Thursday, December 22, 2011

Roasted Five Spice Chicken

Ever since I discovered five spice chicken, I've been ordering it like mad at Vietnamese restaurants. To date, it's my favorite meat accompaniment to both pho and vermicelli dishes.

I found and tweaked a recipe, and was very satisfied with the outcome. It's slightly less sweet than the versions at restaurants, but its flavors are much more amplified.  I am a huge fan of the spices. The toasted crushed star star anise is crucial – it imparts this really deep smokey sweet flavor that makes me swoon.

Only one piece was left for photographing...we'd eaten the rest :x

Roasted Five Spice Chicken
Adapted from Epicurious

Servings: 3-4
Time: 20 minutes active time + an overnight marination

Ingredients:
  •  1.5 lbs chicken, preferably dark meat
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp sliced ginger (mine were about 2mm thick)
  • 2 tbsp minced garlic
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp oriental five-spice powder
  • 1/2 tbsp sea salt
  • 4 whole star anise, lightly toasted for 3 minutes, pounded into powder

Instructions:
  1. Prep your meat: trim the chicken of any excess fat. Make 3-4 slashes in each piece to allow for better marinade penetration + quicker cooking time.
  2. Make the marinade: mix together the oil, soy sauce, ginger, garlic, sugar, turmeric, five-spice powder, and salt.
  3. Plop the meat into the marinade, coating all surfaces and crevices well. Leave covered in your fridge overnight. (Or for a minimum of four hours, if you must).
  4. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Cover a baking sheet with foil, and place a grill rack (with stands) on top. Place the chicken on the grill rack and sprinkle the toasted star anise powder on top. 
  5. Place the chicken into the oven. At the 20 minute mark, turn each piece of chicken. Bake for 20 minutes more, making it a total of 40 minutes oven time. Cool a few minutes before serving.