Episode 102: East Meets West

Good Luck Cluck (Barbecued Chicken with Thai Yellow Curry)

Barbecued Chicken with Thai Yellow Curry

Other Recipes from Planet Barbecue Episode 102: East Meets West

Texas and Thailand intersect masterfully in the San Antonio barbecue restaurant Curry Boys. Originally housed in a Pepto Bismol pink shipping container, Curry Boys recently moved to a proper bricks and mortar building across the street. The fusion of East and West is better than ever. In this recipe, Curry Boys co-founder and first generation Vietnamese American Andrew Ho combines spice-rubbed, barbecued chicken with rich, coconut milk yellow curry.

Serves 8


Good Luck Cluck (Barbecued Chicken with Thai Yellow Curry)


For the Chicken:

  • 8 boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • Coarse salt
  • Coarsely and freshly ground black pepper
  • Your favorite Cajun-style rub

For the curry:

  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 3 stalks fresh lemongrass, trimmed, white parts thinly sliced
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup yellow Thai-style curry paste
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup Asian fish sauce
  • 4 cups (1 quart) chicken stock
  • 4 cups (1 quart) Thai-style (unsweetened) coconut milk
  • 16 small potatoes, such as redskins or Yukon golds, halved or quartered and boiled until tender
  • 1 pound baby carrots, boiled until tender

To serve (optional):

  • 8 cups steamed rice
  • Fried shallots
  • Fresh cilantro leaves
  • Chili oil

You’ll also need:

  • wood chunks or wood chips, soaked in water to cover for 30 minutes, then drained

Recipe Steps

1: Arrange the chicken thighs on a rimmed sheet pan and season generously on both sides with salt, pepper, and the Cajun rub.

2: Set up your smoker or grill for indirect grilling and heat to 250 degrees. Brush and oil the grill grate. Fold the boned chicken thighs over on themselves and arrange on the grill grate. Place half the wood chunks or chips on the coals. Smoke for 2 to 2 1/2 hours, or until cooked through (165 degrees on an instant-read grill thermometer), replenishing the wood and fuel as necessary.

3: In the meantime, make the curry: On your grill’s side burner, a butane-fueled click burner, or the stovetop, heat the vegetable oil in a large deep-sided pan over medium heat. Saute the garlic and lemongrass for 3 to 5 minutes, or until it just begins to color. Stir in the curry paste, sugar, and fish sauce and continue to saute for 2 to 3 minutes to develop the flavors. Add the chicken stock and coconut milk, and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes. (The mixture will not be thick.) Add the potatoes and carrots; cook for a few minutes more until hot. Do not overcook the potatoes or carrots.

4: Slice the smoked chicken thighs crosswise into 1/4 inch pieces.

5: To serve, place a pile of hot rice on one side of a shallow soup-type bowl. Arrange a sliced chicken thigh on the opposite side. Scoop out a few potatoes and carrots and place near the -chicken. Ladle some of the curry broth over the chicken and vegetables. Top, if desired, with fried shallots, cilantro leaves, and chili oil. Enjoy!

Recipe Tips

Our thanks to the sponsors of Planet Barbecue Season 1:

Steven Raichlen’s Planet Barbecue is a production of Barbacoa, Inc., and Resolution Pictures. © 2023 Barbacoa, Inc. Photos by Chris Bierlein