Grilled Five-Spice Chicken Thighs
- 2 tablespoons Chinese five-spice powder
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon dark brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons rice vinegar
- 1 teaspoon Asian sesame oil
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 2 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 8 large, 10 medium, or 12 small), trimmed of excess fat
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil; more for the grill
- 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
Mix the five-spice powder, the 1 tablespoon sugar, the garlic powder, and the salt in a small bowl. In another bowl, mix the soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil, red pepper flakes, and remaining 1 teaspoon sugar.
Put the chicken in a shallow pan, drizzle with the vegetable oil, and toss to coat evenly. Sprinkle the spice mixture over the chicken; toss and rub to coat thoroughly.
Prepare a hot charcoal fire or heat a gas grill with all burners on medium high for 10 minutes. Clean the hot grate with a wire brush and then lubricate it with an oil-soaked paper towel. Put the chicken on the grate and grill (covered on a gas grill or uncovered over a charcoal fire) until one side has dark grill marks, 5 to 6 minutes for large thighs or 4 to 5 minutes for medium and small thighs. Turn and continue to grill until well marked on the other sides and cooked through, 5 to 6 minutes longer for large thighs or 4 to 5 minutes for medium and small thighs.
Move the thighs to a serving dish. Drizzle with about half of the soy mixture, sprinkle with the cilantro, and toss to coat. Let rest 4 to 5 minutes, tossing once or twice. Serve hot, warm, or at room temperature, with the remaining soy mixture passed at the table.
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