One thing that I try to do every few months that’s an extremely economical way to eat and use meat: roasting a whole chicken. It provides a great meal, good leftovers, and enough stock to make even more meals in the future.
I think if there was one thing I wish I could convince people to do more of, it would be to move away from the boneless skinless breast situation and start using the whole bird.
For this version, I coated the chicken with a delicious five spice powder and a soy sauce and honey glaze. The chicken was very moist and had a delicious caramelized skin.
I’ve done a few roasted chickens for Macheesmo before (check out the roasted lemon chicken), but this guy is an entirely different creature. The spice gives the chicken a savory/sweet taste that is out of this world and the glaze makes it deliciously browned.
Five Spice Roasted Chicken
- 1 whole chicken, giblets removed
- Few inches of ginger, peeled and chopped
- ½ orange, cut into quarters
- 2 cloves garlic, halved
- 1 Tablespoon canola oil
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 Tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 Tablespoon honey
- 1 Tablespoon 5 spice powder, You can find this in some supermarkets or online or make your own.
- About an hour before cooking, get your chicken ready by folding the wings behind the bird so they don’t just flap around.
- Mix up your canola, sesame oil, soy sauce, honey, and five spice powder in a bowl. Whisk it well to combine.
- Pour your glaze all over the bird. Be sure to rub in the spiced liquid and get it all over the bird. Sprinkle on a little extra five spice powder.
- Cover this with plastic wrap and let it marinade in the fridge for an hour or so. Halfway through, turn chicken over and re-coat the chicken with the liquid.
- Prep your orange, ginger, and garlic. Add into the cavity of the chicken. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
- Once your oven is hot, stick in your bird and set your timer for 20 minutes. If the bottom of your pan is dry, meaning that all the glaze has cooked down, add about 1/3 Cup water to your pan and scrape up the glaze so it liquefies again.
- Cooking until chicken reaches 165 degrees (remember the chicken will rise 5 – 10 degrees while resting outside your oven), about an hour. Baste chicken ever 20 minutes. If the skin is looking too dark, cover it loosely with foil as it roasts.
- When chicken reaches desired temperature, cover loosely with foil and let your meat rest about 10 minutes before you start slicing into it. That will give the juices some time to redistribute throughout the meat. If you don’t do this, your meat will be a lot dryer. And nobody likes dry meat people.
- Then you can slice up the pieces for serving!
Did you make this recipe?
Five Spice Roast Chicken
There are just a few ingredients in the glaze, but this is the most important one!
To make the glaze just mix up your canola, sesame oil, soy sauce, honey, and five spice powder in a bowl. Whisk it well to combine.
Prepping the Chicken
About an hour before cooking, get your chicken ready by folding the wings behind the bird so they don’t just flap around. This will make sure they cook evenly. Otherwise they’ll be burned and dry. Then pour your glaze all over the bird. Be sure to rub in the spiced liquid and get it all over the bird. I also sprinkled on a little extra five spice powder because why not.
Cover this with some plastic wrap and let it marinade in the fridge for an hour or so. Halfway through, turn your chicken over and re-coat the chicken with the liquid.
Right before you are ready to roast, prep your orange, ginger, and garlic.
Add these things into the cavity of the chicken before you stick it in the oven. As it cooks the oranges will release a lot of juice which will keep the chicken nice and moist and the ginger will give some flavor to the chicken from the inside. Good stuff.
Cooking the chicken
- Want to grill instead of roast? Try this Grilled Spatchcock Chicken!
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Once your oven is hot, stick in your bird and set your timer for 20 minutes. The total cooking time will probably be closer to an hour depending on the size of your chicken (mine was 4 pounds). Every 20 minutes though, you want to pull out the chicken and brush the skin all over with the glaze that’s in the bottom of the pan.
This was after 20 minutes:
If the bottom of your pan is dry, meaning that all the glaze has cooked down, add about 1/3 Cup water to your pan and scrape up the glaze so it liquefies again. Then spoon the glaze back over the chicken.
The only way to for sure know your bird is done is to use a meat thermometer. I highly recommend picking one up. Depending on your oven and the size of your bird, cooking time can vary quite a bit. The GOV recommends an internal cooking temp of 165 for poultry and I usually pull mine at about 160 as the temp will raise 5-10 degrees while resting.
This time around my finished bird registered right around 163 F. in the thickest part of the thigh. This is close enough for me!
If at any point the skin on the bird is looking too dark, just loosely cover it with foil and keep roasting.
This is my finished bird. I checked on it two times while cooking and spooned the sauce back over the bird, basting it with the glaze. It was a thing of beauty!
Anytime you are roasting meat, one of the most important things to remember is to let your meat rest about 10 minutes before you start slicing into it. That will give the juices some time to redistribute throughout the meat. If you don’t do this, your meat will be a lot dryer. And nobody likes dry meat people.
So once your bird is out, cover it loosely with foil and let it rest for about 10 minutes. Then you can slice up the pieces for serving! Whatever you do, don’t throw away the carcass! That’s good stock just waiting to happen.
When I’m carving a chicken, I always do wings, then legs and thighs and then the breast. If you need some help with this, this video does a good job of showing how to carve (Around minute 4:50 is when he starts carving).
These were my final pieces. My favorite pieces are the dark meat, but Betsy likes the white meat. It works out nicely for us.
- Want a different delicous roast chicken option? Try this Palestinian Roast Chicken!
I served this five spice roast chicken with a small salad and some starch… either rice or couscous is great.
This might look like a lot of work, but it really isn’t. Most of the time the chicken is sitting in the frisdge or sitting in the oven!
The five spice powder gave the chicken an amazing, almost sweet, flavor. I really liked the results.