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Grilled Thai Chicken Breasts with Herb-Lemongrass Crust

Scott Phillips

Servings: twelve.

Before chopping the lemongrass, be sure to cut off the spiky green top and enough of the bottom to eliminate the woody core. Peel off a few of the outer layers until you’re left with just the tender heart of the stalk.


  • 1-1/2 cups chopped fresh cilantro (leaves and tender stems)
  • 3/4 cup coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped lemongrass (from about 2 stalks)
  • 12 fresh basil leaves
  • 3 Thai bird chiles, 2 jalapeños, or 2 medium serranos, stemmed, seeded, and finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-1/2 Tbs. kosher salt
  • 2 tsp. packed light brown sugar
  • 1-1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 3/4 tsp. ground coriander
  • 12 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (5 to 5-1/2 lb.), trimmed (remove the tenderloins if still attached)
  • 2 limes, cut into wedges for serving

Nutritional Information

  • Calories (kcal) : 240
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 70
  • Fat (g): 7
  • Saturated Fat (g): 4
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 1
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 1.5
  • Cholesterol (mg): 105
  • Sodium (mg): 510
  • Carbohydrates (g): 3
  • Fiber (g): 0
  • Protein (g): 39


  • Combine 1-1/4 cups of the cilantro with the coconut milk, lemongrass, basil, chiles, garlic, salt, brown sugar, pepper, and coriander in a food processor or blender and purée until smooth. Arrange the chicken breasts in a nonreactive baking dish or other vessel large enough to accommodate them in a snug single layer. Pour the marinade over the breasts and turn to coat them well. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 1 day.
  • Heat a gas grill to medium high or prepare a medium-hot charcoal fire. Grill the chicken (covered on a gas grill) until it has good grill marks on the first side, 4 to 5 minutes. Flip the chicken (cover a gas grill) and continue to cook until firm to the touch and completely cooked through (check by making a slice into one of the thicker breasts), 5 to 6 more minutes. Transfer to a platter and let rest for 5 minutes. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup cilantro and serve with the lime wedges.

Though these breasts are great served hot off the grill, they’re also fine served cold in the coming days, either plain or sliced atop a salad.


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Reviews (17 reviews)

  • bakergal53 | 08/14/2018

    This is delicious!

  • Boise_Jenny | 07/12/2014

    Excellent marinade. Everyone in our family loves the "green chicken" dish. This is a go-to recipe for summer barbecues and for camping. I plan to make it ahead of time for a 25 person river trip on the Salmon River in Idaho next week. We are the second night dinner and I think the chicken will only benefit from marinating an extra day in the cooler. Every time we prepare this recipe, it gets rave reviews.

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