Asian-Style Brined Chicken Hindquarters with Sesame-Cilantro Pesto

Asian-Style Brined Chicken Hindquarters with Sesame-Cilantro Pesto

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From: Diabetic Living Magazine

Brining the chicken before grilling ensures that it's juicy and tender. A sesame-cilantro pesto, with ginger, mint, and crushed red pepper, is the perfect topping for this Asian-style main dish.

Ingredients 8 servings

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Original recipe yields 8 servings
Nutrition per serving may change if servings are adjusted.
  • Asian-Style Brined Chicken
  • 1 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 cup honey
  • ¼ cup curry powder
  • ¼ cup minced fresh ginger
  • 3 tablespoons ground coriander
  • 3 tablespoons chili-garlic paste or 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dried orange peel or 2 tablespoons finely shredded orange peel
  • 8 whole chicken legs (drumstick and thigh), skin removed
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • Sesame-Cilantro Pesto
  • 2 green onions, cut up
  • ¼ cup unsalted dry-roasted peanuts
  • 1 tablespoon chopped peeled fresh ginger
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled
  • 1½ cups snipped fresh cilantro
  • ½ cup fresh mint leaves
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1½ teaspoons canola oil
  • ½ teaspoon fish sauce
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil


  • Prep

  • Ready In

  1. For brine, in a large stock pot (big enough to hold the chicken) bring 2 cups water to boiling. Remove from heat; stir in soy sauce, honey, curry powder, ginger, coriander, chili-garlic paste, and orange peel. Cover and let stand 5 minutes. Stir in 3 cups ice-cold water.
  2. Submerge chicken in the brine. If necessary, weigh down the chicken by placing a small plate on top. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator 8 to 24 hours. Remove chicken from brine; discard brine. Pat chicken dry with paper towels. Let stand at room temperature 30 minutes before grilling.
  3. Coat unheated grill rack with cooking spray. For a charcoal grill, arrange medium-hot coals around a drip pan. Test for medium heat above the pan. Place the chicken on the grill rack over the drip pan, overlapping pieces as necessary. Cover and grill 50 to 60 minutes or until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the leg registers 180°F, turning and rearranging pieces once halfway through grilling time. (For a gas grill, preheat grill. Reduce heat to medium. Adjust heat for indirect cooking. Place chicken on oiled grill rack over the burner that is turned off, overlapping pieces as necessary. Grill as above.)
  4. Meanwhile, prepare Sesame-Cilantro Pesto: In a food processor combine green onions, peanuts, ginger; and garlic. Cover and pulse with several on/off turns until finely chopped. Scrape down the sides with a rubber spatula. Add cilantro and mint leaves; pulse until finely chopped. Add water, canola oil, fish sauce, and crushed red pepper; puree until nearly smooth. Transfer to a bowl and stir in toasted sesame oil.
  5. Serve chicken with the Sesame-Cilantro Pesto.

Nutrition information

  • Serving size: 1 whole chicken leg and 1 tablespoon pesto
  • Per serving: 319 calories; 14 g fat(3 g sat); 1 g fiber; 7 g carbohydrates; 40 g protein; 31 mcg folate; 184 mg cholesterol; 5 g sugars; 537 IU vitamin A; 3 mg vitamin C; 43 mg calcium; 3 mg iron; 336 mg sodium; 489 mg potassium
  • Carbohydrate Servings: ½
  • Exchanges: 5½ lean protein, ½ starch

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