Southern Thai Tumeric Chicken - An authentic recipe from Thailand, the flavour of this is absolutely incredible, sweet with complexity and depth. But just a handful of pantry ingredients!
Print Recipe
5 from 20 votes

Southern Thai Chicken (Grilled or Baked)

This is an authentic recipe from the South of Thailand and is the one of two very popular types of Thai chicken. Typically made with a butterflied chicken, I've used the marinade for thigh cutlets instead. You can make this with any cut of chicken, and it can be cooked in the oven, stove or BBQ. The flavour is sweet with complexity owing to the simple but clever marinade - the tumeric powder really "makes" this dish!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Total Time50 mins
Course: BBQ/Grilling, Dinner
Cuisine: Thai
Servings: 5
Calories: 490kcal
Author: Nagi | RecipeTin Eats


  • 5 chicken thigh cutlets , skin on and bone in (around 2.5lb / 1.2kg) (Note 1)


  • 4 garlic cloves , crushed
  • 2 1/2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 1/2 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tsp white pepper , ground
  • 3 tbsp very finely chopped coriander/cilantro stems (as finely as you can mince with knife)
  • 1 tbsp ground turmeric
  • ¼ cup brown sugar (or finely grated palm sugar)


  • Combine Marinade ingredients in a bowl.
  • Add chicken and coat thoroughly in Marinade. Marinade for at least 3 hours, preferably overnight. (Note 2)
  • Preheat oven to 180C/350F. If you remember, take chicken out of the fridge and bring to room temperature.
  • (Optional) Line a tray with baking paper/parchment paper (to save cleaning up), then place chicken on the baking tray, skin side up. Scrape all Marinade out of bowl and dab onto chicken.
  • Bake for 35 to 45 minutes until deep golden brown and chicken is cooked through. If it is too brown before cooked, cover loosely with foil and return to the oven.
  • Allow to rest for 3 minutes before serving with rice and fresh slices of cucumber.
  • Stove: To cook on the stove, heat a skillet over medium heat. Place skin side down and cover with a lid. Cook for 5 minutes or until the skin is dark golden. Then turn and cover with a lid again, Cook for 8 to 10 minutes until cooked through. Rest for 3 minutes before serving.


1. You can make this recipe with any cut of chicken, though I would suggest adding 1 tbsp of oil into the Marinade if using breast because the chicken fat in other chicken cuts is what creates the beautiful caramelisation you see in the photos.
2. If you are using small boneless, skinless chicken thighs or tenderloins, you can probably get away with 1 hour of marinating time because the glaze flavour is strong enough to compensate even if it's not infused all the way into the chicken flesh.
3. This recipe can be cooked on the BBQ, stove or baked. To cook on the stove or BBQ, cook it on medium because the sugar in this marinade burns quickly. Here are some cook time guidelines for other cuts / cooking methods:
- Drumsticks: Bake for 40 minutes
- Skinless boneless thighs: Bake for 20 - 25 minutes, or stove/BBQ for 5 minutes each side on medium.
- Breast: Bake for 25 minutes, or stove/BBQ for around 6 minutes on each side on medium.
4. Slightly adapted from this Tumeric Chicken recipe from Real Thai Recipes.
5. Nutrition per serving assuming 5 servings. This does not take into account the fat that is rendered out of the thigh cutlets when cooking.
Southern Thai Tumeric Grilled Chicken Nutrition 


Serving: 260g | Calories: 490kcal