Adapted from Sam Sifton of the New York Times who says:
Here’s a hack I performed on a recipe for an appetizer portion of skewered chunked chicken thighs that the great live-fire cooks and cookbook writers Chris Schlesinger and John Willoughby wrote many years ago, and that I have slowly altered into a main-course grilled dinner. The skinless chicken browns nicely over a medium flame, and the sugary soy basting sauce lacquers it beautifully in the final few minutes of cooking. It’s terrific with rice, or as a topping for a salad of sturdy greens. You may wish to double the recipe for Sriracha-roasted cashews. Those are addictive, and for them you will find many delicious uses.
½ cup unsalted cashews
2 tablespoons Sriracha sauce
3 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
½ cup plus 3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
1 tablespoon cracked black pepper
Hot sauce, to taste
2 ½ pounds skinless, boneless chicken thighs
¼ cup brown sugar (light or dark) or molasses
2 tablespoons peeled and minced ginger
4 scallions, sliced thin
5 or 6 sprigs cilantro, tough stems removed and roughly chopped (approximately 2 tablespoons)
Heat oven to 300°F.
Combine cashews and Sriracha sauce in a small bowl and stir until nuts are coated. Line a small baking pan with foil and spread the coated cashews on it. Place in the oven and bake until nuts are dry, approximately 20 minutes. Carefully remove the nuts from the foil and let cool, then chop roughly and set aside in a small bowl.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together sesame oil, 1/2 cup soy sauce, the hoisin sauce and the black pepper, and hot sauce if using. Add chicken thighs and stir to coat. Refrigerate until ready to cook.
For the basting sauce, combine the remaining 3 tablespoons soy sauce, the brown sugar and the ginger in a small bowl, and whisk until the sugar has dissolved.
To cook the chicken in the oven
Arrange the chicken pieces on a foil-wrapped shallow pan. Set the broiler for 500°F and place the pan 3-5 inches below the broiler for 10 minutes. Turn the chicken over and broil another 5 minutes.
Turn off the broiler and set oven at 350°F. (It will probably be closer to 500°F at first but opening the oven door every five minutes to baste the chicken will decrease the temperature pretty quickly.) Using a pastry brush, baste the chicken pieces with the soy, ginger and sugar mixture. Bake for about 20 more minutes, basting every 5 minutes. The chicken will develop a beautiful lacquer.
Check the chicken to make sure it’s fully cooked. A meat or instant-read thermometer should register 165°F. Transfer chicken to a warmed platter, sprinkle with the chopped cashews, the scallions and the cilantro, and serve with rice or as topping for a salad.
To grill the chicken
When you are ready to cook the chicken, build a fire in a charcoal grill, leaving about 1/3 of the cooking space free of coals. When coals are covered with gray ash and the temperature is medium (you can hold your hand 5 inches above the coals for 5 to 7 seconds), you are ready to cook. (For a gas grill, turn one burner to high, leaving the others off, then lower cover and heat for 15 minutes.)
Using tongs, remove chicken thighs from marinade and cook, directly over the coals, turning every few minutes, until they are well-browned but not crusty, approximately 8 to 10 minutes. Then, using a pastry brush, begin to baste them with the soy, ginger and sugar mixture, until they develop a lacquer, an additional 8 to 10 minutes, again turning every few minutes. (If chicken threatens to burn, place it over the part of the grill without coals.)