Lick your lips for some tasty Mai Thai chicken thighs
Lick your lips for some tasty Mai Thai chicken thighs

Lick your lips for some tasty Mai Thai chicken thighs

When we think of American barbecue, we usually conjure up ideas of big burly bearded blokes enveloped in smoke over hot coals. Well think again, dear readers – Irish gals Samantha Evans and Shauna Guinn claim they are the real barbecue experts. In 2012, the girls said goodbye to the daily grind and took off on a six-month roadtrip from California to Tennessee, eating their way through the best barbecue joints in the southern United States. Collecting insider secrets and recipes along the way, Samantha and Shauna gained enough knowledge to create The Hang Fire Cookbook, filled with a bunch of hot tips on how to make great barbecue. With everything from the basics for home smokers and different types of wood, to what rubs, cures and brines work best with each type of meat, The Hang Fire Cookbook will get you set up to be a barbecue king … or queen. You’ll find a plethora of mouth-watering meaty recipes, including homemade pastrami, bacon jam, and these tasty Mai Thai chicken thighs.

COOKING METHODS: Indirect grilling/smoking or oven
SMOKING WOOD: Apple, pear, cherry, beech, alder, birch

10–12 bone-in chicken thighs

For the marinade
juice of 1 lime
juice of 1 medium orange
100 ml pineapple juice
2 tablespoons Thai fish sauce
50 ml sesame oil
50 g soft light brown sugar
1 tablespoon sweet chilli sauce
2 tablespoon chopped fresh ginger
10 garlic cloves, sliced
2 long red chillies, sliced lengthways
5 spring onions, sliced
small bunch Thai basil, chopped

For the basting mixture
juice of 1 lime
125 ml groundnut oil
2 tablespoons soft light brown sugar
1 tablespoon soft dark brown sugar


Use a sharp knife to trim away any extra fatty parts from the chicken thighs and place in a large ziplock bag. Whizz the marinade ingredients in a food processor or blender and pour into the bag, massaging the marinade all over the chicken. Push out as much air as possible and seal the bag. Put in the fridge and allow to marinate overnight for maximum punch.

The next day, combine the baste ingredients in a small bowl and set aside while you prepare your smoker.

Set up your grill for indirect heat, maintain the temperature at 108°C. With the wood smoking, place the chicken on the grills, away from the coals and close the lid. Cook for a total of two hours, basting the chicken with your basting mixture every 20 minutes during the final 1 1/2 hours. Crisp the skins up over the coals just before serving and check that the internal temperature of the chicken reads 75°C on an instant-read thermometer. Take off the heat and allow to rest for five to ten minutes before serving.

You can cook these thighs in the oven. Simply follow the recipe up until you put them in the smoker. Preheat your oven 180°C. Place the thighs on a wire rack over a roasting tin and cook for 45–50 minutes, basting once during the final 15 minutes. Make sure that the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 75°C on an instant-read thermometer before serving.

Serves 10–12.

This is an edited extract from The Hang Fire Cookbook by Samantha Evans & Shauna Gunn. Published by Quadrille, available in stores nationally.

The Stumble Guide is our comprehensive Gold Coast dining guide with more than 870 places to eat, drink, shop and play.


Sign up for our weekly enews & receive more articles like this: