With beef prices rising, think chicken recipes for Memorial Day

5 Recipes
Gochujang-glazed grilled chicken on a white plate with with potato salad and kimchi.
(Genevieve Ko / Los Angeles Times)

Here are five flavors for standout grilled chicken for this holiday weekend


With beef prices on the rise along with so many other staples, you may find yourself considering whether to skip the burgers and steaks for a cookout this Memorial Day. May I suggest, as a familiar alternative, that you grill chicken?

America’s favorite meat, chicken is a delicious source of lean protein and nutrients that is budget-friendly and can easily be prepared in numerous ways. There are those who insist that cooking chicken on the bone results in more flavorful meat. Others don’t want the hassle of dealing with bones — or the reminder that their chunks of chicken meat once had bones. Whichever camp you fall into, we’ve got you covered. And you can swap one for the other in any of these recipes. Bone-in needs a bit more cooking time, so adjust accordingly.

The salty-sweet glaze on Gochujang Glazed Grilled Chicken gets a kick of heat from the gochujang, a Korean condiment made from fermented soybean paste and red chiles. If you want it spicier, add more gochujang. While the recipe calls for bone-in chicken, you can easily substitute boneless — just watch carefully once it is on the grill as it likely will cook faster. Also, due to the shorter time on the grill, it may not turn out as deeply burnished.


Cha Cha Cha Jerk Chicken conjures up flavors of the Caribbean using boneless chicken breasts. This recipe — a favorite at the once-popular Cha Cha Cha restaurant that closed its doors in 2016 — relies on red pepper flakes and cayenne rather than habanero chiles for the heat, making it a bit tamer than the usual.

Boneless breasts are also the preferred vehicle for Five-Spice Chicken, which uses traditional Chinese five-spice powder as a rub. A lemony soy sauce drizzled on the chicken when serving brightens the flavors.

Imbued with flavors of Southeast Asia, Coconut Chicken Skewers call for chicken tenders — the tenderloin, which is a bit juicier than the breast itself. The chicken soaks overnight in a marinade that starts with coconut milk and fish sauce before being strung onto lemongrass skewers and grilled.


Pieces of cut-up, bone-in chicken or boneless chicken thighs are threaded on flat metal skewers to make Chicken Kebab With Dried Lime and Mint. Dried limes, long used in Persian cuisine, along with Middle Eastern spices such as cardamom, turmeric and lots of mint, both dried and fresh, give this dish its distinctive, tangy flavor.

Chicken Kebab With Dried Lime and Mint

Dried limes, which have long been a staple of Persian cooking, impart to these tender, juicy chicken kebabs a special, distinctive tangy and earthy flavor.
Time1 hour 10 minutes, plus overnight marinating
YieldsServes 6 to 8

Cha Cha Cha Jerk Chicken

Along with the essential allspice, thyme and ginger, nine other herbs and spices, orange and pineapple juices comprise this jerk chicken marinade.
Time40 minutes
YieldsServes 6

Five-Spice Chicken

In a light chicken dish, the bright flavor comes from Chinese five-spice powder, a blend of star anise, fennel, cinnamon, cloves, Sichuan peppercorn.
Time1 hour
YieldsServes 4

Coconut Chicken Skewers

Marinated in coconut milk and herbs, these skewers pack a lot of flavor.
Time1 hour 10 minutes
YieldsMakes 12 skewers

Gochujang Glazed Grilled Chicken

Gochujang, a Korean fermented soybean paste with red chiles, gives this grilled chicken a little kick.
Time45 minutes
YieldsServes 6 to 8