This is a simple recipe from my go-to Thai cookbook, Thailand: The Beautiful Cookbook. Although traditional gai yang is barbecued (and there are gai yang variations in the book whose directions only give barbecuing instructions), this one is baked then broiled. Juicy, fragrant, delicious, simple. Nevan’s favorite!
Quick notes: I usually double the marinade while keeping the salt at 1 tsp, up the cilantro/ginger/garlic, and add some dried sliced red Asian chillies. Doubling the marinade also gives you extra sauce to put on the rice! Also, while the recipe calls for a whole chicken, I just buy the same weight in wings because everyone in the house seems to prefer it that way (plus, American chickens rarely come in such a low weight).
1 whole chicken, about 3 lbs, cut in half
1 tsp salt
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tsp white pepper
1 tbsp minced cilantro leaves and root (you may have to skip the root, as Americans rarely sell cilantro with it intact)
2 tbsp rice wine (or cognac or whiskey)
2 tbsp coconut milk
1 tbsp nam pla (fish sauce)
1 tsp chopped fresh ginger
2 tbsp soy sauce
Rub the entire chicken with the combined marinade ingredients. Allow to marinate for 15 minutes minimum. When I do wings, I put the wings and marinade in a casserole dish, coating the chicken well, and put them in the fridge until I’m ready for baking.
Bake at 350F for 45 minutes (I turn the wings over halfway through cooking) and then broil or grill for 10 minutes or until done and nicely browned.
Cut into serving sized pieces and serve with chili sauce. I like to serve this with steamed rice and stir-fried vegetables on the side.
For the vegetables, I threw together some leftover bell pepper, broccoli, carrots, onion, garlic, and basil with a little sesame oil and soy sauce… nothin’ fancy.