Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Five Spice Roast Chicken and Ginger Scented Rice

We first had this recipe right after Penelope was born. My friend Katharine brought this to us for dinner. It was all prepared and I just had to put it in the oven. It was absolutely delicious. The rice was to die for and Austin has been hounding me ever since to get the recipe.

Remember how I know nothing about chicken. The recipe calls for a cut up chicken. It says 8 pieces about 3 1/2 pounds. I got to the store and I had no idea what to buy. I found packages with all the same kind of part and whole chickens, but I couldn't find a "cut up" chicken. Maybe I just missed it. I must have. I bought a "split chicken", which I thought was what I wanted. The poundage was about right, but when I opened the package I realized my mistake. The chicken is split in half, but that's it. Eek! What do I do? I decided to go ahead and prep it with the spices as is, but I have no idea how to proceed. I might even cook it and then figure out how to cut it up afterwards.

As I pulled it out to put atop the onions I decided to try and cut it. It was not fun! There's like bones and stuff and I think I cut through a rib cage. Just reminders that it's an actual animal and I don't like to think about that. But, I did it. Things will be going in the oven soon.

I've never worked with fresh ginger before. It smells great. Can't wait to taste everything.

This dish should be a five star meal. That's how I remember it before. This time it didn't turn out quite as good. It was still delicious, but I had a few issues that I'm not sure how to resolve. The rice was great, but I realized I need to mince the ginger much more than I did. I had it in slight chunks so sometimes you bit down on a thing of ginger and it was just a bit much. When Katharine brought me the rice you couldn't see the ginger at all, you just tasted it. I wonder what she did. I bet she grated the ginger or something. Also, the chicken was a bit greasier or something. The pan liquids didn't cook down as much as they did last time and carmelize the onions as much. Maybe I just needed to cook it all longer? Austin thinks this round was even better than last time and he thinks I'm just freaking about about it all because I haven't cooked chicken that much so all those pan juices are new for me. This is big favorite so I'll definitely be doing it again. Definitely need more onions though!

Five-Spice Roast Chicken 
From: Katharine Gallagher

4 servings / Marinate the chicken overnight, then pop it into the oven the next day. Serve with Ginger-Scented Rice

4 garlic cloves, pressed
2 T coarse kosher salt
2 T extra-virgin olive oil
1 t Chinese five-spice powder (available in bulk section at M of Choice)
1 cut-up chicken (8 pieces; about 3 ½ pounds)
1 large onion, peeled, cut into 16 wedges (can use more, if you like)
Combine garlic, salt, olive oil, and Chinese five-spice powder in a large bowl or bag for marinating. Add chicken pieces; turn to coat. Cover and chill at least 1 hour or overnight.
Preheat oven to 425. Arrange onion wedges in a 13x9x2 inch-roasting pan. Arrange chicken, skin side up, atop onions. Roast until chicken is cooked through, basting occasionally with pan juices, about 50 minutes. Onions may char at edges.
Remove chicken from oven and let rest 10 minutes. Arrange chicken and onions on platter and serve.

Ginger Scented Rice
From: Katharine Gallagher
Printable Recipe
4 small servings / Doubles easily
1 3-inch-long 1-inch think piece fresh ginger, peeled and diced (grated is better)
1 ½ C water
1 C jasmine rice
1 T butter
1 t coarse kosher salt

Add ginger, water, rice, butter and salt to same pan. Cover; bring to boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low and cook, covered, until rice is tender, about 15 minutes. Remove pan from heat; let rice sit 10 minutes. Uncover; fluff rice with fork.


  1. Great job figuring it out. Ask your dad to show you how to cut up a chicken. Or just buy the pieces you want...

  2. I, too, have discovered the secret pleasures of butchering the bird!!!! Saves a few bucks, too..... An economic guilty pleasure - they exist.

  3. Oh, and you are right on re the ginger. The original recipe calls for running the ginger through a garlic press to get the juice. This is fussy so I just mince it finely.


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