Sichuan Dry Rub Roast Chicken Breast

Tender, juicy chicken breast roasted with a rich, spicy dry rub. Only 30 minutes required, including prep and cooking. {Gluten Free}

Tender, juicy chicken breast roasted with a rich, spicy dry rub. Only 30 minutes required, including prep and cooking. {Gluten-Free}

One day my friend Mason sent me a message saying they were considering creating a Sichuan roast chicken as an addition to their fire roasted chicken lineup at Central Market. I got very excited that the high-end version of the most popular grocery store in Texas would like to add a Chinese flavor to such a mainstream item. However, I did not have a dry rub recipe back then. In the end, I sent them a list of ingredients, as a suggestion without a solid recipe. I don’t think the project went through because I still haven’t seen a Sichuan chicken on the shelf there. But I did eventually develop a recipe, so I’ll be ready the next time someone asks me about a Sichuan dry rub for chicken.

The reason I love this dry rub is that it takes five minutes to make and is so versatile. Not only can you use it on both chicken breast and whole chicken, this dry rub is also great on beef, pork, white fish, and even vegetables. Do not limit your imagination, and try it out on different ingredients 🙂

Sichuan Dry Rub Roast Chicken Breast - Tender, juicy chicken breast roasted with a rich, spicy dry rub. Only 30 minutes required, including prep and cooking. Perfect for weekday dinner.

Roast tender juicy chicken breast

Having grown up in China, I always prefer chicken thighs and legs because they are juicier and more flavorful than the breasts. But after living in the US for a long time, I’ve learned how to roast chicken breast properly so it’s extra tender and bursting with flavor.

Basically, you just need to do three things to get great results:

(1) Season the chicken with plenty of salt and do a quick marinade before roasting.

This process is almost like brining, but with salt instead of a salt solution. As a general rule of thumb, I use about 3/4 to 1 teaspoon of salt to season every pound of meat. The salt will draw moisture from the surface of the chicken, to ensure better browning. Plus, a brief marinating time will make the chicken much more flavorful.

(2) Roast at a high temperature.

There is not a single perfect temperature to roast chicken. I’ve tried roasting chicken at various temperatures, such as 350F, 375F, 400F, and more. They all generate great results as long as you don’t overcook. I chose 450F for this recipe so the surface will be browned while the inside remains juicy and tender.

(3) Do not overcook.

If you have a remote thermometer, it’s the best way to go. I always use mine to monitor any roast meat to ensure it is cooked to the desired temperature. If you do not have a thermometer, don’t worry. Simply follow the time in the recipe below and cut the chicken to make sure it’s cooked.

Slicing Sichuan Dry Rub Roast Chicken Breast - Tender, juicy chicken breast roasted with a rich, spicy dry rub. Only 30 minutes required, including prep and cooking. {Gluten-Free}

A few more notes

(1) The key ingredient of the dry rub

To get the best results, you need to get the freshest Sichuan peppercorns possible. Fortunately, my friend Taylor at The Mala Market carries some of the best Sichuan peppercorns in the US. These Sichuan peppercorns are numbing and extremely fragrant, with a hint of citrus. Once you try fresh Sichuan peppercorns, you’ll understand how magical they are and you’ll never want to go back to the old, stale peppercorns available in most Asian markets. (If you see that Sichuan peppercorns are out of stock, don’t worry. This is normal because of their high popularity. Make sure to subscribe to their newsletter so you can get notified when the latest batch of product, shipped directly from Sichuan, arrives).

(2) How to serve

I always pair my chicken with plenty of vegetables and a Greek yogurt based dressing. For greens, you can simply toss a salad with olive oil and vinegar, with a pinch of salt and pepper. Or you can steam or roast your vegetables, which is a great choice for fall and winter.

For the sauce, I always follow the formula of this no-fat creamy dressing by Jamie Oliver. It creates a great sauce that works for both meat and the vegetables and is delicious and healthy.

Sichuan Dry Rub Roast Chicken Breast - Tender, juicy chicken breast roasted with a rich, spicy dry rub. Only 30 minutes required, including prep and cooking.

More delicious ways to roast chicken

If you give this recipe a try, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it (once you’ve tried it), and take a picture and tag it @omnivorescookbook on Instagram! I’d love to see what you come up with.

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Sichuan Dry Rub Roast Chicken Breast - Tender, juicy chicken breast roasted with a rich, spicy dry rub. Only 30 minutes required, including prep and cooking. Perfect for weekday dinner.

Sichuan Dry Rub Roast Chicken Breast


  • Author:
  • Prep Time: 5 mins
  • Cook Time: 20 mins
  • Total Time: 25 mins
  • Yield: 4 servings
  • Category: Main
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: Chinese

Description

Tender, juicy chicken breast roasted with a rich, spicy dry rub. Only 30 minutes required, including prep and cooking. {Gluten-Free}


Ingredients

  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • Sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Sichuan dry rub (*Footnote 1)

  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Chinese chili flakes (or paprika powder for less spiciness)
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground Sichuan peppercorns
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon ginger powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder

Instructions

  1. Generously sprinkle salt on both sides of the chicken breasts. Let marinate at room temperature for 15 to 30 minutes, or covered and placed in the fridge for up to 6 hours.
  2. Mix all the ingredients for the Sichuan dry rub in a small bowl.
  3. Preheat oven to 500 degrees F (260 C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  4. Thoroughly pat chicken breasts dry with paper towel. Brush with a thin layer of oil onto the chicken. Sprinkle both sides with dry rub and transfer to the lined baking sheet. Transfer into the oven and set the oven temperature to 450 F.
  5. Bake until a thermometer inserted reads 160 F (*Footnote 2), or until the juice runs clear when you insert a knife into the thickest part of the chicken, about 15 minutes for smaller pieces and 20 minutes for larger ones.
  6. Transfer the chicken to a plate and let it rest for 5 minutes. Serve hot as a main.
  7. You can store the leftover chicken in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Reheat using microwave or a 350 F oven.

Notes

  1. You will have quite a bit of dry rub left after you cook this recipe. You can use what’s left over to roast a whole chicken using my other recipe.
  2. The inner temperature of the chicken will continue to rise as you rest the chicken, and will eventually reach the FDA-recommended 165F.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 chicken breast
  • Calories: 217cal
  • Sugar: 1.3g
  • Sodium: 292mg
  • Fat: 6.1g
  • Carbohydrates: 1.9g
  • Fiber: 0.1g
  • Protein: 36.3g
  • Cholesterol: 109mg
Sichuan Dry Rub Roast Chicken Breast - Tender, juicy chicken breast roasted with a rich, spicy dry rub. Only 30 minutes required, including prep and cooking. {Gluten-Free}

Disclosure

Omnivore's Cookbook is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.
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Meet Maggie

Hi I’m Maggie Zhu! Welcome to my site about modern Chinese cooking – including street food, family recipes, and restaurant dishes. I take a less labor-intensive approach while maintaining the taste and look of the dish. I am originally from Beijing, and now cook from my Austin, Texas kitchen.

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7 thoughts on “Sichuan Dry Rub Roast Chicken Breast

  1. Elisabeth

    Hi Maggie,
    thanks for all your recipes and tipps – I have already cooked/followed quite a lot of them and they all turned out very good!
    One question regarding the “dry Sichuan rub”: If I do that with white fish I I won’t let it in the oven so long with such high temperature, right? So what time/temperature would you suggest to get the rib taste “into” the fish?
    Regards, Elisabeth

    Reply
    1. Maggie Post author

      Hi Elisabeth, great question! You are right, you won’t need such a long time to cook a piece of fish. It is funny that I actually like cooking fish with a very high temperature. I actually turn on my broiler and place the fish right under it, and it only takes like 5 to 6 minutes. If you use 425F, it takes about 10 minutes (depends on the thickness of the fish). The rub will be on the surface, but the fish fillet will be really flavorful since you’re eating the piece with the spice on it. A lower temperature works as well, but the taste doesn’t get into the fish unless you marinate it first. I hope this is helpful and let me know how your dish turns out!

      Reply
      1. Elisabeth

        Hi Maggie,
        thank you for the additional information regarding dry rub/fish – it turned out simply perfect! I made a combination of both ways: First I put the fillets in the oven for 2 minutes (220 C); then I turned on the broiler and let the fish cook for another 6 minutes. The fillets were about 1.5 cm thick. As you wrote, the rub was on the surface but it was really, really delicious with the spice on it. We loved it. Before yesterday I always cooked fish on low temperature to prevent it from becoming dry…from now on I will change my method and cook it with high temperature…! So it was a great evening for body AND mind…

    1. Maggie Post author

      Hi Janet, I didn’t pound the breast because I’m using a remote thermometer and was sure the chicken will be cooked to a perfect temperature that is tender and juicy. Yes you can pan fry them as well. In this case you actually can pound the chicken or even butterfly it, so it cooks faster and stay tender. If you use the pan fry method, make sure to sprinkle the dry rub towards the end, cook each side for 1 to 2 minutes, so the spices won’t be burned. The pan temperature is much higher than oven temperature, so I never rub the spice before cooking.

      Reply
  2. Urica

    Hello, Maggie
    I love Asian Cuisine. My family enjoyed the dinners of Chinese Eggplant with Garlic Sauce and Sichuan Dry Rub Roasted Chicken. The eggplant preparation methods help me to cook the best dish of eggplant ever. On my family no meat days, how best can I flavor tofu. I like the firmer style , closer to meat substitute when eating it.

    Thanks,

    Urica

    Reply