Recipe: Fiona’s Green Chicken

updated May 1, 2019
Fiona's Green Chicken
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(Image credit: Kimberley Hasselbrink)

My chef sister, Fiona, is my go-to source for hands-on cooking advice and one of my biggest culinary heroes and influences. But even more important? Fiona came up with an umami-packed, Thai-inspired chicken recipe that immediately became a family favorite.

Her green marinade is a breeze to throw together: Simply blend together a sweet onion, handfuls of herbs, fish sauce, apple juice, lime zest, and pepper. The marinade pairs well with just about every protein imaginable, and it works great as a sauce for pouring over grilled meats or drizzling in soup.

Pro tip! Make a double batch of the recipe and freeze half of the marinated chicken for a future meal.

(Image credit: Kimberley Hasselbrink)

Tester’s Notes

I’ve never marinated chicken in fish sauce before, but the results were fantastic. The chicken didn’t taste fishy, but just had really deep, savory flavors that were balanced out by all the fresh herbs blended into the sauce.

I love that this recipe can be cooked on a grill or just baked on a rack in the oven for an easy weeknight meal.

Christine, May 2015

Fiona's Green Chicken

Serves 4 to 6

Nutritional Info


  • 1

    medium sweet onion, peeled and coarsely chopped (about 1 cup)

  • 1 cup

    packed fresh cilantro leaves and stems

  • 1 1/4 cups

    packed fresh basil leaves

  • 1/4 cup

    packed fresh mint leaves

  • 1/4 cup

    fish sauce, like Red Boat

  • 3

    peeled garlic cloves

  • Finely grated zest of 1 medium lime

  • Plenty ground black pepper

  • 1 teaspoon

    Aleppo pepper

  • 2 tablespoons

    apple juice (or 1 teaspoon maple syrup if you’re not on a Whole30)

  • Kosher salt

  • 3 pounds

    chicken drumsticks or thighs

  • Lime wedges, for serving


  1. Make the marinade by combining the onion, cilantro, basil, mint, fish sauce, garlic, lime zest, black pepper, Aleppo pepper, and apple juice in a blender. Purée until smooth.

  2. Taste for seasoning and add salt to taste. Since I use this as a marinade, I'm more heavy-handed with the salt than I normally would be if it was a sauce.

  3. Place the chicken in a gallon-sized zip-top bag and pour the marinade over it. Seal and marinate for at least 1 hour or up to 1 day in the refrigerator.

  4. The next day, take the chicken out of the fridge 1 hour before you're ready to grill it. (See Recipe Notes for oven-baked method.) Set a gas grill to high and after placing the chicken on the grates, immediately decrease the temperature to low.

  5. Grill the chicken for approximately 25 minutes (or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F) turning every 5 to 7 minutes. But be patient: Don't go and flip the bird (legs, that is) before they naturally release from the grill surface — otherwise, you'll leave a lot of tasty, crispy, marinated skin stuck on the grates!

  6. Serve the drumsticks with lime wedges.

Recipe Notes

Oven-baked chicken: If you are baking the chicken, roast on a wire rack for 35 to 45 minutes at 400°F. Start with skin-side down, and flip skin-side up at the 20-minute mark.