Grilled Lemongrass Ginger Chicken | Happy Accident

Grilled Lemongrass Ginger Chicken

I’m calling this a happy accident.

I screwed up breaking down my whole chicken so my drumstick kind of fell away from the bone. I still have no clue what happened… but I thought it might be a good idea to slide the meat down, clump it into a ball at the end, and marinate it anyway. Note for the Bistro: these chicken sticks might make a mean appetizer / small plate item.

Today’s recipe is a good one. I know because I’ve been eating it most of my life. It’s somewhat of a hand-me-down from my first-generation Vietnamese-American mother, and she knows her lemongrass and ginger!

It’s a beautiful combination of sweet, savory and scent. And it’s even better when you forget you had it marinating, so you don’t grill it until two days later.

RGB Commentary: Buy whole chicken. Then cut it up yourself… and use every piece of it. Not only is it more cost-effective, but it’s a good way to really get your hands on your food and understand where the pieces are coming from. Legs, thighs and wings can go in this recipe. Save the breasts for something else. The neck and back can and should be used for chicken stock. If you have a dog, give them the organs; its good for them. And if you have enough storage space, save the bones from this meal, too. They’ll also be good in chicken stock.

We only ate two pieces of chicken, because it was part of a larger dinner meal. Stay tuned to see what we do with the leftovers!

What’s your latest happy accident in the kitchen?


P.S. Summertime = more dinners during daylight hours. Woo-hoo!

style=”text-align: center;”>Grilled Lemongrass Ginger Chicken


~ Makes 6 pieces ~


~ Ingredients ~

  • 1 stalk lemongrass
  • 1 fresh square inch ginger
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 Serrano pepper
  • 2 tablespoon palm sugar (or brown sugar)
  • 3 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 2 chicken wings
  • 2 chicken thighs
  • 2 chicken drumsticks


~ Preparation ~

Preparation Time: 15 minutes

Passive Time: 1 hour

Grilling Time: 30 minutes

  1. Peel outer layers of lemongrass. Cut off top third of stalk, Cut off root end of stalk. Thinly slice stalk crosswise, then finely chop to mince.
  2. Cut away outer peel of ginger, then mince. Peel garlic clove and mince. Cut Serrano pepper and mince. Discard seeds for more mild flavor.
  3. In a small sauté pan, combine palm sugar, fish sauce, soy sauce, canola oil and rice wine vinegar. Slowly heat and stir until palm sugar has dissolved. Then add in lemongrass, ginger, garlic and Serrano pepper. Bring up to simmer until lemongrass is fragrant; then turn off heat and let mixture cool.
  4. Once mixture cools completely, pour into zip lock bag, add in chicken, zip up top (squeezing air out) and let marinate in refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
  5. Remove chicken from marinade and grill over low heat for approximately 15-20 minutes. Serve immediately.

Nutrition content per piece: 309 calories, 4.5g carbs, 31g protein, 19.5g fat, 0g fiber

Cost per piece: $0.51 – $1.01

Source: Rustic Garden Bistro

Update (7/26/10): This recipe has been tested by friends of the RGB. Click here to see their adaptations!

Dorothy | Shockingly Delicious



  1. says

    I just love recipes like this one – especially when it’s a ‘happy accident!’ Ginger, lemongrass, sugar, fish sauce – what’s not to love – and then grilled?!? Oh Baby, come to mamma!

  2. says

    Most of my kitchen accidents involve dropping something, so they rarely end up happy. ;) But I promise if I make these chicken lollipops I’ll be careful not to drop them. Wouldn’t want to waste a drop of what sounds like an amazing marinade!

  3. miloandme says

    I love your focus on using every bit of the bird and not wasting any of it. I always seek out ways to be more cost efficient and less wasteful which is why I always like your recipes. I’ll be trying this one tonight!

  4. says

    This dish looks like a winner and not an accident! I love all the flavors…they are my favorites! I think there is a B&B in the making…When can I check in?!