How to make an easy oven roasted version of the classic Thai street food, Gai Yang or Thai Grilled Chicken.Jump to Recipe
What Chicken Pieces to use for Oven Roast Gai Yang?
I used chicken thighs, skin-on and bone-in. This works the best for this recipe. You can use chicken breasts too, but cut down on the oven time to 20 to 25 minutes.
You can also use this recipe for a whole chicken! Double the ingredients, as well as the cooking time in the oven to about 1 hour 30 minutes.
I’ve also used this recipe to make boneless chicken thighs. Boneless chicken will cook much quicker than bone-in chicken. 400g of filleted boneless chicken thighs cooked in just 20 minutes, plus another 5 minutes on broil setting to get that golden crispy skin.
Marinating is Key for Perfect Gai Yang Chicken
I consider Cilantro or Coriander roots an important ingredient in the marinade. It adds that distinct herby flavour to the chicken. Simply give your fresh cilantro a good wash to rid of the dirt and soil, and cut off the roots for this.
We’re making a rough paste for the marinade. I find it works better for a roast as it does not burn as much. Use a pestle and mortar, or with a food processor like I am.
Leaving it to marinate overnight would be best, minimum three hours. I like to come back at the 12 hour or so mark, just to flip and move the chicken around to help get a more even marinade. If you’re using a ziploc bag to marinade, then it’s an even easier process to toss the chicken around in the marinade.
Before roasting the chicken in the oven, spoon all of the rough pieces of the marinade onto the chicken. They can continue to impart flavour onto the chicken. The pieces actually become soft and edible, but if you don’t fancy it, you can remove them very easily as well. Don’t waste!
How to Oven Roast Gai Yang Grilled Chicken
Make sure to leave the chicken out at room temperature for about 30 minutes or so. This is to allow the chicken to increase in temperature before going into the oven, and get a more even cook, especially in the thicker parts of the chicken.
I recommend using an oven rack for a more even roast. If you are just using a pan to roast the chicken, you want to come back halfway and flip the chicken. Make sure you drain away any liquid that would have come out of the chicken so that you don’t get soggy skin.
You would notice that I am roasting the chicken at a rather low temperature of 175 degrees celcius. This is to let the chicken cook thoroughly, and also to not burn the marinade. To give it a good colour, I turned up the heat at the 40 to 45 minute mark to 220 degrees celcius. This is going to also crisp up the skin. If your oven has a broiler setting, you can change it to that to get a good char on the skin.
Your chicken should be cooked through. Use a meat thermometer and poke to the thickest part of the chicken, especially near the bone. The internal temperature should hit at least 74 degrees Celcius or 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
If you don’t have a meat thermometer and don’t mind destroying the look of the chicken, use a fork to poke through the thickest part of the chicken, again near the bone. Juices should run clear and no blood should run.
Can I use an Air Fryer?
Yes! The same settings and timings here should work on an air fryer too. Every air fryer – like an oven – is made differently though, so I would always recommend you to check the internal temperature of the chicken before serving it. Again, the internal temperature should hit at least 74 degrees Celcius or 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
The Best Sauce to Serve Gai Yang with: Nam Jim Jaew
Nam Jim Jaew is a Thai dipping sauce that is the perfect flavour combination of sour, salty, sweet and spicy. It’s one of my favourite sauces ever, and pairs amazingly well with the roast chicken. I have a dedicated post for Nam Jim Jaew right here. It includes more in-depth instructions on how to make Toasted Rice Powder or Khao Kua.
Although it’s traditionally spicy, if you don’t take spice, then just omit the chilli flakes. It’s also a gorgeous flavour without the spice.
More Recipes Like This:
Oven Roasted Gai Yang Thai Grilled ChickenCourse: Eats, Recipes
600g or 4 Chicken Thighs, skin-on
8 cloves Garlic
1 Lemongrass, white inner core
2 Coriander Roots or Stems
1 tbsp Light Soy Sauce
1 tsp Fish Sauce
1 tsp Dark Soy Sauce (or Kicap Manis)
1 tsp Black Pepper
1 tsp Brown Sugar (or Palm Sugar)
- Nam Jim Jaew/ Thai Dipping Sauce:
1 tbsp Brown Sugar (or Palm Sugar)
1 tsp Fish Sauce
1 tbsp Tamarind Paste (or juice from 3 tbsps of Tamarind Pulp)
1 tsp Toasted Rice Powder or Khao Kua
1 tsp Chilli Flakes
1 tsp Lime Juice
1 tbsp Cilantro
2-3 tbsps Water
- Pound the marinade ingredients with a pestle and mortar, or blitz in a food processor. You should get a rough consistency.
- Pour marinade all over the chicken, and massage on to chicken evenly. Marinade for at least 3 hours or overnight would be best.
- Preheat the oven to 175 deg C or 347 deg F. Place chicken thighs on an oven rack and pop in the oven to bake or roast for 40 to 45 minutes.
- At the 40 minute mark, turn up the heat on the oven to 220 deg C or 428 deg F and let roast for another 10 minutes. If your oven has a broiler setting, you can use that at this stage too.
- Meanwhile, make the Nam Jim Jaew sauce by mixing together all of the ingredients for it.
- Once chicken is cooked, take out of the oven and let rest for 10 minutes before serving.