Indonesian Yellow Grilled Chicken Legs

Prep Time: 15 min
Cook Time: 30 min
Serves: 4

Turmeric, chiles and ginger are used to make this fragrant, bright yellow curry paste for grilled chicken. They are popular flavours in Indonesian cooking.


4 cloves garlic
1/4 cup (60 mL) shallots, chopped
1/4 cup (60 mL) red hot chili peppers, chopped
2 tbsp (30 mL) ginger, fresh
2 tbsp (30 mL) vegetable oil
1 tsp (5 mL) lime zest
2 tbsp (30 mL) lime juice
1 tsp (5 mL) turmeric, ground
1/4 tsp (1.25 mL) salt
1/4 tsp (1.25 mL) black pepper, freshly ground
4 skinless chicken legs and back, (about 250 g each)


1 Peel the garlic and shallots. Chop shallots to measure and add both to the bowl of a food processor.
2 Cut the chili peppers in half. Chop to measure and add to the bowl of the food processor. Scoop out the seeds if you don't like too much heat.
3 Next add fresh ginger followed by the oil, fresh lime peel (zest), lime juice, turmeric, salt and freshly ground black pepper. Process to a fine paste. Add a bit more oil if it is too thick to help process down to a smooth texture.
4 Add paste to a small skillet and sauté over medium heat. Stir and sauté until fragrant and lightly browned. Turn off heat and allow to cool.
5 Use a sharp knife to separate legs into thigh and drumstick portions by cutting through at the joint. Add chicken pieces to a re-sealable plastic bag. Use hands to massage the yellow curry paste into the chicken. Place in refrigerator and chill for at least four hours and preferably overnight.
6 Preheat grill over medium-high setting. Remove chicken from bag and place on top shelf and close. Use a brush to coat chicken with some of the remaining paste in the bag. Grill chicken over medium-high heat for 15 minutes per side and until cooked through and a thermometer registers 165°F (74°C).