Grilled chicken with tamarind and herb salad

A tangy tamarind marinade keeps the chicken moist and turns into a sticky, sweet and sour coating under the grill in this dish from Jason Atherton
By Jason Atherton
Grilled chicken with tamarind and herb salad
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes plus marinating overnight
  • Effort: easy


For the marinated chicken

  • 30 g tamarind paste, soaked in 140ml warm water for 20 minutes
  • 1' tsp coriander seeds
  • 50 g palm sugar, grated if hard, or soft brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2' tbsp oyster sauce
  • 2' tsp salt
  • 1' tsp ground white pepper
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 4 chicken breasts
  • vegetable oil, for brushing

For the herb salad

  • 50 g mixed fresh soft herbs, (such as coriander, mint and basil), leaves only
  • 3 spring onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 red chilli, seeds removed, finely diced
  • lime wedges, to serve


1. For the marinated chicken: rub the tamarind and its soaking water through a sieve set over a deep-sided dish to remove any seeds.

2. Toast the coriander seeds in a dry frying pan over a medium-high heat for 1-2 minutes until golden brown and aromatic. Tip them into a mortar and crush to a powder with the pestle then add to the tamarind.

3. Mix all of the remaining marinade ingredients, apart from the chicken and vegetable oil, in with the tamarind and coriander seeds then add the chicken and turn to completely coat in the marinade. Cover and transfer to the fridge to marinate overnight.

4. The following day, preheat the grill to high or light a barbecue. Remove the chicken from the marinade (reserve the marinade) and brush each breast with vegetable oil.

5. Place the chicken, skin-side-down, on a grill rack and cook for 8-10 minutes on each side, or until cooked through.

6. While the chicken is cooking, pour the reserved marinade into a saucepan and bring to the boil over a high heat. Reduce the heat to low-medium and simmer for 5 minutes or until reduced in volume by a third. Keep warm.

7. For the herb salad: toss together all the herb salad ingredients.

8. To serve, slice each chicken breast into 3 pieces, top with the herb salad and spoon over the marinade sauce.

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