Get ready to fire up the grill with this mouthwatering grilled curry chicken recipe! Marinated in a blend of soy sauce, curry powder, lime juice, garlic, and ginger, it's the perfect way to add some spice to your summer.
As someone who has made this recipe countless times, I can tell you that grilled curry chicken is an absolute crowd-pleaser. And it's not just because of the delicious, complex flavors - it's also because it's so easy to make. Seriously, you don't have to be a master chef to pull this one off.
The key is in the marinade. Don't be afraid to let the chicken sit in it for a while - an hour or two should do the trick. And when it comes time to grill, make sure you get a good char on the outside without overcooking the inside. Trust me, that balance of crispy and juicy is what takes this dish to the next level.
When it comes to serving, I like to keep it simple with some rice and a side salad. But really, this chicken goes with just about anything. And if you have leftovers, they make a great addition to salads, wraps, or sandwiches. Trust me, you won't regret making a big batch of this stuff.
I’ve made and tested this recipe multiple times. There are times when I didn’t have the exact ingredients on hand but made the recipe with substitutes. Sometimes successful, sometimes not. Here’s what I found:
Boneless, skinless chicken thighs work just as well as chicken breasts. Since chicken thighs are typically smaller than chicken breasts, I often replace one chicken breast with two smaller thighs. Or I cook a combination of chicken breasts and thighs to please everyone.
Don’t opt for full-salt chicken broth. As much as I like salt, using regular chicken broth simply makes the sauce too salty. I highly recommend sticking with low-sodium chicken broth.
INGREDIENTS FOR GRILLED SOY CURRY CHICKEN
- CHICKEN: I used boneless, skinless chicken breasts, about 8 ounces each. Smaller or larger breasts work, as do bone-in chicken breasts. However, the cooking time should be adjusted accordingly.
- CURRY POWDER: Curry powder can be found in the spice aisle of most grocery stores.
- SOY SAUCE: Use your favorite soy sauce. I'm a Kikkoman gal myself.For a gluten-free option, use tamari.
- LIME JUICE: Fresh lime juice. I use this citrus juicer.
- SEASONING: Garlic and fresh ginger.
- BROTH: I suggest low-sodium chicken broth. Regular chicken broth produces a sauce that’s too salty, in my opinion (and I love salt!)
- CORNSTARCH: Use cornstarch to thicken the sauce.
See recipe card below for full ingredients list & recipe directions.
▪️ CHICKEN: Boneless, skinless chicken thighs work really well in this recipe. Cook them for about 5 minutes per side, or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F. Bone-in chicken thighs and breasts take longer to cook.
▪️ LIME JUICE: No limes on hand? Swap out the lime juice with unseasoned rice vinegar or lemon juice.
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HOW TO MAKE GRILLED CURRY CHICKEN
MAKE THE MARINADE: Use a glass baking dish or bowl, or a resealable plastic bag for marinating the chicken. Whisk all of the marinade ingredients together.
MARINATE THE CHICKEN: Add the chicken to the marinade. If using a glass container, use tongs to coat the chicken with the marinade. Cover with plastic wrap. If using a resealable plastic bag, seal the bag, then massage the chicken until it’s coated with the marinade.
Refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours. Remove the chicken from the fridge about 15 minutes before cooking to bring to room temperature.
HEAT THE GRILL: Preheat the grill to high heat, then turn it down to medium-high. Brush the grates with oil (I use avocado oil).
COOK THE CHICKEN: Remove the chicken from the marinade (but don’t throw out the marinade – that’s the base for the sauce!) Transfer the chicken to the grill and cook until the chicken is cooked through, but not overdone. The internal temperature should be 165 degrees F.
Let the chicken rest while you make the sauce. The resting time allows for the juices to be absorbed into the chicken. If you slice it too early, the juices run out, producing dryer chicken.
MAKE THE SAUCE: Pour the reserved marinade into a medium saucepan. Transfer 2 tablespoons of the chicken broth into a small bowl, along with the cornstarch. Stir to combine, then transfer that mixture to the saucepan, along with the rest of the chicken broth.
Bring the sauce to a boil, whisking the sauce, then reduce the heat so that the sauce maintains a simmer. Cook until the sauce coats the back of a spoon. That should take 10 to 12 minutes.
IMPORTANT!!! Stick an instant read thermometer into the sauce. Because the marinade contains raw chicken juices, it should reach 165 degrees F to ensure that it’s safe to eat.
SERVE IT UP! Slice the chicken across the grain and serve it on a bed of rice, quinoa or a grain of your choice. Spoon the sauce over the chicken and rice. Garnish with some chopped cilantro or parsley.
BAKE IT - ALTERNATIVE COOKING METHOD
When baking these chicken breasts, I use the method used for Rosemary Oven Baked Chicken Breasts. Cut the breasts in half horizontally. Cover the breasts with plastic wrap and use the flat side of a meat mallet or rolling pin to lightly pound any thick sections. The meat should be about ¾-inch thick.
Marinate the chicken as directed in the recipe card below, then transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or foil. Bake at 425 degrees F until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F, about 12 to 15 minutes. Make the sauce as directed below.
Grilled curry chicken pairs well with a variety of sides, such as:
▪️ GRILLED VEGETABLES: Grill up some veggies such as grilled potatoes, or a mixture of bell peppers, zucchini and portobello mushrooms.
▪️ NAAN BREAD: Serve the chicken with some warm naan bread.
Make-Ahead and Storage
This grilled chicken is great for meal prep. There are a couple of options for prepping this recipe ahead of time…
The recipe calls for marinating the chicken for 1 to 2 hours. However, it’s fine to leave the chicken in the marinade for up to 12 hours. Make the marinade the night before, add the chicken in the morning and be ready to cook at dinnertime.
Even though this recipe is best hot off the grill, leftover grilled chicken is fantastic served in a quinoa salad or mixed into a green salad. Use the extra sauce as a dressing. If you like, thin it out with some water or olive oil. Store the chicken in airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, you can. Make sure they are fully thawed before marinating and grilling.
Yes, this recipe works brilliantly with pork chops, white fish (such as cod or halibut), shrimp or tofu. If using seafood of any kind, do not marinate for longer than 1 hour. The lime juice in the marinade can start to denature the protein in the seafood, essentially cooking the fish or shrimp, like in ceviche.
Yes, you can easily double the recipe to serve a larger crowd or to have leftovers for future meals.
Yes, you can use bone-in chicken, but the cooking time will be longer.
Other Grilling Recipes You'll Love
If you make this recipe, please let me know! Leave a star rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ and comment underneath the recipe card below. Thank you!
Grilled Curry Chicken
Chicken and sauce:
- 4 (6 ounces each) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 1 cup low sodium chicken broth
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- Minced cilantro or parsley for garnish
- In a glass container or a ziplock bag, combine soy sauce, lime juice, garlic, ginger, and curry powder. Whisk the mixture together.
- Add the chicken breasts and stir to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 1-2 hours, turning the chicken occasionally.
Chicken and sauce:
- Preheat the barbecue to high heat and then turn it down to medium-high. Brush the grates with oil (I use avocado oil).
- Remove the chicken from the marinade. Reserve the marinade. Cook the chicken on the grill until it is just done, about 4-5 minutes per side. The internal temperature should be 165 degrees F.
- Once the chicken is done, remove it from the grill and let it rest until the sauce is done.
- Pour the reserved marinade into a medium saucepan. Transfer 2 tablespoons of the chicken broth to a small bowl. Add the cornstarch and stir to combine. Add the cornstarch mixture to the marinade. Add the remaining chicken broth.
- Bring the sauce to a boil, then reduce to a lively simmer, until the sauce coats a spoon, whisking frequently, about 10 to 12 minutes. Stick an instant read thermometer into the sauce. Because the marinade contains raw chicken juices, it should reach 165 degrees F to ensure that it’s safe to eat.
- Cut the chicken across the grain. Serve on a bed of rice. Spoon the sauce over the chicken and garnish with a little chopped cilantro or parsley. There will be extra sauce. Drizzle it over the rice, if desired.
This post was first published on May 27, 2009. Updated on May 16, 2023.
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