A cross between a roasted chicken & Peking duck, this Peking chicken recipe is for days when you have that craving for a Peking duck but chicken is all you have to work with
Chicken, love it to pieces! It's easy to find, reasonably priced and takes on the flavors you marinate it in and in this case, it's soy sauce and five spice!
This Peking chicken is super easy to make and just requires a bit of extra time for it to be marinated. Once it has marinated, you can stick it in the oven and voila you have a flavorful and arromatic Peking chicken, your house will smell amazing!
INGREDIENTS FOR PEKING CHICKEN
- Chicken - For this recipe, I used a whole chicken but you can easily switch it up and use chicken drums or chicken legs as well.
- Soy Sauce - I use both light soy sauce and dark soy sauce for this recipe. The dark syrupy soy sauce gives the chicken its dark color and the light soy sauce gives the chicken it's flavor and saltiness. If you cannot find dark soy sauce, you can omit it but you will lose out on the brown coloring on the skin.
- Sugar - I have used sugar, honey and maple syrup in this recipe and it works well with all of them.
- Ginger - I highly recommend using fresh ginger for this recipe. Ground ginger powder doesn't give it the same flavor and I find it too strong.
- Five Spice - For this recipe, I use Chinese five spice powder.
GINGER SCALLION SAUCE (Pairs Wonderfully with Peking Chicken)
This sauce is essentially 4 ingredients (salt, oil, green onions, and ginger) and it packs a lot of flavors. To use it, you would spread the green onion and ginger over the chicken and then eat it! I find it goes amazing mixed in with white rice as well.
You can find detailed instructions on how to make it and what to use this sauce on here: Ginger Scallion Sauce.
4 SIMPLE STEPS TO THE PERFECT PEKING CHICKEN
- Marinate. Dust ½ 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 under the chicken to allow it to crisp up a bit. If you don't have a rack, you can crunch up foil into little balls and rest the chicken on top of it.
- 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. (If your chicken doesn't have oil drippings, you can use a tablespoon of oil and baste it with that.) After the hour mark, baste the chicken with the basting sauce every 10 minutes, approximately 2-3 times or until the marinade is finished.
HOW DO YOU 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 the chicken.
LOOKING FOR OTHER OVEN ROASTED MEAT RECIPES? TRY THESE!
- Sweet and Sticky Char Siu (Chinese BBQ Pork)
- Herb Roasted Turkey Legs
- Coffee Rub Roasted Turkey Thighs
- Sweet & Sticky Coca Cola Ribs
NEED A STUFFED ROASTED CHICKEN INSTEAD?
If you are craving a stuffed roasted chicken instead, head on over to The Hungry Bites and try out his 'Greek Whole Stuffed Chicken with Rice and Chestnuts' recipe!
DID YOU MAKE THIS PEKING CHICKEN?
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Oven Roasted Five Spice Peking Chicken
- This chicken pairs amazingly with Ginger Scallion Sauce
- If you have leftover chicken, white rice and ginger scallion sauce the next day, throw it all together in a frying pan with an egg and a bit of soy sauce for a Peking chicken fried rice!
- 1 whole chicken
- ½ teaspoon five-spice powder (for dusting the cavity)
- ¼ cup light soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons dark soy sauce (for the dark brown color)
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 5-6 slices ginger
- 1 teaspoon five-spice powder
For Basting Sauce
- Leftover marinade (cooked)
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup (or honey)
- Lightly dust the inside of the chicken with ½ 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 in the marinade.
- Set up 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 an external 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 on low heat.
- 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)
- Once the oven has reached 350F, place the chicken in the oven.
- 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 and brush it on instead.)
- Once the chicken has cooked in the oven for an hour, start basting it with the basting sauce every 10-15 minutes or until the marinade is used up. (approximately 30 minutes)
- 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! 🙂
*Nutritional information is calculated using online tools and is an estimate*
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Hi, this recipe looks delicious! I was wondering how you would make this recipe for chicken thighs? Would they five spice go under the skin? Would I also need to halve the marinade too? Will the time in the oven be different? Sorry to bother you about these questions!
Joyce Lee says
You're not bothering me at all! I'm always happy to help! 😊
You can definitely make this with chicken thighs, we do it all the time at home because I love dark meat and cooking individual portions!
I don't usually put five-spice under the skin. I just add it right into the marinade and marinate the chicken overnight. The marinade is usually pretty good at penetrating the meat.
As for the marinade, it will depend on how many chicken thighs you use. Are you using the chicken thigh only? or the chicken leg (both the thigh and the drum).
At home, we usually use the whole leg (both the thigh and the drum attached) and we usually make about 4 of those and keep the marinade amount the same as the recipe card since 4 chicken leg is almost the equivalent to a whole chicken. A whole chicken is about 3 lbs, so if you use about 3lbs of chicken thighs then I would keep the marinade the same as the recipe card. If you are not sure you can always make half only and if you find it is not enough to coat all the chicken then, I would make another half.
If you are cooking just the chicken thighs, then the cooking time will definitely be a bit different. You will most likely need to cook it for less time. The good news it, since it is dark meat it won't dry out if you do accidentally overcook it. I would probably cook it for 1 hour in total, but start basting the chicken with the sauce around 45 minutes (instead of the 1 hour, in the original recipe). This will also depend on how large the chicken thighs are as well. I like to put a cooked piece of chicken on a light-colored plate and either poke a hole through it with a fork/knife or cut a through it - if i see blood, then I put it back in the oven to cook it for a bit longer until it is cooked.
Hope everything makes sense? 😊
Hi Joyce! Yes thank you for taking the time to respond. It definitely makes sense. Thank you and will try this recipe out!!
Joyce Lee says
Wonderful! I hope it turns out and that you enjoy it! Cheers!
Amazing way to roast a chicken, thank you so much for posting it. I followed the recipe exactly and marinated overnight and it came out perfect, tastes so much like Peking duck but less greasy. It's a little tough to baste with the hot oil and then with the cooked marinade without getting splattered, but the results are worth the cleanup and burns. I wonder if there's a way to get more of the marinade to stick to the chicken instead of running off. Maybe spatchcocking the bird would help?
Joyce Lee says
I'm so happy this turned out for you and that you liked it! Spatchcocking the bird would definitely work, and it would take less time to cook as well!
I loved this recipe! I made some minor alterations to marinade to fit my own tastes by leaving out the sugar & adding some sesame oil & garlic. However, I still used honey when changing it to basting sauce. I was very happy with the end result with the 5 spice, ginger, garlic, & saltiness to the meat, & a mild sweetness on the skin & surface.
Joyce Lee says
I am so happy you liked this recipe! You made wonderful changes to it, and I'm glad you did to fit your taste! 🙂 Wonderful idea using a bit of sesame oil - I bet that added some wonderful flavors! I will definitely try adding a bit of that next time I make this!
Tender chickem but a tad bit too sweet for me
Ok so hear me out! I didn't make this with a whole chicken but I was looking for lunch ideas for wraps. I made a smaller amount of the marinade and added it to mini chicken breast fillets. Placed them in skewers and then put the skewers on top of a pyrex so all the juices would fall in there and roasted in the oven for about 25 minutes. Then, I removed the chicken from the skewers and into the juices where I shredded it with a tsp of hoisin sauce. Put it together in a simple wholemeal wrap with rocket, shredded cucumber, spring onions and additional hoisin sauce! One of the best lunches I've ever had! Thank you for the recipe!!!
Joyce Lee says
That is actually a brilliant idea! I love it! I love how you used Peking duck garnishes in your wrap too! It sounds heavenly!
I'm super happy you experimented with it and you liked it! 🙂 I'm happy to share!
Diane Thiel says
I am trying to do this with cornish game hens. Hope it works
Joyce Lee says
oooh! How did it turn out? I really need to try to cook some cornish hens! I keep forgetting to pick them up whenever I grocery shop! I have never had it before and am very curious about how different they are from chickens! 🙂
I’ve made this before with great results so made it for family last night. I marinated for about 4 hours and cooked it on a vertical roaster, which works beautifully. Everyone raved, even Mr. Fussy, my husband, who can take or leave most chicken. My adult daughter said it was the best meal Ii’d made so far during their visit. I defatted the pan juices and added them to the remaining boiled marinade to make a wonderful sauce that was great on the rice. A five-star winner for sure!
Joyce Lee says
I'm so happy this turned out for you and that everyone liked it! Using the leftover pan juice is a wonderful idea! I definitely will need to do this in my future batch!