Five Spice Roast Chicken: Savory and slightly sweet roast chicken marinaded and basted with five spice powder, soy sauce, and honey. A nice change up on roast chicken! | macheesmo.com
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Five Spice Roast Chicken

This is an update from the Macheesmo archives!

Five Spice Roast Chicken: Savory and slightly sweet roast chicken marinaded and basted with five spice powder, soy sauce, and honey. A nice change up on roast chicken! | macheesmo.com

One thing that I try to do every few months that’s an extremely economical way to eat and use meat: roasting a whole chicken. It provides a great meal, good leftovers, and enough stock to make even more meals in the future.

I think if there was one thing I wish I could convince people to do more of, it would be to move away from the boneless skinless breast situation and start using the whole bird.

For this version, I coated the chicken with a delicious five spice powder and a soy sauce and honey glaze. The chicken was very moist and had a delicious caramelized skin.

I’ve done a few roasted chickens for Macheesmo before (check out the roasted lemon chicken and the famous Zuni roasted chicken), but this guy is an entirely different creature. The spice gives the chicken a savory/sweet taste that is out of this world and the glaze makes it deliciously browned.

Yield
Serves 4.
Prep Time
Cook Time
Inactive Time
Total Time

Just a moment please...

Yum

Five Spice Roasted Chicken

Chinese five spice powder is a perfect spice for roasted chicken. The bird is also coated with a soy sauce and honey marinade that gives it a beautiful color.

Ingredients

1 whole chicken, giblets removed
Few inches of ginger, peeled and chopped
1/2 orange, cut into quarters
2 cloves garlic, halved
1 Tablespoon canola oil
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 Tablespoon sesame oil
1 Tablespoon honey
1 Tablespoon 5 spice powder (You can find this in some supermarkets or online or make your own.)

Helpful Equipment

Thermometer Microplane zester
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Directions

1) About an hour before cooking, get your chicken ready by folding the wings behind the bird so they don’t just flap around.

2) Mix up your canola, sesame oil, soy sauce, honey, and five spice powder in a bowl. Whisk it well to combine.

3) Pour your glaze all over the bird. Be sure to rub in the spiced liquid and get it all over the bird. Sprinkle on a little extra five spice powder.

4) Cover this with plastic wrap and let it marinade in the fridge for an hour or so. Halfway through, turn chicken over and re-coat the chicken with the liquid.

5) Prep your orange, ginger, and garlic. Add into the cavity of the chicken. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

6) Once your oven is hot, stick in your bird and set your timer for 20 minutes. If the bottom of your pan is dry, meaning that all the glaze has cooked down, add about 1/3 Cup water to your pan and scrape up the glaze so it liquefies again.

7) Cooking until chicken reaches 165 degrees (remember the chicken will rise 5 – 10 degrees while resting outside your oven), about an hour. Baste chicken ever 20 minutes. If the skin is looking too dark, cover it loosely with foil as it roasts.

8) When chicken reaches desired temperature, cover loosely with foil and let your meat rest about 10 minutes before you start slicing into it. That will give the juices some time to redistribute throughout the meat. If you don’t do this, your meat will be a lot dryer. And nobody likes dry meat people.

9) Then you can slice up the pieces for serving!

 

Adapted from a Serious Eats recipe.

Five Spice Roast Chicken

There are just a few ingredients in the glaze, but this is the most important one!

Five Spice Roast Chicken

Good stuff

 

To make the glaze just mix up your canola, sesame oil, soy sauce, honey, and five spice powder in a bowl. Whisk it well to combine.

Five Spice Roast Chicken

Boom.

Prepping the Chicken

About an hour before cooking, get your chicken ready by folding the wings behind the bird so they don’t just flap around. This will make sure they cook evenly. Otherwise they’ll be burned and dry. Then pour your glaze all over the bird. Be sure to rub in the spiced liquid and get it all over the bird. I also sprinkled on a little extra five spice powder because why not.

Cover this with some plastic wrap and let it marinade in the fridge for an hour or so. Halfway through, turn your chicken over and re-coat the chicken with the liquid.

Five Spice Roast Chicken

Marinate for an hour at least!

Right before you are ready to roast, prep your orange, ginger, and garlic.

Five Spice Roast Chicken

Good flavors!

Add these things into the cavity of the chicken before you stick it in the oven. As it cooks the oranges will release a lot of juice which will keep the chicken nice and moist and the ginger will give some flavor to the chicken from the inside. Good stuff.

Cooking the chicken

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Once your oven is hot, stick in your bird and set your timer for 20 minutes. The total cooking time will probably be closer to an hour depending on the size of your chicken (mine was 4 pounds). Every 20 minutes though, you want to pull out the chicken and brush the skin all over with the glaze that’s in the bottom of the pan.

This was after 20 minutes:

Five Spice Roast Chicken

Keep going!

If the bottom of your pan is dry, meaning that all the glaze has cooked down, add about 1/3 Cup water to your pan and scrape up the glaze so it liquefies again. Then spoon the glaze back over the chicken.

The only way to for sure know your bird is done is to use a meat thermometer. I highly recommend picking one up. Depending on your oven and the size of your bird, cooking time can vary quite a bit. The GOV recommends an internal cooking temp of 165 for poultry and I usually pull mine at about 160 as the temp will raise 5-10 degrees while resting.

This time around my finished bird registered right around 163 F. in the thickest part of the thigh. This is close enough for me!

Five Spice Roast Chicken

Done deal.

If at any point the skin on the bird is looking too dark, just loosely cover it with foil and keep roasting.

This is my finished bird. I checked on it two times while cooking and spooned the sauce back over the bird, basting it with the glaze. It was a thing of beauty!

Five Spice Roast Chicken: Savory and slightly sweet roast chicken marinaded and basted with five spice powder, soy sauce, and honey. A nice change up on roast chicken! | macheesmo.com

Resting

Anytime you are roasting meat, one of the most important things to remember is to let your meat rest about 10 minutes before you start slicing into it. That will give the juices some time to redistribute throughout the meat. If you don’t do this, your meat will be a lot dryer. And nobody likes dry meat people.

So once your bird is out, cover it loosely with foil and let it rest for about 10 minutes. Then you can slice up the pieces for serving! Whatever you do, don’t throw away the carcass! That’s good stock just waiting to happen.

When I’m carving a chicken, I always do wings, then legs and thighs and then the breast. If you need some help with this, this video does a good job of showing how to carve (Around minute 4:50 is when he starts carving).

These were my final pieces. My favorite pieces are the dark meat, but Betsy likes the white meat. It works out nicely for us.

Five Spice Roast Chicken: Savory and slightly sweet roast chicken marinaded and basted with five spice powder, soy sauce, and honey. A nice change up on roast chicken! | macheesmo.com

I served this five spice roast chicken with a small salad and some starch… either rice or couscous is great.

This might look like a lot of work, but it really isn’t. Most of the time the chicken is sitting in the frisdge or sitting in the oven!

The five spice powder gave the chicken an amazing, almost sweet, flavor. I really liked the results.

16 comments on “Five Spice Roast Chicken

  1. @Nick – Very nice use of the chicken! I am wondering, are you using a normal supermarket chicken, or a free-range one?

    One trick that I like to do is pour some of the marinade inside the cavity before stuffing the bird. I find that for some reason, it just adds to the whole experience.

    @Dan – As long as the meat and bones that go into the stock do not have the glaze on it, the stock should taste just fine.

    I love how you used the WHOLE chicken here Nick. Kudos to you, and I am so stealing this for my banquet menu!

    1. I meant to write a bit more on the chicken I used… I used a brand called "Pollo Buono" from Whole Foods. It's an Italian Heritage breed.. I'm not sure that it actually has the "organic" label, but it's hormone/antibiotic free and raised slowly on a few farms in PA.

      It had amazing flavor almost that of a game bird. In my mind it's what chicken should taste like… a much stronger flavor than the boneless skinless people are used to. Also, the breasts are much smaller than some supermarket birds..I would say maybe 1/3 of the size.

      Here's some more info on Pollo Buono.

      They run about $4/pound I think… kinda pricey for a full bird, but definitely worth it in my opinion. It was the first time I'd tried this bird, but I'll definitely be buying it again. I was very impressed by the flavor and quality of the bird.

  2. @Nick – Good on you! I never could guess why someone would spend a ton of money on a good steak, but buy a crappy chicken. After I watched Food Inc., I kind of swore off the crap chickens for 2$ a pound at the supermarket.

    I find that if one uses the WHOLE chicken, it actually comes out to the same price as the cut up CRAP chicken. Sometimes even less.

    That is the thing – butchering your own can be a very easy process, liberating actually. I think that the proice would come out about the same at that point. I guess more thoughts on that later.

  3. I have been using my crockpot to make stock. Just throw the carcas in and cover with water, add chopped onion, carrot, celery and spices. Cook on low.

  4. We just had this chicken for dinner and it was awesome! It's such a great way to use up some of the ingredients in your cupboard that may not be getting much attention – I don't use sesame oil too often.

    I'll have to check out that chicken at Whole Foods too. :D

  5. Hey, I just made this tonight and somehow managed to house an entire chicken with sides between me and my roommate. I love the idea of using 5-spice on this, but I changed it up a little bit, swapping balsamic vinegar in for the rice stuff, using the juice from the other half of the orange in the sauce, and adding some Sriracha. The balsamic gave it a nice, further sweetness, and the sauce was great reduced down a little bit before serving until it was like a syrup. Good looks on the recipe, and big ups for pushing the idea of buying whole chickens and making your own stock.

  6. Love the blog. This recipe looked so good I couldn't help but comment.

    I'm wondering how you would adapt the recipe to use chicken parts instead of a whole chicken. I like food, but I can't eat a whole chicken by myself!

    1. Sure… you can definitely use the spice on any chicken pieces as well. Just use it kind of like a dry rub and roast the chicken as you would normally. You could do drumsticks or breasts or whatever. If possible, I'd leave the skin on… the extra fat helps the flavors get all delicious.

  7. Hi I cooked drumsticks with a marinade similar to yours but a little bit different.
    For the marinade
    1 tbsp oil
    3 cloves garlic, chopped
    2 tbsp grated fresh root ginger
    1 tbsp Shaoxing rice wine or dry sherry
    2 tbsp light soy sauce
    2 tsp five-spice powder
    2 tbsp honey
    1kg chicken drumsticks, skin on
    marinated overnight and cooked in oven 180C/350F/Gas 4.
    Place the chicken drumsticks onto a roasting tray and roast for 30 minutes, or until the skin is golden and the chicken is cooked through.
    Served with rice with peas and stir fried veges. yummy I might try your marinade next time. Good tip about stock tnx

  8. Pollo Buono is the best! I get mine at a discount from a grocery outlet. Baked some last night and it came out amazing. All I did was throw the drumsticks in my toaster oven with a spoonful of chimichurri on each piece. They had a very rich meaty flavor and were huge–perfect because to me, the best part of the chicken is the dark meat, of which there is a lot. Also I noticed that the bones are a lot sturdier and make wonderful soups and stock.

    My friend sat there telling me how much she hates eating chicken skin because of its spongy, fatty texture… as she is tearing into a piece of skin-on chicken that was crispy and caramelized. Success! :)

    I will never buy Perdue again as long as I live.

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