Thursday, September 2, 2010

Grilled Five Spice Chicken – Four Wouldn't Have Been Enough, and Six Would Have Been Too Many

Chinese Five Spice has a proven track record of awesomeness when combined with smoky, caramelized meats, and this grilled five spice chicken recipe is a great example.

I'm not a huge fan of premixed spices. I don't buy rubs and seasoning blends, although thanks to my swag-baggy lifestyle I do have a decent collection. The problem with these aesthetically pleasing packages is you're getting someone else's idea of the perfect formu

I have a pantry full of spices, and half the fun of cooking is tossing them together until deliciousness is achieved, but, once in a while it's nice to reach over and grab the 5-spice.

This blend, usually consisting of cinnamon, anise seed, cloves, ginger, and fennel, has been used for centuries to turn the flavor dial up more than a few aromatic notches.

Grilling season will be coming to a damp end soon, so don't
wait too long to give this a go. I think you'll also enjoy the super simple, sharply flavored rice vinegar condiment that I serve along side. I didn't, but this would be absolutely perfect served with a cold rice salad. What kind? Surprise me. Enjoy!

Chinese Five Spice Chicken Recipe Ingredients:
For the marinade:
1/2 lime, juiced
2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
3 cloves garlic crushed
2 teaspoons sambal, or other red chili sauce
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 tablespoon seasoned rice vinegar
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon 5-spice powder
For the sauce:
1/2 lime, juiced
1 teaspoon fish sauce
1 teaspoon sambal, or other red chili sauce
1/3 cup seasoned rice vinegar
all these can and should be adjusted to taste


Unknown said...

For whatever reason while watching this, I got the idea to try making this sous vide and finishing on the grill.
I'm not sure there's a question in there. I guess there's not. Thanks, Chef John!

Rita said...

i'm waiting for my 5-spice, chipotle powder, ancho chili powder, etc that i ordered online. too bad, where i live here in germany, all these spices are non-existent.

Clinton McMurray said...

We are just comming into summer here down under, so this will be one of the first off the rank when it's sunny enough to fire the charcoal up. Thanks

Ed Charbeneau said...


I have two questions:

1) You use the marinade to baste the chicken as it cooks. What are the contamination worries about doing this? (Should you stop after the chicken is __% cooked)

2) I tried cutting the chicken like you show in the video, and I lost all my skin. Did I do something wrong?


Chef John said...

There is only a little bit of marinade to use, so as long as it cooks for 5 minutes once brushed, you are ok. Besides, the surface of the chicken is hot when you brush it, and it would probably kill anything in just a minute, but just to be safe.

Yes, if you lost all the skin you did something wrong, but i have no idea what. Just do not pull of the skin when you cut in half.

Jenny Kelley said...

Looks amazing! Perfect for Labor day weekend grilling.

Question: Does slashing up the chicken make it any less juicy?

Thank you!

Chef John said...

no, but it makes it easier to overcook, which makes it dry, so be careful! :-)

Luatica said...

It has sambal, it can't be bad

Anonymous said...

Tried them this weekend and the chicken was great. Especially loved the vinegar, fish sauce and chilli sauce to put on the chicken after its done. Thanks Chef John.


Anonymous said...

Due to rain, I made this on the stove top last night. So good. I even made a tofu version for my vegetarian wife (extra soy instead of fish sauce).

wooden bed frames said...

Thanks for including the video! It is nice and I love the recipe. I can't wait to try it.

Unknown said...

Chef John
Question: What is "Fish Sauce" in your "Grilled Five Spice Chicken"?
Can I purchase it or is there a recipe for it?

Chef John said...

Google for details but yes, you can find in Asian section of any big city grocery or online.

nsklar said...

Hi Chef John,

If i did this with boneless skinless chicken breast, how long would I grill for?