How do you like your chicken? Roasted, baked, braised, poached, fried, or broiled? Well, how about having it sun-grilled? Yes, you read it right, eat your chicken cooked using the power of the Sun!
Thailand, the land of smiles is known all over the world for its delicious cuisine. But this particular dish called ‘Solar chicken’ is getting its popularity due to the peculiar way it is being cooked in. Phetchaburi, a small province of Thailand, is home to a palace that is referred to as the ‘palace of love and hope.’ It is here that a roadside vendor Sila Sutharat hoped to bring innovation in the way chicken was cooked.
Make way for delectable Sun-grilled chicken!
How did it start?
Sila Sutharat had a roadside stall where he would grill chicken over a traditional charcoal grill. One sunny day in 1999, Sutharat noticed several buses that were passing through his stall. The heat generated by the glass windows of the vans got him thinking if it could be used for cooking.
He started his ambitious experiment by arranging multiple mirrors to focus the sun rays in a small area. After many tests, he has installed a wall of 1000 adjustable mirrors that focus the sun rays over a row of chickens helping him cook a kilo of chicken in just 12 minutes. So strong is the solar power that he dons a welding mask to check on the chickens.
Solar chicken, a path-breaking invention
This simple installation is a path-breaking innovation owing to the facts that it does not incur any fuel cost, is non-polluting and churns out the most delicious, juicy, and evenly-cooked chicken. Sutharat, who is cooking chicken using the power of the Sun from the past 20 years, initially had to face many troublesome naysayers. But, when Phetchaburi Rajabhat University conferred an honorary degree in Science, his happiness knew no bounds as he has barely even cleared his fourth grade.
Most customers become an instant fan of the chicken, which is cooked to perfection, is juicy and does not smell of charcoal. Sutharat’s solar chicken was a local phenomenon but now is frequented by many foodies from the entire world.