The Best Cantonese Roast Chicken (广式烧鸡)

4.85 from 19 votes
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This Cantonese roast chicken tastes even better than one at a good restaurant. The skin is truly crispy and the meat so moist and tender. Want to to cook a perfect Asian style chicken in the oven? Look no further!|

This Cantonese roast chicken tastes even better than one at a good restaurant. The skin is truly crispy and the meat so moist and tender. Want to to cook a perfect Asian style chicken in the oven? Look no further!

I love Cantonese style BBQ and one of my favorites is the roast chicken. I’ve been doing research on this dish and have conducted quite a few experiments in my kitchen. Luckily, I didn’t have to take too many detours to develop a recipe I’m really proud of. I know, calling it “the best” sounds a bit cheesy. But after we devoured half the chicken the day it was cooked, Thomas insisted that I use the word “perfect” in the recipe title.

Our theory is, if we can’t make our roast chicken taste better than a Costco rotisserie chicken, it’s not worth doing. The result exceeded our expectations, well beyond the Costco standard.

I’m confident to say, this recipe is definitely worth your time and effort.

Let’s take a quick look at how this recipe works.

The key: The chicken is brined in a soy sauce based mixture for 36 hours. It is then air dried for half a day, until the liquid in the skin is completed removed. The chicken will be roasted at 400 F (200 C) – a temperature that is slightly higher than one you’d typically see for roasting chicken in the oven. The high temperature will not only brown the chicken, but also render the fat completely to create a super crispy skin while the meat is still very moist and tender.

This Cantonese roast chicken tastes even better than one at a good restaurant. The skin is truly crispy and the meat so moist and tender. Want to to cook a perfect Asian style chicken in the oven? Look no further!|

I’ll explain a bit more about each step, with a few things to note:

(1) The very flavorful marinade lays a good foundation. It contains tons of fresh herbs to infuse the best flavor into the chicken. You’ll want to devour the whole thing when it’s done, even without a dipping sauce.

(2) You have to marinate the chicken long enough, for at least 24 hours. I recommend 36 hours, if possible. During my experimentation, I tried marinating the chicken overnight, for 24 hours, and for a day and a half. I found that 24 hours’ marinating time will create a flavorful chicken, but that when eating certain parts (such as the thickest part of the breast), the marinade only went half way through, leaving a layer of meat a bit plain. The 36-hour timeframe will get the whole bird seasoned evenly and thoroughly.

(3) Then you need to let the chicken dry completely. This is a technique commonly used for all sorts of Cantonese barbecue. No matter whether roasting a duck, pig, or goose. This process helps to create a shiny and crispy skin, without using baking powder or any other food additive.

Do not be afraid to leave the chicken at room temperature for a few hours. It will be preserved by the salt from the marinade and won’t spoil quickly. I find it helpful to leave the bird in front of an air conditioner vent. The airflow will help dry the bird faster.

Some recipes suggest you dry the chicken in the fridge. I personally don’t like this method, since it takes more time (overnight or even longer). Plus, you’d need to let the bird to return to room temperature before baking, so it adds an extra day to the cooking process.

(4) Let the chicken roast all the way through without flipping, unless you have a rotisserie oven (I don’t). I tried flipping the chicken in my experiments, but this turned out to just be a good way to rip its skin apart. It will NOT create a crispy skin on the underside of the chicken.

I admit that the back part of the chicken skin looks pretty unimpressive if you never flip it, but as long as you tie the chicken legs together (doing this “lifts” both sides of the chicken), it will only leave a very narrow part that touches the baking rack. In short, 90% of the chicken skin is perfectly roasted, with just a small compromise. You can save the unimpressive part if you cannot finish the whole bird the day it’s cooked. By the way, I will teach you how to create crispy chicken (as good as fried) using the leftovers, in a coming post.

This Cantonese roast chicken tastes even better than one at a good restaurant. The skin is truly crispy and the meat so moist and tender. Want to to cook a perfect Asian style chicken in the oven? Look no further!|

(5) Wrap the wing tips and the ends of the legs with aluminium foil before baking. These parts cook and brown very fast. I found it helpful to spray some oil onto the foil before wrapping, so the foil will come off easily after baking, without tearing the skin away.

(6) Turn on your ventilation fan from the beginning of baking. Your house will smell like chicken for the next two days if you turn on the fan too late.

(7) Keep an eye on the chicken during the cooking and cover the browned part with aluminum foil. Again, because I don’t have a fancy rotisserie oven, some parts of the chicken were definitely cooked faster. Make sure to check the chicken every 10 to 20 minutes. If you find certain parts are already dark brown, cover them with small pieces of foil. It will prevent these parts from burning and won’t interfere with the browning of the rest of the chicken. Wear a pair of oven mitts when you do this.

I usually end up covering, at some point: the chicken butt, wings, legs, and where the neck would be.

(8) Do not overcook! Use a thermometer to check on the chicken every 10 minutes toward the end of the cooking. Stop baking immediately when the thickest part of the leg reads 165 F (74C).

That’s it. Although the chicken is baked at a slightly higher temperature, because the brining process locks the moisture inside, the chicken will turn out very very tender and juicy (as tender as a Costco rotisserie chicken!). Plus, because of the air-drying process, it creates the type of uber-crispy skin that you can only get at a restaurant. Basically, it’s a perfectly roasted chicken.

20 Quick and Easy Asian Side Dishes -
Need some side dishes to go with the chicken? Check out my 20 Asian side dishes recipes!

Cooking a whole bird takes some time and effort. But if you plan the process carefully, you’ll find the active cooking time is far less than you might have imagined. And, if you follow my recipe closely, you won’t make a mess in your kitchen at all.

If you are very busy during the week, I suggest the schedule below:

  • Marinate the bird on Friday evening. Let it sit in the fridge until Sunday.
  • Pull the chicken out around noon on Sunday. Let dry for 4 to 6 hours.
  • Cook the chicken in the late afternoon so you can serve it for dinner.
  • Save all the leftovers to enjoy during the coming week. Collect all the bones and store them in the freezer to cook chicken stock later.

I hope you enjoy the recipe!

This Cantonese roast chicken tastes even better than one at a good restaurant. The skin is truly crispy and the meat so moist and tender. Want to to cook a perfect Asian style chicken in the oven? Look no further!|

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The Best Cantonese Roast Chicken (广式烧鸡)

4.85 from 19 votes
This Cantonese roast chicken tastes even better than one at a good restaurant. The skin is truly crispy and the meat so moist and tender. Want to to cook a perfect Asian style chicken in the oven? Look no further!
Author: Maggie Zhu
Course: Main
Cuisine: Chinese
Prep Time: 1 day 12 hours
Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 day 13 hours 30 minutes
Servings: 4 - 6


  • 1 (4 to 5 pound / 2 kg) whole chicken


  • 4 big cloves garlic , sliced
  • 1 thumb ginger , sliced
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup oyster sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Japanese sake (or Shaoxing win, or dry sherry)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly grounded black pepper


  • Rinse chicken with tap water and pat dry with a paper towel.
  • Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix well.
  • Transfer the chicken to a gallon-sized Ziplock bag, legs up. Add half the marinade into the cavity of the chicken. Pour the rest of the marinade onto the chicken skin. Seal the bag halfway across. Try to squeeze out as much air as possible. Seal the bag. Rub chicken through the bag to make sure the marinade and herbs are evenly dispersed.
  • Place chicken in fridge for 24 to 48 hours (*footnote). Flip once during marinating.
  • On the day of cooking, place a cooling/roasting rack over a baking sheet.
  • Transfer the chicken from the bag to a large plate. Discard marinating liquid and all the herbs. Make sure the cavity of the chicken isn’t holding any liquid. Place the chicken onto the roasting rack, breast side up.
  • Place the baking sheet near an AC vent or in front of a fan. Let the bird air dry completely. It will take at least 4 hours if you don’t use a fan. To speed up the process, I sometimes use a hair dryer to dry the chicken. You can also place the chicken in the fridge to dry, but it takes longer.
  • The surface of the chicken must be completely dry in order to yield crispy skin after baking. When the chicken is ready to bake, the surface won’t be shiny, with almost a leathery feel when touched.
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 C).
  • Line the baking sheet with aluminum foil to catch the chicken grease. Place the roasting rack on top. Spray a thin layer of oil onto the roasting rack. (*see footnote 2)
  • Tie chicken legs together with kitchen twine. Spray a thin layer of oil onto another sheet of aluminum foil. Cut foil into small squares and wrap around the end of the chicken legs and wings tips. (*see footnote 3)
  • Bake on the lowest rack in the oven for 30 minutes. Rotate chicken (don’t flip). Bake for another 30 minutes. Rotate again. Continue baking until the thermometer reads 165 F (74C) when probing into the thickest part of the leg. It takes me 1 hour and 30 minutes in total to roast a chicken from Costco (about 5 pounds).
  • During the final hour of baking, check on the chicken every 10 to 20 minutes. When you notice that any part of the chicken is already browned, cover that part with aluminum foil to prevent it from burning. If you think this is too much trouble, you can simply cover the whole chicken with a large piece of foil when most parts are nicely browned.
  • When the chicken is cooked through, let cool for 15 minutes before slicing.
  • Serve chicken by itself as a main. Or you can serve it with sriracha, plum sauce, or soy sauce.
  • To reheat leftover chicken, my favorite way is to cook it with a bit of oil on the stove top. The chicken will get nicely charred and heat up in a few minutes without drying out (which happens if you reheat it in the oven).


  1. I highly recommend you marinate the chicken for at least a day and a half (start marinating in the evening on day 1, take out to dry around noon on day 3, cook in the late afternoon on day 3). The seasoning will be fully absorbed by the chicken and the whole bird will be much more flavorful.
  2. I forgot to spray oil a few times but the chicken still came off the roasting rack without any problem. Do this if you can remember, just in case.
  3. The aluminium foil prevents the thin parts of the chicken from burning. By spraying oil onto the foil, the chicken skin won’t be torn off when removing the foil after baking.
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Reader Questions and Reviews

  1. Jasline (Foodie Baker) says:

    I’ve tried roasting chicken before and I have the same problem – the underside is not crispy. I’m thinking of setting it on a rack in the future but haven’t gotten about trying it again (too lazy). The idea of marinating the chicken first sounds like a sure way to get a flavourful and moist meat, will try it in the future!

  2. Nancy | Plus Ate Six says:

    5 stars
    I’m back in the kitchen on Wednesday and I’m saving this recipe to try for the weekend. It looks and sounds delicious. And that crispy skin? Cooks treat I think!

  3. Kathleen | Hapa Nom Nom says:

    Holy moly! Maggie! This is the most phenomenal chicken I’ve ever seen! The lacquer is just out of this world! Is the marinating and drying process similar to a peking duck? I’ve been wanting to try that too. Pinning for sure. This would make a fantastic ‘non-traditional’ Thanksgiving!

    • Maggie says:

      Hi Kathleen, actually the Peking duck uses a more complicated approach. To prep the duck, you need to pour boiling water on and into the duck to get rid of the blood. And then pour syrup onto the duck (for the color). Let air dry for 24 hours (shorter in summer). Then pour boiling water again into the duck (the buttock of the duck is tied so it holds the water this time, so the duck won’t dry out during roasting). And pour on syrup. The duck is hanged and roasted in a large brick stove at about 500 F for only 30 minutes. The oven is specially designed and it uses direct heat. Quite difficult to replicate this process at home, but I wish I can try something similar. Maybe build a simpler stone stove outside of our apartment?? It’ll be so cool if I can make Peking duck at home!

  4. Kevin | Keviniscooking says:

    5 stars
    Absolutely beautiful photos of that roasted chicken, wow! And if you’re claiming it’s better than a Costco one I’m all in to try it.
    Like Kathleen mentioned above, “that lacquer is just out of this world.” Pinned this!

    • Maggie says:

      Thanks Kevin! I think Costco sets a very high bar for us! Seriously, why people ever want to spend more money and time to roast a whole bird if you can get a perfect one at 5 dollars??
      Anyhow, happy cooking and hope you enjoy the dish! 🙂

  5. Soe says:

    Hey Maggie, that looks absolutely divine. 😀

  6. mitty says:

    Hi, may i ask what can i substitute for japanese sake. Thank you.

    • Maggie says:

      Hi Mitty, you can replace Japanese sake with Chinese Shaoxing wine, dry sherry or Asian rice wine. If you don’t have any of these, you can skip it. The alcohol adds a nice flavor and I always prefer to use some in the marinade.
      Happy cooking and hope the dish turns out great! 🙂

      • Anthony Hartill says:

        In the UK a pale Dry Sherry is often used as an acceptable, if not perfect substitute for Rice Wine or Sake.

      • Maggie says:

        Hi Anthony, yes a dry sherry is perfect as a substitution for Shaoxing wine. We ran out of unsalted Shaoxing wine again and lately I’ve been using dry sherry for all the Chinese dishes. It worked out great!

  7. Jenny says:

    5 stars
    This was absolutely delicious and I eat it with noodle and rice for the next few days.
    Parts of my chicken was crispy and parts of it not, I do not know why that is the case. But overall, I love this chicken recipe and definitely worth it.

    • Maggie says:

      I’m so glad to hear you cooked this recipe Jenny! I found out some parts of the chicken turn crispy slower because the parts might still have moist in it. When you air-dry the chicken, some parts will dry slower (especially if you don’t dry it in front of a fan). The more thorough you dry it, the easier it is to crispy the skin.
      I love to serve the chicken with noodles and rice too 🙂 Have a great week ahead Jenny!

  8. Jean says:

    Is it possible to marinate and freeze for a later date? I made it several weeks ago and it’s delicious. Was wondering how if there is a freezer friendly method.

    • Maggie says:

      Hi Jean, if I want to cook this dish in batch and save for later, I’d rather roast it and freeze the finished dish. It freezes well that way. After cooking, you can tear the chicken meat from the bone, wrap them with foil and seal in air-tight container. Try to press as much air as possible, so the chicken won’t get freezer burn. Save the bones in another bag, so you can cook chicken broth with them (If you search chicken stock by using the top right bar, you’ll find the recipe). Freeze the marinaded whole chicken is possible, but I found it takes up a lot of space. And it’s not great if you already thawed the chicken once for the marinating, and freeze it again. Hope this is helpful 🙂
      Glad to hear you like this dish! It’s one of my favorites.

      • Jean says:

        Thank you for the feedback. We made one today and it was a hit as usual.

        Your tip is extremely helpful, thank you!

      • Maggie says:

        So glad to hear it! Have a great week ahead Jean 🙂

  9. Bojana says:

    This is seriously the most spectacular chicken I have ever tried and made.

    • Maggie says:

      I’m so glad to hear it Bojana! It takes some time and effort, but totally worth it 🙂

  10. Linda @ Roti n Rice says:

    Looks amazing! Great tips too.

  11. Angie says:

    Hello! This looks like a good recipe, but I think I’m missing something… You referred to herbs but I don’t see any in the ingredients. Am I missing it?

    • Maggie says:

      Hi Angie, when I mentioned herbs, I was talking about garlic and ginger. So you’re not missing anything.
      Happy cooking! Hope the dish turns out great 🙂

  12. Weisheng says:

    5 stars
    Hi there. I marinaded the chicken for 2 days and it turns out really well! My family and I really loves this recipe. Shall do it again soon and next time, 2 chickens.

    • Maggie says:

      I’m glad to hear the chicken turns out well! Thanks for taking time and leaving a comment Weisheng 🙂 Have a great week ahead!

  13. Rudy says:

    4 stars
    Thanks for the recipe. I tend to cut the wing tips off and spatchcock the bird. It cooks faster and even… have you ever made soya chicken.. almost the same ingredients..

  14. Sip and Spice says:

    5 stars
    Hey Maggie,

    What an unique and exciting recipe!

    I’ve got this marinating in the fridge right now and am really looking forward to the finished product.

    The only addition I made was a teaspoon of 5 spice powder to the marinade. I’m a massive fan 🙂 Also I’ll be roasting the bird on a trivet of onions, my favourite roasted vegetable, especially when it’s been bathed and basted in bird juice!

    The recipe is simple really, and although it takes a couple of days, it’s no effort whatsoever.

    I’ll report back after we’ve had our fantastic dinner 🙂 🙂

    Ronnie B.

    • Maggie says:

      Hope the chicken turns out great! The addition five-spice powder sounds very yummy! And yes, the roasted will taste SO GOOD after roasting in bird juice 🙂
      Looking forward to hearing the cooking result!
      Have a great weekend Ronnie 🙂

      • Sip and Spice says:

        5 stars
        Maggie, cross my heart, this is the BEST roast chicken I have ever come across. And I have tried numerous recipes whilst searching for the perfect one. I have definitely found it, the search is over.

        Unfortunately where I reside (Switzerland), supermarket rotisserie chickens are bloody awful. Drowned in artificial seasonings, overly salted, the taste bearing absolutely no resemblance to chicken whatsoever. I totally refuse to eat it. To make matters worse, nowadays, modern chicken simply doesn’t have any flavour. I don’t want to go into antibiotics, the shorter life span, battery cage methods and the unnatural feed and drugs that chickens are subjected to. They all contribute to a boring, flavourless bird. Over-seasoning is not the solution.

        Your recipe actually brings out the chicken’s forgotten natural flavours whilst adding a depth of flavour I simply can’t describe. It has to be tasted to understand what I’m chatting about. I was so surprised with the end product. It is perfect and better than any rotisserie chicken I have ever had. This will be the only recipe I will use from now on.

        I used a standard spring chicken (1 kilo), obviously adjusted the recipe quantities and, as I stated in my initial comment, added a bit of 5 spice powder. Also, I only marinated it for 24 hours. I can’t imagine how good it would have been had I marinated it for 36 hours. Not to worry, I’m off to the supermarket to buy a chicken after I finish this comment and commence with marinating. Friday dinner is going to be AWESOME!

        I don’t think people realize how good this recipe is. As expected, the underside wasn’t as crispy as the heavenly crispy breast skin, so I simply carved the bird into quarters and returned the leg quarters and under side to the oven for 10-15 minutes. Came out awesome. Legs & thighs take a little bit longer to cook than breasts anyway so they didn’t dry out one bit.

        Deep & delicious flavour, crispy golden brown skin, juicy flesh = Perfection.

        Once again, thank you so much Maggie.

        Ronnie B.

      • Maggie says:

        Hi Ronnie, wow thanks for such a thorough review! This is one of my favorite chicken recipes and I SO HAPPY to see you like it as well! You just made my day 😉
        I think most people would consider the recipe too time consuming. But just like you said, it takes time to marinate. But the actually prepping and cooking process is not that difficult. The supermarket rotisserie chicken here is quite salty as well. I seldom purchase them.
        I agree with you, the back side of the chicken is not crispy. I used to cut off leg and return them to the oven for a bit more cooking too. My latest favorite solution is to butterfly the chicken first, then roast it. The chicken cooks faster this way and crisp up evenly. Although I need to test this recipe with the butterfly method. I think it needs a lower oven temperature. Otherwise the skin won’t have enough time to get crispy. Next time I’ll use a smaller bird too, just like the one you used. Will do some experiment and report back 🙂
        Thanks again for the kind words Ronnie! Have a great week ahead and happy cooking 🙂

  15. Megan Lee says:

    The chicken was so good. Definitely making this again. Thanks for sharing the recipe

  16. cynthia says:

    5 stars
    Hi, I came across your recipe and it sounds divine! i wanted to use only quarter dark meat, should I adjust the temperature and time?

    • Maggie says:

      Hi Cynthia, you can try baking at 425 F convection for 30 to 35 minutes. The thighs takes much less time than a whole chicken, so using a higher temperature and less time helps crisp up the skin while keeping the meat juicy. Happy cooking and hope your dish turns out great!

      • cynthia says:

        Maggie, it was simply amazing!! I marinated it for 48 hours. Only because when I wanted to cook it, i couldnt. My kids even the pickiest ones loved it. In a few minutes Im going to marinate another batch of chicken legs, because thats how they like it. I did cook the legs an extra 10 minutes than what you recommended, it was beautifully juicy and the skin was to die for.

      • Maggie says:

        Hi Cynthia, I’m so glad the chicken turned out great and you guys loved it! I’m a big fan for dark meat too, so totally agree with your kids 😉
        I’ll need to try out baking the legs too and will remember about the baking time. Thanks for letting me know!
        Have a great day ahead and happy cooking! 🙂

  17. Liz says:

    Could I possibly use fish sauce instead of the oyster sauce? Just curious, I’d just bought a bottle so thought maybe I could use it for this? Thank you!

    • Maggie says:

      Hi Liz, fish sauce is not an alternative to oyster sauce, but I think it is possible to use it in this recipe. You might want to reduce the amount (2 tablespoons instead of 4) because it’s very powerful and salty. You might also want to add one more tablespoon of sugar. The chicken will taste different but I think it will be delicious.

      • Liz says:

        Perfect, thanks so much! I’ll try this alternative, but oyster sauce is now definitely on my grocery list. Can’t wait to try this both ways.

  18. Sabrina says:

    like the Costco standard! Agree on the long marinade too, that’s always made the best chickens that I’ve tasted, love the flavors here, sake too!, so thank you for this!

  19. Jim says:

    5 stars
    Thank you for a delicious chicken My wife from Shanghai often pokes fun at my attempts at Chinese cuisine but she enjoyed this chicken
    Ditch the apartment you need a house with a big yard front back then you an grow your own herbs and vegetables Thomas can build a big outdoor kitchen with barbecues, smoker, brick oven for cooking Beijing Ducks and a pizza oven which can be used also for baking bread. I am being cheeky I know

  20. Giselle says:

    I tried this chicken tonight and it turned out well. I am pleased that it looked exactly like Maggie’s photo. It wasn’t hard to make but all the steps did require more effort than my usual ways of cooking chicken. My family really raved about how good this was, though, so I will probably make it again when I want really beautiful chicken. Thank you, Maggie!

    • Maggie says:

      Hi Giselle, thanks for taking time to leave a comment, and I’m happy to hear that your family and you enjoyed the dish! Yes this recipe definitely requires a lot of effort and time, so I usually save it for a weekend dinner party with friends or other special occasions 🙂

  21. Mary says:

    Maggie, do you rub the marinade under the skin? Some recipes call for separating the skin from the meat. Do you do that?

    • Maggie says:

      Hi Mary, no I do not rub the marinade under the skin. This recipe uses the technique of drying the bird first to achieve crispy skin. Due to the long marinating time, the seasoning will go quite deep into the meat. So the separating skin process can be skipped.
      I use the separating skin technique to roast chicken when I don’t have time to dry the bird. In this case, I will rub some herb butter under the skin instead of using a marinade.

  22. Judy says:

    5 stars
    I will try this recipe as I lovej crispy skin…. I don’t feel that meat should be at room temp. For more than 3 1/2 hrs. Have you ever tried Kitchen Bouquet, it makes the underside of the chicken a beautiful brown… I can’t wait to try your recipe…

    • Maggie says:

      Hi Judy, if you are afraid of food safety issue, you can dry the chicken in the fridge. But it does takes longer time and it’s not efficient than the room temperature air dry. Ideally the chicken should be left in a cool place with air flowing through, so it speeds up the drying process and thus produces a crispier skin.
      I’ve never tried Kitchen Bouquet but I’ll keep an eye on it when I go shopping the next time. Thanks for sharing your method and happy cooking!

      • Diana says:

        5 stars
        I just made this and it’s fantastic. I slightly altered the recipe because I didn’t have any oyster sauce in my pantry so I subbed hoisin.
        I marinated for 39 hours, dried under a fan for 4 hours, rotated the chicken every 30 minutes and it was completely cooked through in exactly 1hour 10mins. I’ll make this again!

  23. jon Soo says:

    Most of the recipes for cantonese chicken I know of ( Including My fathers) include about 1/2 Tsp of 5 spice powder. I think it makes a big difference as the aromatics in the 5 spice powder really shine through . Also the addition of 1/2 Tbsp Sesame oil improves the flavor. To achieve the best crispy skin I have found a vertical roaster is a great help. Staub makes a wonderful cast iron one that I highly recommend the heat from the cast iron help cook from the inside also cutting down on the cooking time and the juices drain out much like the chinese hanging method. lastly, although this is optional Brushing the skin with some maltose during the last 29-30 min of cooking helps achieve that rich brown color you see at barbecues in china town (if u can’t find maltose use 2 Tbsp honey mixed with a half Tsp of dark soy sauce).

  24. Steven says:

    5 stars
    I had some chicken legs attached with thigh & back. And I used the marinade and applied the same technique. Just to add hint of licorice flavor, I added some fennel pollen as I had in my pantry. Anyway, the flavor was awesome and the skin! Wow! Simply my wife and I thank you for sharing the recipe!

    • Maggie says:

      Hi Steven, thanks so much for taking time to leave a review, and I’m so happy to hear the recipe worked for you and your wife! Hope you have a great week ahead and can’t wait to see what you will cook the next 🙂

  25. Ian says:

    To get more of the chicken to brown remove the spine and lay the bird flat. In addition you won’t have to worry about liquid getting stuck in the cavity.

  26. The Goddess says:

    This looks amazing. So much so, that I’m cooking our Thanksgiving turkey breast using your method. What a great blog.

  27. Rishad Ahluwalia says:

    5 stars
    Hi great recipe but why not just use paper towel to aid drying process?

  28. Amy L. says:

    Hi Maggie,

    I read that you recommend plum sauce, or soy sauce to go with the chicken. Do you have brand recommendations and do you have any recipes for sauces that would be great for dipping with this chicken?


  29. Adrienne Cho says:

    Hi Maggie!
    The chicken I manage to get was 6lbs, how much should I adjust the roasting time? Can’t wait to try it for the upcoming lunar new year!

    • Maggie says:

      Hi Adrienne, you probably need 15 to 20 minutes more to cook the chicken. To test the doneness, slice the chicken skin that connects the thigh and the chicken body (without slicing through the meat) and gently pull the chicken. If the root of the thigh is not pink anymore, the chicken is cooked.
      Hope your dish turns out great. Happy Chinese New Year!

  30. Christine says:

    I have a rotissrie. How do I do this chicken?

  31. Irene Addison says:

    First attempt! I’ve just made up the marinade in preparation for using later today. I’ve used dark soy and it tastes really quite strong.
    Should I have used light soy instead and if so, how can I lighten the marinade?

  32. Irene Addison says:

    4 stars
    I followed this recipe exactly, marinating for 36hours, drying for five hours. Cooked it upright on the barbecue.
    It didn’t look nearly as gorgeous as the photo and to be honest I expected the flavour to be more intense. That said it turned out moist and succulent and as devoured in no time.
    Served it with stir fried vegetables and noodles. This not a complicated recipe. Pull the marinade together the night before you need it and it’s straight sailing !! Will definitely use this recipe again.

  33. Jun says:

    5 stars
    That looks so delicious!

  34. Robert burke says:

    I have 40 years of roasting a chicken every Friday night. Just a suggestion. When you put the chicken in the oven, slice some potatoes underneath to keep it from sticking. You also get tremendous flavoured potatoes from this method.

  35. Jordan says:

    4 stars
    This was a nice recipe. I spatchcocked the chicken, added some star anise and convection baked it at 400F. This was a bit too hot and the skin burnt a little bit, still tasty though. Next time, I plan on using more sugar (maybe honey), a lower oven temperature, and some five-spice powder.

  36. Teo Ai Li says:

    Hi! I never succeeded in roasting a chicken but I want to try again with your recipe! I have a rotiserie oven so any change to temp and time? Thanks

    • Maggie says:

      I’m afraid I don’t have a great answer since I’ve never used a rotisserie oven before. I think you should able to use the same temperature and time, and skip the step of flipping the chicken. But you should always keep an eye on the chicken and check the doneness with a thermometer, every 30 minutes or so.

  37. Teo Ai Li says:

    Sorry! Forgot 1 more question. Can I dry the chicken in the sun? Thanks

    • Maggie says:

      No, you should only dry the chicken in a cool shade so the chicken won’t spoil.

  38. John K. says:

    Hi Maggie! I’d love to roast your Cantonese chicken indirect on my outdoor ceramic cooker, which is basically a charcoal fired oven.
    It won’t have any problem holding steady at 400 degrees for the cook. Do you foresee any issues ? Many thanks.

    • Maggie says:

      I’ve never cooked with a ceramic cooker but I think it will work just fine 🙂 Happy cooking!

  39. grampa says:

    ohh! best chicken I’ve ever cooked.
    absolutely delicious.

  40. Elmer says:

    I’m marinating right now. I added a bit of Chinkiang vinegar for some acid. We’ll see how it goes.

  41. Peter Beckles says:

    This is about your Cantonese Roast Chicken recipe.

    I recall that you “found that 24 hours’ marinating time will create a flavorful chicken, but that when eating certain parts (such as the thickest part of the breast), the marinade only went half way through, leaving a layer of meat a bit plain. The 36-hour timeframe will get the whole bird seasoned evenly and thoroughly.”

    But my chicken is just about 3 lb – not 5lb as the Costco bird you describe – so is a 36-hour marinade too long?
    It’s been 6 hours so far and I’m worried.  

  42. Mistie says:

    5 stars
    I don’t usually leave comments, but this is a comment worthy dish. I’m not a novice cook, but I am new to Chinese cooking. Over the past year, I’ve tried quite a few of your recipes. All delicious! Last night I cooked this roast chicken, and my friend declared it was the best chicken I’ve made for him. It couldn’t have been easier and was so flavorful. Thank you for making Chinese food accessible and for creating wonderful recipes.

  43. Elizabeth Wu says:

    5 stars
    Yum! We just made this and the flavors are so good and the chicken was so juicy. Unfortunately we charred the skin (we had a very small chicken in a small oven so was unsure about timing) but next time will try and tent it earlier so we can get that crispy skin as well!

  44. Tram Pham says:

    Great recipe! Thank you for sharing

  45. YASUA says:

    Amazing website and Delicious recipes

  46. Sean the Sheep says:

    I didn’t use any rice wine as it’s really expensive in Bali. I also cooked in a toaster portable oven. It was so so nice thank you

  47. Ron says:

    This was absolutely delicious . I didn’t cover anything in foil yet it was perfectly crispy , marinate was fantastic. Super recipe. My Chinese wife says I am now Chinese guy.

  48. Ron says:

    5 stars
    Great recipe, Only problem is the skin isn’t enough to satisfy my guests. It was so delicious that the poor bird was stripped naked within minutes of serving . Good thing the birds flavor was equally delicious and the rest was history. I cooked straight on the rack with drip pan below. Almost got all the skin dark bronze. Have done the same when cooking duck and it gets the bird cooked all around pretty well. With Duck I filled the carcass with sauce and bread and tied it up tight so it wouldn’t lose the juices. Seemed to work.

  49. Donna says:

    This recipe was awesome! The whole family enjoyed!

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