Turmeric Grilled Chicken (Gai Ka-Min)

Total Shares 518

Wait, don’t be scared – this recipe only has 8 ingredients and is really easy.  The title is just funky.  Stay with me, it will be worth it, I promise!

If you crave Thai flavors or are just looking for an easy and different way to grill chicken, then you will really love this.  The most difficult part about this recipe is firing up the grill. Period.

One of my favorite chefs is Marcus Samuelsson from Red Rooster in NYC.  You may know him from Top Chef Masters on Bravo.  Well last month he hosted these really cool Global Street Food Pop-Ups around New York City during Fashion Week and spotlighted a bunch of amazing global recipes.

The recipe that most intrigued me was Turmeric Chicken, and knew I had to make it! I made some modifications and am really happy with this dish.  If you have a BBQ Grill, this is so easy.  You can make a big batch at once and serve for a group dinner (without much effort), freeze for later, or even better get creative with some side dishes and have dinner done for two or three nights!


  • I used my Blendtec to make the marinade paste.  If you do not have a high-powered blender, I recommend using a food processor or blender to make the paste but grinding the peppercorns through your Pepper Grinder into a little dish first.  Alternately, you could use already ground black pepper but the taste probably wouldn’t be as intense.
  • I buy the majority of our meat (chicken, fish, etc.) at Whole Foods.  In case you didn’t know, their Butchers will filet, skin, and portion anything you are buying.  So just ask for 5 pounds of Chicken Legs with the skin removed.  Tell the Butcher you will do your shopping and swing back around to pick them up.  Easy as pie and no extra work for you!  P.S. Keep your eye out for sales – Whole Foods usually has Chicken Legs on sale about once a month for $0.99 a pound.  Whenever they have that sale I buy 20 pounds, portion them into 5-pound freezer bags and shove in the freezer.
  • This recipe calls for Cilantro/Coriander roots.  This is what they look like.  Sometimes they also have the hairy part attached.   These are hard to find.  If you can’t find the Cilantro with the root still on, don’t stress out.  Just use a bit of the stems along with the leaves and keep it moving
  • Back to Whole Foods again, this recipe calls for 1 cup of garlic cloves – that is A LOT of garlic! Look in the Produce section for half-pint and pint containers of already peeled garlic cloves.  Again, will save you a lot of time.  I usually pick these up weekly anyway just to make my life easier in the kitchen! (Trader Joe’s also sells these.)

Recipe Adapted From: Marcus Samuelsson Turmeric Chicken Recipe

Turmeric Grilled Chicken (Gai Ka-Min)
2 Points Plus per drumstick -- Recipes Makes approximately 20 drumsticks -- Individual Serving should be 2 to 4 drumsticks (2 Points to 8 Points)
Serves: 6
  • 5 pounds chicken legs, skinless, bone-in (approximately 20)
  • ½ cup cilantro/coriander leaves and roots, washed
  • 1 tablespoon turmeric
  • 1 cup garlic cloves
  • 2 teaspoons whole black peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon Asian Fish Sauce
  • 2 tablespoons coconut aminos or gluten-free soy sauce (or Tamari)
  • 2 tablespoons coconut palm sugar
  1. Use a fork to puncture the chicken legs 3 to 4 times each (as if you were preparing a baked potato).
  2. Place the legs in a gallon size ziploc bag.
  3. In a small bowl, combine fish sauce, soy sauce, and sugar. Stir to dissolve and pour into ziploc bag over chicken.
  4. Assemble ingredients to make the marinade paste.
  5. Combine, cilantro leaves and roots, turmeric, garlic, and whole peppercorns in blender or food processor and blend until it forms a paste.Put paste into the ziploc bag.
  6. Seal the bag and massage the marinade around until is is evenly distributed. If you are impatient, use a disposable kitchen glove and get in their with your hand. Or with no glove, whatever it takes.
  7. Let marinate for at least one hour. Longer is fine too so if you need to do this ahead of time no problem!
  8. When you are ready to cook, cook on a pre-heated BBQ Grill (medium-high heat) until the legs reach an internal temperature of 165F.
  9. Excellent paired with some Jasmine Rice and a crisp cucumber salad. Enjoy!


Total Shares 518

EverydayMaven.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.


  1. says

    That looks so beautiful and easy! I always forget how much I love chicken drumsticks. My husband isn’t crazy about garlic, so may try it with less.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Rate this recipe:  

CommentLuv badge

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.