“Kapow” Chicken Recipe

“Kapow” Chicken Legs
abridged from Cooking Meat by Peter Sanagan

Chicken legs are definitely among my top 10 foods to grill, especially when they are marinated. The sugars in the marinade char the skin a bit, and nothing says warm-weather eating more than that sweet char flavor. In this recipe, splitting the legs into three evenly sized pieces is a great way to get more marinade flavor throughout the meat (and it exposes the bone marrow in the thigh for you to suck out). When you eat these chicken legs, your mouth is like “Kapow! I wasn’t expecting that flavor punch!”

 Serves 4

4            chicken legs, skin-on and bone-in
1 cup     Japanese soy sauce
1 cup     Chinese red rice vinegar (or cider vinegar)
3            garlic cloves, minced
1 cup     sliced green onions
2 Tbsp   brown sugar
1 Tbsp   pepper
3            bay leaves


  1. Using a strong cleaver, separate the drumstick from the thigh in between the joint, then chop the thigh bone in half using one swift commanding motion. Repeat with the remaining legs. You will end up with 12 pieces of chicken. (Alternatively, have your butcher do this for you.)
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, green onions, sugar, pepper, and bay leaves, and stir until well combined. Add the chicken legs to mix and coat thoroughly, cover, and refrigerate for 4 hours.
  3. Preheat the barbecue to a medium-high on one side and medium on the other.
  4. Place the chicken on the hotter side of the grill to sear, about 5 minutes per side. Transfer to the cooler side to finish cooking, about 20 minutes. The chicken is done when a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh reads 165°F.
  5. To serve, arrange on a platter and serve immediately.

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