Dinner Tonight: Chinese Five-Spice Lacquered Chicken Recipe

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Dinner Tonight: Chinese Five-Spice Lacquered Chicken Recipe

I've been on a little bit of a braised chicken kick lately, so it was nice to get back in the roasting game with this delicious dish. Nothing is left to chance here. The chicken is stuffed with aromatics, glazed with a quick sauce, and then sprinkled with five-spice powder. It's basted during the roasting process to get the skin beautifully browned and crisp. Then the sucker is carved and dipped in another sauce. Sounds like overkill, but it all works for some reason.

I might have to thank the five-spice powder. I bought it about four months ago for absolutely no reason. I was at Penzey's Spices, and it smelled good. Something happens when I'm there, and I feel like I need spices that I've never used before. That day I just happened to need a blend of China cassia cinnamon, star anise, anise seed, ginger, and cloves. It went unused until now. Oh, I've occasionally reached over, opened the bottle, and smelled it, but that's really been the end of it.

I'm glad I put it to use here. Its gorgeous aroma does wonders for this dish. And it only looks like a bunch of ingredients. The chicken and the sauce have many of the same ingredients. This recipe, adapted from the Food Network Kitchens Cookbook, is actually rather simple to prepare.


  • For the chicken:
  • 1 chicken, giblets removed
  • 3 scallions, chopped
  • 1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and chopped
  • Zest of 1/2 an orange
  • 2 teaspoons canola oil
  • 2 teaspoons dark sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons five-spice powder
  • For the sauce:
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons dark sesame oil
  • Zest of 1/2 an orange
  • 1/4 inch piece of ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 scallion, thinly sliced


  1. 1.

    Preheat the oven to 425°F. Start with the chicken. Stuff the scallion, ginger, and orange zest into the chicken cavity. Whisk together the canola oil, sesame oil, honey, and soy sauce. Brush the chicken with the mixture and then sprinkle with the five-spice powder.

  2. 2.

    Place the chicken into a roasting pan and set in the oven. Cook for about an hour, or until the internal temp is 170°F. Three times during the cooking, baste the chicken with the juices in the roasting pan. Remove the chicken and let rest for 10 minutes before carving.

  3. 3.

    Meanwhile, make the sauce. Whisk together the soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, orange zest, ginger, garlic clove, and scallion.

  4. 4.

    Carve the chicken and serve with the sauce on the side for dipping.