Hawaiian Grilled Chicken & Coconut Rice

The weather has not been cooperating around here.

(Seriously, it’s been in the 50’s, gray and wet, for weeks.)

It’s not good for my mood, let me tell you.

So, I had this idea that if I made something from a sunny place, on the grill, it would give me the pick-me-up I was looking for.

That’s not exactly what happened.

The Recipes:

Hawaiian Grilled Chicken, slightly adapted from A Dash of Thyme

3 lbs of boneless skinless chicken thighs

2 c low sodium soy sauce

2 c water

1 1/2 c brown sugar

1/4 c white onion, chopped

1/2 t minced garlic

1 t of sesame oil

1 (13.5oz) can of coconut milk

Remove visible fat from chicken thighs.  Mix soy sauce, water, brown sugar, onions, garlic, sesame oil, and coconut milk in a large bowl. Marinade chicken for at least 4 hours or overnight.

Grill chicken at a low heat so that the marinade does not burn for 5-7 minutes per side or until done.

Serve with rice or noodles.


Coconut Rice, adapted from About.com

1 c Thai jasmine-scented white rice

1 c good-quality coconut milk

3/4 c water

Place rice, coconut milk, water, and salt in the pot and set over medium-high to high heat.  Stir occasionally to keep rice from sticking to the bottom of the pot and burning.

Once the coconut-water has begun to gently bubble, stop stirring and reduce heat to low (just above minimum).  Cover tightly with a lid and let simmer 15-20 minutes, or until most of the liquid has been absorbed by the rice.  To check, pull rice aside with a fork.  If most of the coconut milk-water is gone, go on to the next step.

Replace the lid and turn off the heat, but leave the covered pot on the burner to steam another 5-10 minutes, or until you’re ready to eat.

When ready to serve, remove the lid and fluff rice with a fork or chopsticks. Taste-test the rice for salt, adding a little more if needed.

{Printable Recipes}

The Results:

Hmmm, let’s start with reading the chicken recipe.  For some reason, in my head, I saw three pieces of chicken – not three pounds.  And then, when I went to gather my ingredients, the amounts seemed vast for such a small amount of meat.  So, I halved the recipe…and still ended up with way more marinade than necessary.

(And I’m also going to admit here that I’m not a huge fan of soy sauce, so even as I was making it, I was feeling a little turned off.)

After it marinated for a while, it was time to grill.  I kind of forgot to figure in the actual outdoor aspect of grilling…in the rain…and the cold.  I really should’ve had Hubs take a picture of me, in my heavy rain coat, hood up, trying to grill.  A happy griller was not made, let’s just say.

Anyways, on top of being stuck outside in the rain, the chicken decided to take twice as long to cook as mentioned in the recipe.  That’s about 20 minutes standing in the rain.

(By the way, I’d made the rice before I went out, and just left it off the heat, steaming, with a towel under the lid – and it turned out perfectly cooked.)

Finally, the chicken was done (after Hubs had to come out and check that I wasn’t overcooking it, which I wasn’t – but it did get him out in the rain, too, which kinda made me happy… is that bad?).

It looked pretty, though a lot like any teriyaki chicken you’d find at a take-out place.  And it pretty much tasted like it, too.  Now, considering I’m not a huge fan of soy sauce or teriyaki-style food, it wasn’t a big hit with me.  Even the coconut rice tasted a little boring.  But my oldest and Hubs really liked it (huge teriyaki fans that they are) – and cleaned their plates right off.

I think I was also just in a pissy mood from my outdoor adventures.  So, onto some tips…

I only let the chicken marinade for the minimum of four hours – and strongly suggest that if you make this, you do it overnight. The chicken was lightly flavored – and I think it could’ve used more of a boost.

Also, I think I would’ve liked a ratio change in the ingredients…more sweet coconut milk, less salty soy sauce.  And I would’ve considered adding some real coconut to both dishes to try to flavor them up a bit.

Hubs may be making this again, for himself, but I think I’ll stick with something I can cook inside.


16 thoughts on “Hawaiian Grilled Chicken & Coconut Rice

  1. We had both of these recipes last week, too! I marinated my chicken all day (probably about 10 hours) and I still thought it was very lightly flavored. I was expecting a little more from it.


  2. You know, I read 3 pieces of chicken too, had to re-read as 2 c of soy sauce sounded like a lot for 3 pieces! Haha! And like you I think the marinade would be too salty. Otherwise a little tweaking and it would be nice. Perhaps give it a try once hubs cooks it… You sit up, relax and enjoy the meal.


  3. Until you mentioned that the recipe was for 3 lbs, I, too, thought it read 3 pieces and thought it would be perfect for me. 3 lbs is an entirely different thing! You deserve an “A+” for effort, grilling in a rainstorm. Now that’s dedication!
    I would like to try this, though, but I’ll halve the marinade recipe and plan to grill it on a sunny day. 🙂


  4. I’m pretty sure it’s rained here at least once everyday for the past month! Um, you know that means way too much cake consumption has been going on! This meal looks like a bright ray in all the bad weather you’re having.


  5. I think this one would be a hit with Mike and Mr. N for sure. I’d probably like it too, but I can always take or leave chicken. They’re huge teriyaki/soy fans. I’m impressed you grilled in the rain. Heck, I’m impressed you grilled. I need to learn how to work a grill one of these days. 🙂


  6. I’ve had the same problem with a chicken dish like this, I think you’re right.. it needs more time to marinade?? I wonder if you could have boiled the marinade and used it as a sauce?? I love coconut rice.. I’m not sure if I’ve blogged it or not.. but I think my recipe is similar? No.. it’s not “bad” to want company out in the pouring rain;) xo Smidge


  7. Oh Courtney.. it’s definitely a sign of an accomplished chef when you are disappointed by a dish that would be enjoyed by myself (and probs all the other bloggers). It’s perfectly grilled and has all the flavors I love. I’m sorry you were disappointed, but if you didn’t have “off” days (like the rest of us:D) you would have to change your blog to “Cooking Adventures”.. and that’s no fun!! xx Smidge


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