Five Spice Roasted Chicken

Five Spice Roasted Chicken recipe by

Not all delicious, homemade Chinese dishes require practice and the right cooking skills.  Sometimes, all you need are the right flavors.

In this easy, Chinese-style chicken marinade, I combined many of the basic Chinese cooking ingredients – soy sauce, dark soy sauce, Shaoxing rice wine, toasted sesame oil, garlic, and ginger – with the warming, aromatic blend of Chinese Five Spice.

The result is a lip smackingly, salty-sweet Five Spice Roasted Chicken.

Five Spice Roasted Chicken by

While this Five Spice Roasted Chicken recipe is straightforward, it’s still important to find a quality Chinese Five Spice.  There are many varieties of Chinese Five Spice powders, but most can unfortunately be lumped together under the heading - Licorice.  Too much star anise and fennel will give the blend an overpoweringly licorice-like aroma and flavor.

Chinese Five Spice is about balance.  So whether it’s a traditional Sichuan-style Five Spice with the addition of tongue-tingling Sichuan pepper, or a Penang-style Five Spice with a citrusy twist and an extra bite from cardamom and nutmeg, Chinese Five Spice powder should be distinct, but balanced. 

Find that right balance, and you’ll be cooking up and enjoying an endless variety of Chinese dishes at home.  Start with this roasted chicken recipe, and then check back again soon when we post many more Chinese recipes using both Sichuan Five Spice and Penang Five Spice.

Sichuan-style Chinese Five Spice available at

Five Spice Roasted Chicken recipe by Season with Spice
Serves 4

4 whole chicken legs
1/4 cup of reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 tsp of dark soy sauce
1 tbsp of Shaoxing rice wine, or dry sherry
2 tsp of raw sugar
1 1/2 tsp of Season with Spice’s Sichuan-style Chinese Five Spice (or Penang Chinese Five Spice)
2 tsp of toasted sesame oil
2 large garlic cloves – minced
1 tbsp of freshly grated ginger

1. In a small bowl, add soy sauce, dark soy sauce, rice wine, and sugar. Whisk until sugar is dissolved. Add in our Sichuan-style Chinese Five Spice, as well as toasted sesame oil, garlic, and ginger. Stir well.
2. Using a skewer, poke a few holes around the chicken legs (to allow marinade to penetrate the skin and meat). Place the chicken and marinade in a resealable, plastic bag, and shake around to coat chicken well. Refrigerate for 3-4 hours or overnight.
3. When ready to cook, preheat oven to 400F.
4. Place the marinated chicken on a baking sheet. Roast chicken until skin is nicely browned and meat is fully cooked through – should take 40-50 minutes. Turn the chicken legs over twice during the roasting process.