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Cambodian Chicken at

I just love trying new dishes. When I see something different I find myself thinking of how I could make it and what it would taste like. Feel sorry for She Who Must Be Obeyed. She has lived with my experimentation for over four decades.

So, when I was reading Steve Raichlen’s book, Planet Barbecue and saw a grilling recipe for Cambodian Chicken, I was hooked. I had to try it. However, I prefer smoked chicken over grilled so I changed the cooking method and adjusted the ingredients to my taste and ingredients. I used my Louisiana Grills Pellet smoker but you could also cook this in a 350 F oven on a rack over a tray but it won’t have the nice smoke touch.

Normally when I buy a chicken at the local supermarket, it looks like it lost a knife fight. This time I found a nice plump, well dressed chicken.


I rinsed it inside and out and spatchcocked it. Spatchcocking is nothing dirty. Is is just a method of preparing a chicken so it lies flat for cooking. You start by cutting the spine out with kitchen shears. Then you carefully cut the breast bone out and cut through the bones at the top of the breast.


If you would like to see a video of how to spatchcock, go to my post:

Rosemary Chicken

It includes a video of me spatchcocking a chicken.

I cut two deep slashes in each of the breast halves, thighs and drumsticks. These slashes help the marinade get into the meat.


I made a marinade by putting 5 chopped cloves of garlic, 25 ml (2 tablespoons) of white sugar, 5 ml (1 teaspoon) salt, 15 ml (1 tablespoons) soy sauce and 15 ml (1 tablespoon) of hoisin sauce in a blender and spinning into a smooth marinade. I rubbed it on the chicken and put it and the marinade in a resealable bag and marinated for 5 hours, flipping occasionally.


I took it out of the marinade. I shook any loose marinade off and put it in the fridge, uncovered for an hour.

While the bird rested I made a glaze by heating 25 ml (2 tablespoons) of vegetable oil with a crushed clove of garlic in it, just until the garlic started to brown. I put 10 ml (2 teaspoons) of paprika in and cooked for a few seconds. I poured the oil into a bowl for later use.


I also made a dipping sauce for when the chicken was served. I mixed 5 ml (1 teaspoon) fresh ground pepper, 25 ml (2 tablespoons) soy sauce and 25 ml (2 tablespoons) bottled lime juice.


I preheated my Louisiana Grills Pellet Smoker to 350 F with apple pellets.

I brushed the skin side of the chicken with the glaze.


I put it skin side down on the grill and brushed the bone side with glaze.

I cooked it for 25 minutes. Then I brushed both sides with glaze and put the skin side up.


I smoked until the internal temperature was 170 F in the breast.

I took it off and let it rest for 10 minutes.


I cut it into serving size pieces and served it with baked potatoes, coleslaw and marinated vegetables. I put the dipping sauce in small bowls beside each plate.


I have done a video of this recipe.

The Verdict

This is a great chicken recipe. The marinade gives a great salty somewhat sweet touch and the glaze gives a great colour. The lime of the dipping sauce really livens it up. This was one of my best birds.

The Old Fat Guy

Cambodian Chicken

Yield: 4 servings

Cambodian Chicken


  • 1.5 kg (3 pound) chicken
  • Marinade:
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 25 ml (2 tablespoons) sugar
  • 5 ml (1 teaspoon) salt
  • 15 ml (1 tablespoon) soy sauce
  • 15 ml (1 tablespoon) Hoisin sauce
  • Glaze:
  • 25 ml (2 tablespoons) vegetable oil
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 10 ml (2 teaspoons) paprika
  • Dipping Sauce:
  • 5 ml (1 teaspoon) fresh ground pepper
  • 25 ml (2 tablespoons) soy sauce
  • 25 ml (2 tablespoons) bottled lime juice


  1. Rinse the chicken inside and out. Dry it with paper towels.
  2. Spatchcock the chicken.
  3. Cut two gashes in each of the breast halves, thighs and drumsticks.
  4. Put the marinade ingredients in a blender or food processor and process until puréed.
  5. Rub the marinade on both sides of the chicken. Put the chicken and any extra marinade in a plastic bag and marinate for 5 hours, turning occasionally.
  6. Take the chicken out of the bag and let it sit, uncovered, in the fridge for an hour.
  7. While the chicken is resting, make the glaze.
  8. Put the oil and the garlic clove in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook until the garlic is just barely starting to brown.
  9. Put the paprika in the oil and cook for just a few seconds.
  10. Pour the glaze into a bowl for later use.
  11. Make a dipping sauce by mixing the ingredients together and set aside for serving.
  12. Preheat your smoker or oven to 350 F.
  13. Brush the skin of the chicken with the glaze. Put it on the rack skin side down and brush the other side.
  14. Cook at 350 F for 25 minutes.
  15. Turn the chicken, brushing both sides with glaze and cook until the internal temperature in the breast is 170 F.
  16. Remove from heat and let rest for 10 minutes.
  17. Cut into serving size pieces.
  18. Divide the dipping sauce amongst small bowls and serve with the chicken.
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8 Responses

  1. Hi Dave,

    I can vicariously taste the delicious Asian notes of your Cambodian Chicken recipe. The aroma must be fantastic. I just found a gluten-free hoisin sauce . . . now I’ll have to try your recipe!

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