A cross between a roasted chicken & peking duck, this peking chicken 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 this five spice Peking chicken recipe -just marinate, stick it in the oven and away we go!
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.
I had a chicken, so that was what I was going to work with.
Time to play around to make a cross breed recipe 🙂
For this Peking chicken recipe, most ingredients here should be easily found at your local grocery store.
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 colour that it gives the peking chicken skin.
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. 😛
PUTTING IT TOGETHER
The steps in this Peking chicken 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:
- 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.
- Cook the Chicken.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
ERR…HOW DO I KNOW THE CHICKEN IS DONE?
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.
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).
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.
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.
- 1 whole chicken
- 1/2 teaspoon five spice powder (for dusting the cavity)
- 1/4 cup light soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons dark soy sauce (for colour)
- 1 tablespoons sugar
- 5-6 slices ginger
- 1 teaspoon five spice powder (for marinade)
For Basting Sauce
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup (or honey)
- Lightly dust the inside of the chicken with 1/2 tsp of five spice powder
- In a large bowl or ziploc bag, combine the marinade and coat the chicken in it. Marinate for a minimum of 4 hours. (Preferably overnight)
Prepping the Chicken
- Remove the chicken from the fridge 30 minutes prior to cooking it and stuff the chicken with the ginger that it was marinating it.
- 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)
- 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
- 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
- Pre-heat the oven to 350F (177C)
- 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)
- For the last 30 minutes, start basting it every 10-15 minutes with the basting sauce.
- 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.
- Let the chicken rest for 10-15 minutes before cutting it.
- Enjoy! 🙂
This chicken pairs amazingly with Ginger Scallion Sauce
- Serving Size: 1 Serving
- Calories: 1197 kcal
- Sugar: 13 g
- Sodium: 878 mg
- Fat: 71 g
- Carbohydrates: 15 g
- Protein: 127 g