Tea-Chile Smoked Grilled Chicken with Korean Spices

2 1/2 lb chicken thighs and legs

for the marinade:
2 cloves garlic, grated
1 shallot, grated
1 inch ginger, grated
1/2 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons Korean malt syrup
1 tablespoon coarse-ground Korean red pepper (kochukaru)
1 tablespoon sugar

for the tea-chile packet:
3 tablespoons loose white tea
8 dried red chiles
1/2 teaspoon water

Place the chicken in a nonreactive container. In a small bowl, whisk together the marinade directions. Pour over the chicken. Seal and refrigerate for 1-2 hours.

Place the chiles and tea in the middle of a medium-sized rectangle of foil. Sprinkle with the water. Fold the sides up to form a packet. Poke holes in the packet with a fork. Place on the hot coals. Arrange the chicken on a greased grill. Cook covered and vented until the chicken is thoroughly cooked through, turning halfway through the cooking time.

My thoughts:

my grill friday
This is some flavorful chicken. It isn’t terribly spicy but the spices permeate the chicken pieces making every bite as tasty as the last. The tea-chile packet adds a subtle smoky-spice flavor to the meat that really sets it apart from other grilled chickens. The best part? Despite the intense flavor, it really isn’t any more difficult to make than any other method of grilling chicken.


  1. ♥peachkins♥

    This is the first time I've seen tea used on chicken..I bet this taste as good as it looks.

  2. Oh man, that looks so good!

  3. You had me at Tea-Chile Smoked… I have a chicken in the freezer I'm going to have to defrost and get smoked this weekend.

  4. eatingclubvancouver_js

    Chicken looks fabulous! I'm curious about the malt syrup. Did it add an extra something-something to the recipe?

  5. eating club-
    yes. flavor.

  6. Doesn't malt syrup have a sort of molasses-like flavor? And color? The marinade sounds wonderful.

  7. Barbara-
    I'd say that it looks like molasses but I don't think they really taste similarly. Malt syrup tastes like, well, malt. Sort of grainy.

  8. The Blushing Hostess

    I have made tea smoked duck before and it was okay. The chile might help that recipe. Looking forward to trying on several fowls!

  9. This is very interesting way of smoking and BBQing. I shall try it out in a wok later. What do you think of adding a bit of brown sugar in the smoking mixture?

    Pei Wang
    teanamu – the "eat.drink.tea" weblog

    ~~ sip a good brew, steal a slice of tranquility, glimpse a lingering fragrance, gladden the heart and refresh the mind ~~

  10. Pei-
    I don't find that sugar adds flavor in this situation and it easily burns or catches on fire.

  11. oh man!! unbelievable.. Tea and chicken!! great idea. fantastic recipe.

  12. This looks delicious!