Recipe courtesy of Melissa Gaman for Food Network Kitchen

Grilled Soy Sauce Chicken

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 3 hr (plus overnight marinating)
  • Active: 45 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
Soy sauce chicken is known for its mahogany skin and intense flavor, which comes from braising the bird in a soy sauce–flavored broth. Our grilled version has that same richness, but it’s spatchcocked so it cooks more evenly.


For the chicken

For the sauce


  1. Marinate the chicken: Toast the star anise in a medium saucepan over medium heat, shaking the pan, until aromatic, 1 to 2 minutes. Add 2 cups water, the scallions, ginger, sugar, peppercorns and 1 teaspoon salt and bring to a simmer, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Remove from the heat and add 1 cup cold water and both soy sauces to cool the marinade.
  2. Cut the backbone out of the chicken using a pair of kitchen shears. Trim off any remaining ribs sticking out. Flip over, breast-side up, and firmly press to flatten the chicken. Add the chicken to a shallow pot or large resealable bag, breast-side down, and pour the soy mixture over top. Add more water to just cover the chicken (1 to 2 more cups), pressing down to submerge if needed. Refrigerate overnight.
  3. Preheat a grill to medium and prepare for indirect grilling: On a charcoal grill, bank the coals to one side; on a gas grill, turn off half the burners (the grill temperature should be about 375˚F). Remove the chicken from the marinade and pat dry. Lightly rub the skin with the vegetable oil. Arrange the chicken, breast-side up, on the cooler side of the grill (indirect heat), making sure it lies flat. Cover and grill 1 hour 15 minutes; if using charcoal, add more coals as needed to maintain a temperature between 325˚F and 375˚F.
  4. Meanwhile, make the sauce: Bring both soy sauces, the vinegar, sugar, 2 tablespoons water, the sesame oil and star anise to a simmer in a medium nonstick skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Cook until thickened slightly, 5 to 7 minutes. Set aside to cool; the sauce will thicken a bit more.
  5. After 1 hour 15 minutes, uncover the grill and brush the chicken all over with some of the sauce. Cover and continue to grill, brushing with sauce 1 or 2 more times, until a thermometer inserted into the thigh and breast registers at least 165˚F and the skin is a rich brown color, 15 to 45 minutes more.
  6. Remove to a cutting board and lightly brush with more sauce. Let rest at least 20 minutes before carving. Stir the light green and white scallion parts into the remaining sauce and sprinkle the dark green scallions over the carved chicken. Serve with the sauce.