Sweet and Spicy Grilled Chile Mango Chicken Recipe. Served with Coconut Rice and Grilled Zucchini.
Fire up the grill for this crazy tasty, tropical grilled chile mango chicken recipe.
Its hot here in Vegas in summer, which one would think who would want to grill outside, but I prefer grilling to turning the oven on.
The chile mango marinade and sauce is really what this recipe is all about. The chicken gets marinated, but half gets saved for a sauce to serve over the coconut rice and chicken once its grilled.
The chile mango sauce ingredients are:
- Fresh, red mangoes
- Fresno chiles
- Lime juice and zest
- Orange juice
- White Wine
- Coconut Milk
- Smoked Paprika
- Fish Sauce - my "secret" ingredient to amazing umami goodness
I use my food processor for the marinade/sauce. I don't puree it completely smooth, I like the sauce to have some texture and to see the color from the chiles and cilantro.
The food processor makes for a faster prep since you don't have to finely dice the ingredients before adding them. I still chop them a little bit.
How long can you marinate chicken in a citrus marinade?
Isn't that sauce gorgeous? I marinate the chicken for at least an hour before grilling. You can marinate for longer if you like, keep in mind the longer meat is marinating with any kind of citrus it will break down the meat and change the texture.
Usually 2 hours is max marinating time for any citrus based marinade.
There isn't a lot of citrus in this marinade, usually lemon or lime juice affect the meat texture more than a sweeter citrus such as oranges, but I wouldn't go longer than 2 hours.
How long do you grill boneless chicken thighs?
When it comes to grilling meats of any kind time is important, but not as important as temperature. You want to grill the chicken thighs to an internal temperature of 165 deg F.
This usually takes anywhere from 6-10 minutes a side. I will grill about 6- 8 minutes then flip, grill another 6-8 minutes.
I will start checking the chicken by pressing down on the thighs to see if they are starting to get more firm, and then I use my digital thermometer to check them. I will check the smallest or thinnest thigh first then the thickest.
I will start pulling them off the grill when they reach 165, starting with the thinner thighs first. I then cover the tray or plate with foil and let rest 8-10 minutes.
I love adding in a grilled veggie as a side to this grilled chile mango chicken meal, zucchini is a great choice. I slice the zucchini lengthwise, brush with oil, season, usually salt, pepper, maybe some garlic and onion.
I usually grill while the chicken is resting since 6-10 min is perfect for grilled zucchini. And there isn't enough room on my grill for all the chicken and zucchini to cook at once.
I also cook my rice while the chicken is cooking. For this recipe I used the rice I always make, but subbed in some coconut milk for the water to make coconut rice.
I also seasoned with a little salt and a little sugar. I love using jasmine rice here, you can use Calrose, basmati, brown rice. Anything you like really.
This chile mango sauce is so good. Its sweet, spicy, creamy, has a touch of umami from the fish sauce. I love love love using fish sauce in almost anything I can use it in for a hit of umami. So good in any kind of red sauce, I prefer it over using whole anchovies, its so great in all kinds of sauces and marinades.
Whenever I make a marinade for any kind of grilling recipe, I always save some for a sauce for spooning over the chicken or protein after, over the rice or other grain used. I do this with bbq sauces as well.
A few more notes about this Sweet and Spicy Grilled Chile Mango Chicken Recipe first:
- The recipe is fairly quick to put together, longest time is marinating time. You can marinate the chicken as little as 20 minutes up to 2 hours. No longer.
- If you want a spicier marinade, use more fresno chiles and leave in the ribs and seeds. I will start with two chiles, taste then add more if I want it spicier
- The recipe for the coconut rice is in the recipe notes. I rinse and soak the rice while the chicken is marinating, cook it while the chicken is grilling. You can use any rice recipe you like. I personally think the coconut rice goes great with this
- I used zucchini as my veggie of choice, since its what I had on hand. You can use any veggie you like, summer squashes and bell peppers work great.
- The chicken and sauce are fantastic as leftovers. I will heat briefly in the microwave or oven. I am not a huge fan of reheating chicken in a microwave for fear of it turning rubbery. The chicken and sauce are great cold too.
- 2-3 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs
For the marinade:
- 1 Cup diced mango (from 1-2 red mangoes)
- 2-3 red Fresno chiles, stem, seeds and ribs removed only if you want a little milder sauce
- 1 shallot, peeled and quartered
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled and halved
- ½ cup cilantro, roughly chopped
- ⅓ cup coconut milk ( canned, full fat)
- ¼ cup lime juice plus zest of one lime
- ¼ cup orange juice
- ¼ cup dry white wine (sauv blanc or pinot grigio)
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce ( I prefer Red Boat)
- 1 ½ teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- Coconut rice ( see recipe notes)
- Grilled zucchini (2-3 zucchini, ends trimmed off, sliced thick lengthwise.)
- Additional diced mango, sliced Fresno peppers and cilantro
Prep time includes prep for the marinade as well as marinade time. While the chicken is marinating the rice can be cooked and zucchini prepped.
Combine all the marinade ingredients in a food processor and pulse until combined but not completely smooth. Reserve a cup of the marinade and keep chilled.
Pour a little of the marinade in a pan and layer half the chicken on top, pour marinade over the top and layer with the rest of the chicken and marinade. You could also marinade in a bowl or a bag if you like. I like using a shallow glass dish. Marinate chicken for an hour to two hours. No longer.
You can marinate for half the time in the refrigerator and the rest of the time out of the fridge to bring the chicken to room temperature.
Preheat your grill to medium high. Clean the grates and brush with oil, set the chicken on the grill. Grill for 6-8 minutes before flipping. Grill for another 6-8 minutes, start checking internal temperature with a meat thermometer around the 6 minute mark once flipped. When the chicken thighs reach 165 Deg remove from the grill and transfer to a plate. Tent with foil and let rest for 10 minutes.
While the chicken is resting, grill any veggies you have prepped for the grill. I will season the sliced zucchini with some oil, salt, pepper, garlic and onion powder. Grill 2-3 minutes a side until softer and you see some nice grill marks. Summer or yellow squash would work well here, so would sliced bell peppers.
Serve the chicken with rice, the zucchini and extra sauce. Garnish with more chopped mango, Fresno Chile slices and cilantro.
For coconut rice take 2 cups white Jasmine rice, rinse until clear then soak for at least 30 minutes. Drain well. Combine the rice with 2 cups water, 1 cup coconut milk ( canned, full fat) a teaspoon each salt and sugar. Bring to a boil, lower the heat to a simmer, cover the pot with a lid and cook for 12 minutes. Let steam for 10 minutes. Fluff the rice before serving. If you want plain white rice just use all water, no coconut milk.