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We are big chicken eaters in our household. That and fish. I try to keep the chicken dishes different but familiar so I don’t get sick of it. Its really easy for me to get tired of things…but I seem to always go back to Asian marinades. They seem so simple yet they offer such complexity to flavors. Sweet. Savory. Its definitely our go-to type of marinade.

Inspired by the lovely grill marks on the chicken drumsticks and thighs on the cover of the July 2013 issue of Cooking Light, I decided to prepare a hoisin marinade for the chicken and grill it on the stove top.


Ingredients (serves 4- 1 leg, 1 thigh each… or however way you slice it)

4 drumsticks

4 thighs

1/2 cup hoisin sauce

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar

1 heaping tablespoon brown sugar

1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and minced

3 cloves of garlic, minced

1 teaspoon sesame oil

1 bunch of scallion, sliced (half for marinade, half for garnish)


Place the chicken in zip lock with hoisin, soy sauce, brown sugar, rice vinegar, ginger, garlic, sesame oil, and half of the scallions and allow marinade to cover chicken. Seal so that no air is in the zip lock and refrigerate for at least an hr.

I prepped this just an hr before I was ready to cook but normally would marinate overnight. (you can make a little more marinade to save for brushing on the chicken- I do)

Heat a grill pan on the stove top for about 5 minutes over a medium flame. Spray the pan with a non-stick spray, the brown sugar will cause things to get a bit…sticky. Grill the chicken on each side for about 8-10 minutes, or until fully cooked depending on the size of the chicken*. If you made extra marinade, brush on the chicken as it cooks.


Alternately, if you do not own a grill, you can make this chicken the same way in the oven minus the pretty grill marks. But you can broil (10 mins per side on high) or roast (425 for 18-20 minutes on each side) or bake (350 for 30-35 minutes on each side) in the oven too if stove top grill pans aren’t your thing.


I served mine along side some garlicky sautéed spinach and my mother’s black rice. A wonderful and easy chicken dish!

*Some of my chicken thighs took a long while to reach the appropriate internal temperature so after making the initial grill marks, I finished them off in the oven at 450 for a few minutes.