Have you tried Chinese 5-Spice Powder?
Chinese 5-Spice is an aromatic blend of star anise, cloves, cinnamon, Szechwan pepper and ground fennel seeds. The blend of spices is said to be the perfect balance for sweet and savory dishes and can be used in desserts just as easily as main courses. I use it here to give a flavorful, and easy, twist to a simple roast chicken.
The roast chicken is such a comforting dish and it is perfect for a weeknight. It requires ten minutes to prepare the bird and then roasts, unattended, in a 450 degree F oven for about an hour. Serve this chicken with some simple steamed rice and a salad and you have a dish easy enough for a weeknight, but nice enough for company! The left-over chicken, if you have any, is also good in fried rice.
5-Spice Roast Chicken (Serves 4-6)
- 1-2 to 3 pound whole chicken
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh cracked pepper, or Szechwan pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon Chinese 5-spice powder
- 1/2 white onion, cut into thirds
- 2 clove garlic, crushed with the side of a knife
- Non-stick cooking spray
- Heat the oven to 450 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with foil and on top of that place a metal rack that has been coated with non-stick cooking spray.
- Pat your chicken dry with a towel, and using your fingers gently separate the skin on the breast of the bird.
- In a small bowl combine the oil, salt, pepper and 5-spice. Mix well.
- Take 1/2 of the spice mixture and rub it under the loosened skin. Use the remaining mixture to coat the outside of the bird. Stuff the cavity of the bird with the onion and garlic.
- Place the bird on the prepared pan and bake for 50-60 minutes, or until both the thicket parts of the breast and the thigh register 165 F on a thermometer. Rest for ten minutes, uncovered, before carving.