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Chinese-Style Roasted Chicken

*Post by Angela.

This Rasa Malaysia recipe for roast chicken may not be quick & easy, but it does yield really great crispy skin and juicy, well-seasoned meat. Plus, I had all of the ingredients lying around the house except for the chicken. Incidentally, if you are a fan of making Chinese food at home, invest in a bottle of dry sherry. It comes up more than you would think.



  • 1 chicken, about 2 1/2 – 3 lbs
  • 4 garlic, lightly pounded
  • 1-inch piece ginger, peeled and sliced

For the marinade:

  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry sherry
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 dashes white pepper

For the skin coating:

  • 2 tablespoon Chinese rice vinegar (clear in color)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon dry sherry

First, I rinsed the chicken and patted it dry. As much as I love roasting chicken, I hate, hate, washing and drying chicken. It is a pain. Anyway, I trussed the chicken following the directions from this very simple video. I didn’t realize it until I read that post, but the reason you truss a chicken is to ensure a juicy breast. Good to know, as I HATE dry chicken breast and consequently, avoid making/eating it.


Next, I mixed the marinade ingredients in a small bowl and rubbed it all over the outside and inside of the chicken. I threw the garlic and ginger inside the cavity and then stuffed the whole chicken into a super huge plastic Ziploc bag and poured the marinade in over the top. Then I put it in the fridge (sitting inside of a large plate in case of leaks!) to marinate overnight, turning the bag once.


The next morning, I mixed the skin coating ingredients together a small bowl. I liberated the chicken from the plastic bag, removed the garlic and ginger in the cavity and scalded the chicken with hot boiling water by pouring the water all over the chicken (I’ve never done this before, but apparently it removes the marinade on the chicken skin.)

I shook the chicken off and aired dried it at room temperature for about 30 minutes or until the skin surface was no longer wet. Then I rubbed the skin coating mixture evenly on the chicken skin and continued to air dry the bird until dinner time using the harness technique I created when I made Peking duck last year.


Near dinner time, I heated up the oven to 400 degrees and roasted the chicken in a roasting pan for about 10-12 minutes breast side up, and then turned it over and roasted for an additional 45 minutes-hour, or until the skin was nicely brown or golden brown and the meat was cooked all the way through. I let the chicken rest, carved it up, and served it with some steamed white rice, drizzling both the meat and grains with the pan juices in the roasting pan.

Like I said up top, this is a bit of a time-consuming recipe. I'm not entirely sure I think it was worth all that effort. BUT it is pretty good, and given that I almost always have the ingredients for it, I wouldn't be surprised if I end up making it again sometime.

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