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.

Source: Diabetic Living Magazine


Recipe Summary

25 mins
9 hrs 20 mins


Asian-Style Brined Chicken
Sesame-Cilantro Pesto


Instructions Checklist
  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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 degrees 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.)

  • 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.

  • Serve chicken with the Sesame-Cilantro Pesto.

Nutrition Facts

1 whole chicken leg and 1 tablespoon pesto
319 calories; protein 40.1g; carbohydrates 7.1g; dietary fiber 1.2g; sugars 4.8g; fat 13.8g; saturated fat 2.7g; cholesterol 183.5mg; vitamin a iu 537.2IU; vitamin c 3.1mg; folate 30.6mcg; calcium 43.5mg; iron 2.6mg; magnesium 50.4mg; potassium 489.2mg; sodium 336.1mg.

5 1/2 lean protein, 1/2 starch