Chinese style Roast Chicken
Chinese Style Roast Chicken is one of my all time favourite dishes. But you probably realize that this “roast” chicken is a misnomer because the way they cook the chicken is to deep fry the whole bird in a big vat of oil! Unlike the Western style roast chicken which is traditionally a dish served at home for Sunday lunches , not many Chinese families would actually cook “Roast” Chicken at home. Roasting a whole bird in the oven is something very practical for the modern kitchen as most homes would have an oven. However, not many kitchens are equipped to deep fry a whole bird, so the Chinese Roast Chicken is something you usually eat outside.
Since this is one of my favourite dishes, I had to come up with a more practical way of making Chinese style roast chicken at home. To modify the recipe so that it can be easily done in the home kitchen, the chicken is first “spatchcocked” ie, it is flattened by removing the back bone. This makes easier to marinade and quicker to cook. After marinating the chicken (overnight is preferable), it is first slow roasted in the oven to gently cook the meat and dry the skin and then deep fried so that the skin turns into that wonderful bronze colour. You end up with two perfectly cooked chicken halves which are crisp on the outside and dripping with juices when you cut into the meat!
Start with a good quality chicken like the Carogold chicken which is bred without hormones and antibiotics. Because of the lack of growth enhancing antiobiotcs, these chickens take longer to grow which results in meat that is juicier when cooked. It is also lower in saturated fats and cholesterol and loaded with lutein and caratenoids!
Recipe for Marinade (From Chef Sin Leong’s Cookbook)
1 Carogold Chicken 1.2 – 1.5kg
Chinese wine 1 Tbsp
Maggie seasoning 1 Tbsp
Light soya sauce 2 Tbsp
MSG 2 tsp
Salt 1.5 tsp
Water 3 Tbsp
Sugar 3 tsp
Ginger juice 2 Tbsp
5 spice powder 1/6 tsp
Marinate the chicken in a ziplock bag and remove the air by submerging it in a bowl of water. Leave it to marinate at least 4 hours or overnight. The next day, remove it from the fridge and bake it in the oven at 140 degrees C until the internal temperature reaches 60 degrees C. If you don’t have a thermometer, you can just poke the thickest part of the thigh with a skewer to see if the juices run clear (if it is still bloody, it is not ready). This should take anywhere between 50 mins to 1.5 hours depending on the size of the chicken and your oven.
Once ready, remove the chicken from the oven and allow it to cool. Heat 2 inches of oil in a wok or pot and deep fry the chicken for 1-2 mins or until the skin turns into a beautiful bronze colour. Allow it to rest for 15 mins before chopping.
Carogold chicken is available Kee Song Brothers online store: http://online.keesong.com/
This post was sponsored by Kee Song Brothers