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Looking for an Asian-spiced roast chicken recipe

I had the most fantastic roast chicken in Paris at Darius Rotisserie (in the 7th) recently. The cavity was rubbed with a spice mixture that included ginger, maybe garlic, cinnamon, cardamom, and who knows what other spices (I do think there might have been soy sauce in there). It did not have cumin or the traditional poultry spices (sage, thyme, etc). The end result was subtle (it didn't taste too strongly of those spices) and delicious, and I've been looking unsuccessfully for something similar. I know I could just start experimenting, but if anyone has an Asian-inspired spice/soy mixture they like on chicken, I'd love to know about it. Thanks!

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  1. There is a recipe on Epicurious, just saw it last night. Can't remember the name, but it looked pretty good. Turmeric, cayenne, salt and pepper. You could add some ginger and shallot?

    1. Stephen Raichlen's "Beer Can Chicken" cookbook has a recipe for a vietnamese style poulet laque that sounds close to what you're describing. A whole chicken is marinated overnight in a mix of a little soy, sesame oil, rice wine, cinnamon, sliced ginger, smashed garlic, and some five-spice powder. Since it's in the Beer Can book, it is cooked upright on a beer can, but there's no reason you can't roast it in the oven. The soy gives it a lovely dark color.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Hungry Celeste

        Yeah, I don't usually use store bought rubs but, Steven Raichlen's rubs are amazing. Try the asian one and the Island Spice Blend (contains many of the ingredients that Christy 319 mentioned).

        I wonder if the spice blend was actually Morrocan. If I'm not mistaken, Morroco is or was a French Procince.

      2. Check out the beef marinade recipe for beef in the old Joy Of Cooking. I've been using it as a chicken marinade for almost 40 years - hint: it uses beer and orange marmalade, among other things - and it's always been received as "Chinese Chicken."

        It's all the garlic, I think. Very interesting recipe.

        1. Sounds like it was good old Chinese Five Spice. Mix this with good medium soy sauce, hoisin, and one of those small bottles of sake or a glass of plum wine. Makes for a nice smoky, salty, sweet, with a touch of spice. Sorry I don't have a recipe - I just kind of eyeball it.

          6 Replies
          1. re: hooliganyouth

            I do something similar. I make a sludgy paste of five-spice powder combined with canola oil, with a tiny squirt of sesame oil. I rub that over, in, and under chicken skin. Midway through roasting I brush on a little hoisin sauce to glaze the bird.

            1. re: hooliganyouth

              You know, I was going to start with trying good old 5 spice anyway, so I did last night, and I couldn't believe how close it was to what I want (5 spice mixed with soy sauce, spread in the cavity and on the skin). Geez. But thanks everyone for the other ideas-they sound great too.

                1. re: hooliganyouth

                  VERY good. I think I'll tweak it a bit-maybe I'll put more care into making the 5 spice (some of my spices were over a year old, and I should probably use whole anise, not previously ground), or maybe I'll some of the things suggested above (garlic, sesame) and see if it improves it. The potatoes that I roasted in the same pan were delicious with these drippings, too.

                  1. re: christy319

                    I finally found Sichuan peppercorns and can't wait to add them to the mix. They have a really interesting and intriguing taste - floral, peppery, licorice-y. I found them at my local Central Market here in Austin but pretty much any decent Asian grocer should have them.

                    1. re: hooliganyouth

                      I love Szechuan peppercorns, and they great with chicken, but they weren't part of the chicken recipe I was trying to replicate. One warning-the ones the FDA allows imported to the US have been treated somehow-I can't remember exactly how or why-which makes them much weaker in flavor than they should be. Last time I bought them the seller cautioned me not to cook them-just add them at the end so their flavor isn't diluted further.

            2. Christy, This sounds too simple to be as good as it is:
              1. Your chinese market has jars of spicy black bean paste. (This is different than Sun Luck black bean sauce.)
              2. Loosen the skin of the chicken as much as you can. Rub the bean paste under the skin.
              3. Rub the outside of the bird with soy sauce.
              4. Bake in a 375 degree oven as you would any ordinary bird.

              Enjoy!