you can substitute skinless pieces with this method, but check them regularly with a thermometer so they don’t dry out.


This chili garlic chicken is great over rice because the rice soaks up the sauce and juices, but you can also serve it on top of salad greens for a lighter option. Enjoy grilling season!

Chili Garlic Grilled Chicken Recipe grill the chicken


Chili Garlic Chicken Recipe

  • Prep time: 5 minutes
  • Cook time: 30 minutes
  • Marinade time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings

Oven Method: Marinate this chicken and then sear it, skin side down, in a hot cast iron skillet. Transfer it to a 375°F oven to finish roasting (skin side up) until it reaches an internal temperature of at least 165°F.


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons chili garlic, sauce such as Huy Fong
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 (3-pound) chicken, cut into pieces, or the equivalent in chicken pieces
  • Thinly sliced scallions, for garnish
  • Sesame seeds, for garnish


1 Marinate the chicken: Whisk together olive oil, chili garlic sauce, honey, rice wine vinegar, and minced garlic. Add chicken to the marinade in a covered container and let it marinate in the fridge for at least 30 minutes or overnight.

Chili Garlic Grilled Chicken Recipe make the marinade Grilled Chicken Recipe with Chili Garlic Sauce marinate the chicken

2 Prep and heat the grill: Heat your grill to medium-high heat (about 400°F) with two zones for direct and indirect cooking. Use tongs to oil the grill grates using a small folded piece of paper towel dipped in oil.

3 Grill the chicken: Arrange the chicken skin-side down over the high-heat section of the grill and cook for about 5 minutes, or until you see dark, seared grilled marks. (If you'd like crosshatched grill marks, rotate the chicken 90-degrees halfway through.) Flip the chicken and keep over the hot section for another 4 to 5 minutes.

Transfer the chicken to the indirect section of the grill (this helps avoid overcooking) and cook the chicken until it reaches a safe internal temperature of 165°F in the thickest part of the meat, another 10 to 15 minutes.

Exact timing will depend on your type of grill and the temperature, so check the chicken frequently and use your best judgment on when to flip and when the chicken is done.

Chili Garlic Grilled Chicken Recipe grill the chicken

4 Remove, garnish, and serve: When the chicken is cooked through, remove it from the grill and let it rest for a few minutes. Then garnish with diced scallions and roasted sesame seeds. Serve while warm.

Grilled Chicken with Chili Garlic Sauce garnish and serve

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Nick Evans

Nick has been writing delicious recipes for the home cook for almost a decade. He lives in Denver, CO and embraces a delicate balance of diaper changing, trail running and beer drinking. His website is Macheesmo and his first book is Love Your Leftovers.

More from Nick

10 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Kisha

    Question… I want to make this tomorrow, but my cast iron pan is under the weather and I don’t have access to a grill or grill pan. Can I bake this covered for the beginning then uncovered for the last 10 minutes or so to give it that bubbly, sticky exterior?

    Show Replies (1)
  2. Sherri in PA

    This is a favorite around our house!

    Question: It’s my turn for providing Sunday lunch at our parish and I want to bring this chicken. Would it be good chilled and sliced? Or should I make grill it that morning and try to keep it hot during church somehow (maybe in my biggest slow cooker on the “keep warm” setting)?


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  3. tami

    Can this recipe be used on white fish?

    Show Replies (1)
  4. Jeanette

    I made this in the oven following the oven directions within the recipe. Regardless, this is delicious but after my move, I am not using the grill any more, and the BBQ taste was missing for me…my bad tho

  5. Jayne

    I made these and they were sooo delicious. Thanks for sharing the recipe.


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