When in doubt, make roasted chicken. That's how the saying goes, right? At least that's how it goes in my book. If I don't know what to make for dinner, I usually just throw a chicken in the oven with some vegetables and call it a day. And it always satisfies. Well, today I wanted to bring some Asian flavor to the mix so I decided to make five spice roasted chicken. This recipe requires a bit more effort because you have to marinate the chicken but it's still easy to prepare. The best part? All that flavor!
Five Spice Roasted Chicken
Five spice roasted chicken
- 2 lb chicken thighs or drumsticks skin-on, bone-in
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine
- 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon five spice powder
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
Spiced butter sauce
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon dark soy sauce
- ½ teaspoon five spice powder
- ½ teaspoon ground white pepper
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
- Prepare marinade for chicken. Combine soy sauce, Shaoxing wine, dark soy sauce, five spice powder, and sesame oil. Pour marinade over chicken, tossing to coat. Let sit for at least 2 hours or overnight, flipping chicken over halfway through.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Remove chicken from marinade, shaking off excess. Lay on parchment paper and let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.
- Roast chicken for 35-40 minutes or until juices run clear. Remove from oven and let rest for 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, make spiced butter sauce. Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and saute until browned, about 2 minutes. Add cumin, coriander, brown sugar, dark soy sauce, five spice powder, ground white pepper, and cinnamon, stirring until sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat.
- Arrange chicken on serving plate and drizzle sauce on top. Garnish with sesame seeds and cilantro. Serve immediately.
**Helpful tips and common mistakes
Okay so I'll admit, when I want to just put a meal together last minute, this five spice roasted chicken won't make the cut. You have to marinate the chicken for at least two hours before cooking it. But there's an easy solution to that problem. Just marinate the chicken the night before! That way, the chicken will be ready to go straight to the oven the following day.
To make the marinade, combine soy sauce with Shaoxing wine, dark soy sauce, five spice powder, and sesame oil. If you can't find Shaoxing wine, substitute it with sherry wine. Dark soy sauce is thicker and slightly sweeter than regular soy sauce; if you can't find it, use regular soy sauce instead and add ½ teaspoon of sugar.
I always just use storebought five spice powder but you can also make your own. To make your own, toast 2 tablespoons of fennel seeds with 1 tablespoon Sichuan peppercorns, 1 teaspoon cloves, 3 star anise, and 1 cinnamon stick. Then, transfer everything to a spice grinder and pulse until finely ground.
Pour the marinade over the chicken and let it sit for at least 2 hours. I used chicken thighs and drumsticks but you can also use chicken breasts. Keep in mind, you may have to increase the cooking time to make sure the chicken breast is thoroughly cooked.
Once the chicken has soaked in all those delicious flavors, remove it from the marinade, shaking off the excess. Lay the chicken on a lined baking sheet and let it sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. This will help the chicken cook more evenly.
Roast the chicken for about 35 minutes or until the juices run clear and the internal temperature is 165 degrees F. I suggest you check on the chicken after 20 minutes to make sure the skin is not getting too dark. If it is, loosely cover the meat with aluminum foil.
Remove the five spice roasted chicken from the oven and let it rest for 10 minutes to let the juices permeate. Meanwhile, make the finishing sauce. This finishing sauce is a must - it adds another wonderful layer of flavors.
Melt butter in a small saucepan and saute the garlic until golden brown. Add the remaining spices and ingredients and simmer until the sugar has melted. You don't want to make the sauce too far in advance or else it will harden.
Drizzle the finishing sauce on the roasted chicken and garnish with chopped cilantro and sesame seeds.
If you smelled this chicken while it was in the oven, you knew you were going to be in for a delicious meal. The five spice is present but not overwhelming and complements the chicken perfectly. The finishing sauce adds a bit of sweetness, making it taste almost like Asian bbq - and that's never a bad thing, right? This five spice roasted chicken was definitely worth the extra bit of work.
For more roasted chicken inspiration check out this roasted miso mushroom chicken!