Five-Spice Roast Chicken (Tom Douglas)

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“Tom Douglas”
2hrs 15mins

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Make the paste: add the star anise, chile, cinnamon, fennel, cloves, and cardamom in a small pan over medium heat; toast for a few minutes until aromatic, shaking the pan.
  2. Let cool, then grind toasted spices in a spice mill or clean coffee grinder.
  3. Transfer ground spices to a small bowl.
  4. Add in the ginger, garlic, brown sugar, salt, and pepper.
  5. Gradually add the oil, stirring with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula to make a smooth paste.
  6. Trim the excess fat from the chicken and clean out the cavity.
  7. Rinse under cold water and pat dry.
  8. Use you hands to rub the spice paste all over the skin of the chicken; set the chicken on a rack over a baking pan and place it, uncovered, in the refrigerator overnight.
  9. The next day, preheat the oven to 425°; put the ¼ orange and star anise in the cavity of the chicken, season the bird with kosher salt, and place it on a rack in a roasting pan.
  10. *For easier cleanup, line the roasting pan with foil because the spice paste that drips off may burn.
  11. Using a bulb baster instead of a brush, so you don’t disturb the spice crust, baste the chicken with the melted butter or bacon fat and put the bird in the oven to roast.
  12. Baste the chicken with the fat collecting in the bottom of the pan every 20 minutes.
  13. The chicken is done when an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the thigh reads 175° and the juices run clear, about 1 ¼ hours.
  14. Remove the chicken from the oven and let rest 5-10 minutes before carving.
  15. To carve the chicken, cut off the legs and separate into leg and thigh.
  16. Using a knife or poultry shears, cut out the backbone, then separate the breasts by cutting through the breastbone.
  17. Cut off the wings, then cut each breast into 2 pieces.
  18. You should have 10 pieces—2 legs, 2 thighs, 4 pieces of breast, and 2 wings; pile the chicken pieces on a large platter and garnish with orange wedges.

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