Food Blog/Recipes

Happy Chinese New Year Chicken

Chinese New Year starts on the night of the second new moon of the winter solstice (February 8th, 2016) and ends 15 days later on the night of the full moon.  During Chinese New Year, families gather to enjoy delicious foods and to wish each other good luck in the year ahead. Therefore, to celebrate, I’m sharing a Chinese inspired whole roasted chicken, meaning prosperity, togetherness of family, and joy.

I’m also including a bonus Dim Sum recipe, check it out here.

Gong Hey Fat Choy (Wishing you a prosperous year)

photo by Doug Korody
photo by Doug Korody

Happy Chinese New Year Chicken


  • 8 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 medium shallot, minced
  • 3-4 Tbsp. oil (peanut if no allergies, I use avocado oil)
  • ½ tsp. dry mustard
  • 2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 ½ tsp. five-spice powder
  • 1 tsp. toasted sesame oil
  • 1 (5- to 6-pound) chicken, rinsed and patted dry
  • ¼ cup tamari*
  • 4 tsp. fish sauce
  • 3 tsp. honey


  1. In a blender add the cloves through sesame oil and blend to form a paste.
  2. Loosen the skin from the breast and legs of the chicken, using your hands (I like to wear disposable gloves, this is messy) spread half the mixture underneath the skin. Rub the remaining half inside the cavity.
  3. Place chicken in a large resealable plastic bag or glass dish.
  4. In a medium nonreactive bowl, whisk together the tamari, fish sauce, and honey until combined. Pour mixture over chicken and gently rub into skin. Cover the chicken, refrigerate, and let marinate 12 hours or overnight. Turn the chicken over at least once.
  5. Remove the chicken from the marinade, letting the excess drain, discard the marinade. Place the chicken breast side down, on a rack in a roasting pan. Let the chicken sit at room temperature 30 minutes before roasting.
  6. Heat oven to 400°F and arrange a rack in the middle of the oven.
  7. Roast the chicken for 20 minutes, then flip, breast side up. After another 20 minutes, reduce the temperature to 350°F. Cook until a thermometer inserted into the thickest portion of the thigh (not touching bone) reads 160°F to 165°F, about 60 – 70 minutes. Let the chicken rest at least 10 – 15 minutes before serving.


*I like to use the Japanese low sodium tamari rather than the Chinese soy sauce because it’s a little thicker and less salty. And if you are gluten-free, most brands are also wheat free.

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