A cross between a roasted chicken and peking duck, this recipe is for days when you have that craving for peking duck but chicken is all you have to work with. 

Chicken, love it to pieces! Whole chicken? Even better! Whole chickens around here means there’s plenty of leftovers for noodles, stir-fries, fried rice, nachos and the best part? No need for any complicated prep work with it. Just marinate, stick it in the oven and away we go!


Oven Roasted Five Spice Peking Chicken


So you can imagine how often we have whole roasted chicken, typically it’s roasted with a bit of oil and some form of dry spice but today was different – I wanted peking duck, but lets be honest here, duck is not always easy to come by and who always has it laying around at home? I know I don’t. Do you?

I had a chicken, so that was what I was going to work with.

Time to play around to make a cross breed recipe 🙂



Most ingredients here should be easily found at your local grocery store.

Oven Roasted Five Spice Peking Chicken


A quick note about dark soy sauce as not everyone may have this in their pantry. It is a less salty than your average soy sauce with dark and syrupy in consistency. It gives meats that nice brown colour in Asian cooking. You can omit it but you might lose some of that nice golden brown that it gives the chicken.


GINGER SCALLION SAUCE (the only sauce you will ever need, seriously)

You can find detailed instructions on how to make it and what to use this sauce on here: Ginger Scallion Sauce.

Tip #1: When I use the leftover chicken for fried rice or noodles, there is usually a bit of ginger scallion sauce leftover as well. If you have extra sauce, toss it into the rice for some extra flavour. Fried rice is ALWAYS better with a bit of grated ginger. I told you this would be the only sauce you will ever need. 😛


Ginger Scallion Sauce



The steps in this recipe are actually very similar to my ‘Sweet and Sticky Chinese BBQ Pork (aka Char Siu)‘ recipe, the only difference is one uses a grill\smoker and the other uses an oven.

An easy way for me to remember is to break it down into 4 simple steps:

  1. Marinate. There’s nothing to this. Dust 1/2 teaspoon of five spice inside the cavity of the chicken, then combine all the marinating ingredients into a ziplock or a large bowl with the chicken. You want to marinate the chicken for a minimum of 4 hours, preferably overnight.
  2. Cook the Chicken.
    1. Remove the chicken from the fridge 30 minutes before putting it in the oven. Stuff the ginger slices that you used for marinating into the chicken.
    2. Pre-heat the oven, and put the chicken in when it has come up to temperature. I highly suggest using a rack so that there is proper airflow to allow the chicken to crisp up a bit. If you don’t have a rack, you can crunch up foil into little balls to hold it up.
  3. Create the Basting Sauce. Cook the remaining marinade over the stovetop and add honey or maple syrup at the very end to sweeten and slightly thicken it.
  4. Basting. This is where the magic begins. In the first 20 minutes of the roasting the chicken will release its oil from the skin. Use a brush and baste the chicken with the drippings for the first hour, every 20 mins. After the hour mark baste with the basting sauce every 10 minutes, approximately 2-3 times.

Tip #2: If your chicken doesn’t have oil drippings, you can use a tablespoon of oil and baste it with that.


Oven Roasted Five Spice Peking Chicken



Cooking time will always be different and vary for everyone depending on how the oven temperatures are and big the chicken is.

I highly recommend a digital meat thermometer to take the guessing game out of how long to cook meat. Insert the digital thermometer at the thickest part of the chicken, which is usually the thigh.


Oven Roasted Five Spice Peking Chicken


When I first started using the digital thermometer for chicken, I had a very hard time finding the right spot and I would always insert it between the drums and the thigh which is just…skin! doh! You want to make sure it is inserted into the meat – not the gap between the drum and the thigh. 🙂


I took it out of the oven when it reached 165F (74C). For me, it took about 1 hour and 30 minutes to reach that temperature at 350F (177C).


Oven Roasted Five Spice Peking Chicken


Let the chicken sit for an additional 10-15 minutes before carving into it to allow the juices to redistribute into the meat, and so you don’t burn your fingers. 🙂


The Kitchn has a great read on ‘Chicken Still Pink After Cooking? Don’t Panic‘ that explains the safety of the doneness of chicken. 



Oven Roasted Five Spice Peking Chicken

Oven Roasted Five Spice Peking Chicken
5 from 4 votes
Oven Roasted Five Spice Peking Chicken
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
1 hrs 30 mins
Total Time
1 hrs 40 mins

A cross between a roasted chicken and peking duck, this recipe is for days when you have that craving for peking duck but chicken is all you have to work with. 

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: asian
Servings: 5
Author: Pups with Chopsticks
  • 1 whole chicken
  • 1/2 tsp five spice powder (for dusting in the cavity)
  • 1/4 cup light soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp dark soy sauce (for colour)
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 5-6 slices ginger
  • 1 tsp five spice powder (for marinade)
For Basting Sauce
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup (or honey)
  1. Lightly dust the inside of the chicken with 1/2 tsp of five spice powder

  2. In a large bowl or ziplock bag, combine the marinade and coat the chicken in it. Marinate for a minimum of 4 hours. (Preferably overnight)

Prepping the Chicken
  1. Remove the chicken from the fridge 30 minutes prior to cooking it and stuff the chicken with the ginger that it was marinating it. 

  2. Setup a tray with a rack and set the chicken on it. (If you don't have a rack, you can crunch up foil balls and set the chicken on it, you need airflow to roast the chicken optimally)

  3. If you are using a digital thermometer, insert it into the thickest part of the chicken, usually into the thigh without touching the bone. (Not between the drums and the thigh, but the thigh itself)

Making the Basting Sauce
  1. With the leftover marinade, cook it in a small pot over the stop top for 5-10 minutes and add in 2 tablespoons of maple syrup or honey at the end to sweeten and thicken it. Set this aside for basting at the end.

Roasting the Chicken
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350F (177C)

  2. After 20 minutes, you should see oil drippings. Baste the chicken with the oil every 20 minutes for an hour. (If you don't get any oil drippings, you can use 1-2 tablespoon of oil)

  3. For the last 30 minutes, start basting it every 10-15 minutes with the basting sauce.

  4. Remove chicken when the temperature hits 165F(74C), which is about 1 hour and 30 minutes of cooking. This may vary depending on the size of the chicken and the stove settings.

  5. Let the chicken rest for 10-15 minutes before cutting it.

  6. Enjoy! 🙂

Recipe Notes

This chicken pairs amazingly with Ginger Scallion Sauce




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18 thoughts on “Oven Roasted Five Spice Peking Chicken”

  1. Oh my that bird looks fantastic. I’ve made the mistake of roasting a sweet glazed chicken at a higher temperature and not been too happy with the results. I think 350F is just right. I am a big, big fan of asian flavoured roast chicken served with dipping sauces and the ginger scallion sauce looks perfect. Props on using an instant read thermometer as well. One thing – I am not a big fan of 5 spice (weird, I know). Is there something you think I could substitute?

    1. I actually did the same thing a few times with putting the oven up to 400F, because logic says hotter means crispier! haha I got blacken chicken instead. A lot of people are actually not a fan of five spice, possibly the anise taste a little like licorice? Hrmmm I’d say just go for a pinch of cinnamon and that might work or omit it altogether, i’d probably even throw in a few whole cloves of garlic into the cavity with the ginger to give it some more flavour! but to be honest, I find it’s the sweet glaze is what makes the chicken 🙂

  2. This chicken looks delicious, especially that flavorful skin. And I can’t wait to try that ginger scallion sauce. I agree on the thermometer recommendation – buying a meat thermometer has saved me from ever having a dry chicken again – definitely a must!

    1. I don’t know how I survived before a meat thermometer. I swear I was blind cooking meat before it haha. *High-Five* for no more dry meat! Seriously one of the best purchases in my kitchen. If you make nothing else, I’d highly suggest the sauce. Wierd eh? That stuff is magic and goes on everything and takes 5 minutes to make. 🙂

  3. There’s nothing in the world like a gorgeous roasted chicken and yours is BEYOND gorgeous! The color on it is spectacular– my mouth is watering already. Love the use of the five spice powder here and great tips on checking for chicken doneness (my worst fear in life is undercooked chicken– not even kidding) Can’t wait to try it!

    1. Aww thanks Alyssa! 🙂 Terry has a fear of raw chicken as well haha so it’s not uncommon here to just see him nuking it in the microwave ‘just to be sure’

  4. What a delicious looking recipe! You’re right, I always think about making peking duck, but am never motivated enough o hunt one down. Chicken on the other hand is so easy. Your chicken looks absolutely beautiful, I look forward to seeing if I can replicate it! Ginger scallion sauce is always one of my favorites. Especially for chicken dishes.

    1. How I see is, chickens are easy to come by so why not use it right? and when you make it enough time, you will be well seasoned enough to tackle the duck! and yes the sauce is so so awesome even with just plain rice. 🙂 Thank you for your kind words Danielle!

  5. These chicken pictures look absolutely gorgeous! I always roast my chicken the same way, and have been needing an exciting new method. I’d love to try this! With my big crew of kids here, I have to cook 2 chickens to feed everyone (and sadly no leftovers, haha!). Do you think this recipe would double well?

    1. For some odd reason I always have a surplus of chickens laying around here haha and I myself always just go for the dry rubs as well. Auto-pilot haha. Yes this doubles well! 🙂 There’s nothing to this recipe, just the marinating and the basting and you won’t run out of baste – I had extra! 🙂

  6. Even if I hadn’t read the recipe, I’d want to make this gorgeous chicken based on the photographs! This is the sexiest chicken I’ve ever seen and I want to eat it immediately! Thanks for sharing! Oh, and yes, I did read the recipe lol. Pinning for later!

  7. Oh ! This is one of my kind of delicious spicy (i.e. the 5-spice powder) yummy chicken and the ginger/onion dip. Your receipe is easy to make . Thanks Joyce

  8. The pictures are making me drool. I agree with the use of dark soy sauce too for the colour; it looks so tasty and I just want to reach through my computer screen and eat it! I need to try this recipe for sure! Thanks, Joyce!

    1. haha Thanks so much Marie. It sucks you live so far away, I’d totally drop by with one just to share!! 🙂

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