This Chinese roast chicken recipe is 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 Chinese roast chicken 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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Made this chicken and it was amazing and simple. My family loved it.. especially the ginger scallion. I added honey to my marinade and marinated for 6-7 hours. Will definitely be cooking this regularly as it reminds me of roast chicken my grandmother use to make.
Joyce Lee says
It makes me so happy to hear that it's just like something grandmother would make! Thanks for taking the time to write back!
I made this recipe today for my first dinner party since the pandemic and my friends inhaled the chicken as well as the scallion ginger sauce. I took the chicken out of the oven at 160 but the thighs still looked pink when I cut into it after resting so I cut it into pieces and put it back in the oven for another 15 minutes as I am always afraid of getting sick from undercooked meat. It was moist and flavorful. Thank you!
Joyce Lee says
I am so happy you all liked this! I'm always very happy to share and you guys really made my day!
Sounds like you had a fantastic time too!
Louise Droker says
I made this for Chinese New Year and my husband’s comment was, “I don’t know if it was the chicken, or how you made it, but it is fantastic!” It definitely was the recipe. Adding this to my favorites.
Joyce Lee says
Oh my gosh, you really made my day! I'm so happy you both liked it! Hope you both have a wonderful Chinese New Year with lots of yummies!
Wonderful recipe! So much flavour. I made extra sauce for the rice and veg. I also made the ginger scallion sauce, delicious. I didn’t have time to marinate the chicken, and it still was packed with flavour. This recipe is a keeper. Thanks.
Joyce Lee says
I am so happy you came back to share this with me. Thank you, you really made my day!
Can you bake the chicken in an air fryer?
Joyce Lee says
I have not tried to bake this in an air fryer, so I am not sure.
Sorry I couldn't be more help
You sure could, but I wouldn't try that with the whole bird. I'd go with pieces, boneless and skin on. Follow your air fryers directions to cook the chicken parts as the specific parts are listed. Mine is about 12 min for leg/thigh and 15 for breasts.
I'd keep the pieces skin side up and baste frequently.
Gary Wirt says
I cooked this Peking chicken recipe today. It was great. I have a beautiful photo of it coming out of the oven (almost black). Apparently, I cannot post the photo here....and I do not participate on any social media platform because of the huge amount of ongoing, disgusting, disinformation on social media.
I followed the recipe exactly, including the dark & light soy sauce combination. I marinated the chicken for 4 hours. It was seasoned perfectly. I do not see a reason to marinate the chicken overnight. I used my Meater+ wireless (bluetooth) thermometer to cook the chicken to 167° F. If you do not have a Meater+, you should think about getting one. It's a great product (No, I do not own any of their stock). The chicken was very moist, flavorful & cooked to perfection.
I used the "convection roast" feature on my oven which helps to crisp-up the skin.
From start to finish for a 4½ pound chicken, the time required was 2 hours including a 15-minute rest. The Meater+ thermometer tells you when to remove the chicken from the oven to rest (to meet your target temperature), and then announces when the chicken is ready to eat.
My wife & I served the chicken with steamed jasmine rice and a Thai butternut squash dish prepared with green curry, coconut milk, basil, & lime. It was a nice combination.
Joyce Lee says
I am so happy this turned out for you! That meat thermometer actually looks really neat, this would be so useful for us in the wintertime when we BBQ! When we smoke meat in the wintertime, it'd be nice to just see what the temperature of the meat is without constantly going outside in the -20 weather. I am a huge avid of meat thermometers as well so I really appreciate you showing me this!
Your dinner with your wife sounds amazing, especially with that Thai butternut squash - yum. Thanks for coming back and sharing this with me!
Andrea Strauss says
Has anyone spatchcocked the chicken? If so how long would you roast it? Making it tonight and thought I might increase the oven temp to 375 to get a crispy skin.