Soy sauce is a popular condiment in East Asian cooking. Extracted from beans, it’s also strictly un-paleo. But when has that ever stopped us from enjoying our favorite flavors, even if it means inventing a completely new source? If you can’t eat soy sauce, go for Coconut Aminos instead. Its concentrated saltiness is exactly what you’re looking for; and the best part is that it’s made from the sap of coconut trees—yes, the coconut trumps again! Naturally aged, it also has slightly sweet undertones which, coupled with honey, makes it perfect for marinating these sweet and sour Vietnamese Chicken Legs.
Roasted Chicken Legs
Total Time to Make: 45 minutes + 3 to 8 hours of marinating
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
- 2 pounds chicken quarters (it’s the leg and thigh)
- 2 tablespoons of coconut aminos
- 1 tablespoon of raw honey
- 1 teaspoon of sesame oil
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon of Chinese five spice powder
- 1 teaspoon of black pepper
- 1 teaspoon of white pepper
- Juice of 1/2 lime
- 1 Thai chili, chopped (optional)
- 1 garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon Coconut Aminos
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the coconut aminos, five spice powder, raw honey, black pepper, sesame oil, and minced garlic. Mix the ingredients well.
- Add the chicken to the mixture from step 1. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it marinade overnight or at least 3 hours before cooking.
- Turn on your BBQ and set it to medium flame.
- BBQ the chicken until the thickest part of the chicken is 165 degrees F or until the juices from the chicken are no longer running red when you cut into the chicken. The cooking time varies, but I go for 10 to 15 minutes per side on my propane BBQ. Be careful of the chicken fat dripping down onto the fire and igniting bigger flames that might char your chicken more than you wanted.
- Combine the coconut aminos, minced garlic, and Thai chili into a small bowl to make the sauce.
So, why is it called Coconut Amino? It contains 17 different amino acids, which is a good deal of protein on top of what the chicken is providing. While sesame seed oil isn’t first choice as cooking oil—that’s the spot that our saturated coconut fats deserve— it lends a great flavor that hits the back of your tongue. In fact, along with the honey, chili and five-spice, the chicken legs will keep surprising your palate, going from sweet to spicy hot and back within seconds. In the backyard, on a cool evening, you’ll find the herbs and flesh and juices bombarding your mouth more than welcome.
Do you know what else will make it taste better? Sitting around the fire and picking the bones clean with some good friends or clansmen.