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Sichuan Roasted Whole Chicken | This recipe yields an extremely juicy and tender bird with a rich flavor and crispy skin. The chicken is rubbed with Sichuan peppercorn salt, stuffed with fresh aromatics, and oven roasted to perfection. Make this the centerpiece for your next holiday gathering or dinner party and impress everyone! {Gluten-Free adaptable}
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4.5 from 2 votes

Sichuan Roasted Whole Chicken

This Sichuan roasted whole chicken recipe yields an extremely juicy and tender bird with a rich flavor and crispy skin. The chicken is rubbed with Sichuan peppercorn salt, stuffed with fresh aromatics, and oven roasted to perfection. Make this the centerpiece for your next holiday gathering or dinner party and impress everyone!
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Marinating time12 hrs
Total Time13 hrs 20 mins
Course: Main
Cuisine: Chinese
Keyword: comfort food
Servings: 4 to 6
Calories: 234kcal
Author: Maggie Zhu

Ingredients

  • 1 (3.5 to 5 lbs / 1.5 to 2 kg) whole chicken

Sichuan peppercorn salt

  • 1 1/2 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon black tea
  • 2 teaspoons Sichuan peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic (or garlic powder)

Wet rub

Stuffing

  • 4 green onions , sliced into 2” (5 cm) pieces
  • 15 slices ginger , 2 in
  • 1 head garlic , top removed

Optional - chicken rice

  • 1 cup (250 ml) ice
  • 2 pieces ginger , sliced
  • Pan drippings + water needed for adequate rice cooking liquid
  • 1 green onion , thinly sliced
  • Pinch of salt

Instructions

Marinate the chicken

  • Add the salt, tea, and peppercorns to a pan. Heat over medium-low heat, stirring regularly, until smoking.
  • Remove the pan from the heat and add the granulated garlic. Transfer everything into a spice grinder or a small food processor. Grind until everything turns into a granulated spice mix.
  • Combine the shaoxing wine and sesame oil in a small bowl. Stir well.
  • Transfer the chicken into a large bowl. Rub the chicken with the sesame oil mixture on the inside and outside until well coated.
  • Sprinkle the Sichuan peppercorn salt mixture onto the inside and outside of the chicken. Gently pat and rub with your hands until evenly coated.
  • Stuff the cavity with green onions and ginger. Seal with the garlic, with the cut side facing the inside of the chicken. Secure the stuffing by stitching together the cavity with a toothpick (skip this if you don’t have a toothpick). Tuck the wing tips underneath the breasts to prevent burning.
  • Place the chicken breast-side-down in the same large bowl. Cover with plastic wrap. Let it marinate overnight in the fridge. Rotate once halfway through marinating (it’s OK if you forget the rotating).

Roast the chicken

  • Adjust the oven rack, so the chicken will be positioned in the middle of the oven. Preheat the oven to 450 °F (232 °C). Line a roasting pan with foil for easy cleaning. Pour in a cup of water to prevent the drippings from burning. Place a roasting rack into the pan.

Option 1 - Fussless roasting

  • Drizzle the extra marinating liquid onto the chicken. Roast the chicken at 450 °F (232 °C) for 30 minutes.
  • Take the chicken out of the oven. Turn the oven to 350 °F (176 °C). Drizzle additional sesame oil onto the chicken. Add more water to the pan if needed.
  • Return the chicken back to the oven. Roast at 350 °F (176 °C) for another 30 minutes, or until the juices run clear.

Option 2 - Extra crispy thigh

  • If you happen to have an adjustable roasting rack, you can use this method to get extra crispy thighs. Start the roasting by shaping the roasting rack into a “V” shape. Grease the rack with a thin layer of oil to prevent sticking. Place the chicken on its side, so the thigh and the wing are facing up. Drizzle a few teaspoons of the marinating liquid onto the chicken. Roast at 450 °F (232 °C) for 15 to 20 minutes, until the top of the thigh turns golden brown.
  • Take the chicken out of the oven. Wearing a pair of oven mitts and holding both ends of the chicken, flip it so the other thigh and wing face up. Drizzle the rest of the marinating liquid onto the chicken. Continue to roast at 450 °F (232 °C) for 10 to 15 minutes, until the top of the thigh turns golden brown.
  • Take the chicken out of the oven. Turn the oven to 350 °F (176 °C). Drizzle additional sesame oil onto the chicken. Add more water to the pan if needed.
  • Return the chicken to the oven. Roast at 350 °F (176 °C) for another 30 minutes, or until the juices run clear.

Test doneness and rest

  • For a smaller chicken (under 4 lbs / 1.8 kg), I would test the chicken at the 20-minute mark, just in case, to avoid overcooking. For a bigger chicken, you might need 10 minutes or more of additional roasting time at 350 °F (176 °C) to finish.
  • For a more accurate reading, use an instant-read thermometer, inserted into the thickest part of the thigh and breast. The thigh should read at least 160 °F (71 °C) and the breast at least 155 °F (68 °C). While resting, the temperature of the dark meat will continue to go up and should reach 165 °F (74 °C), the safe temperature recommended by the FDA. Note, I prefer to cook chicken breast slightly under 165 °F (74 °C), which yields super juicy and tender results.
  • Let the chicken rest for at least 10 minutes before serving. It will stay pretty hot for about 30 minutes.

(Optional) Bonus - chicken rice

  • Collect the pan drippings in a measuring cup. Add water to the drippings to reach the needed amount of liquid, depending on the type of rice you’ll make. You will need 1 3/4 cup of liquid for jasmine rice, or 1 1/4 cup of rice for medium or long grain rice. Check out my rice cooking guide for more information.
  • Add the rice into a small saucepan. Add water to cover. Rinse in a circular motion with your fingers a few times. Drain the water and repeat the process one more time. Drain the water thoroughly.
  • Add the pan dripping water mixture, ginger, and a pinch of salt.
  • Cook over medium heat until the water comes to a full boil. Cover the pan and turn to low heat immediately. Steam 15 minutes for jasmine and long grain rice, and 18 minutes for medium grain rice. Do not uncover the pot during steaming.
  • Once the rice is done cooking, remove the pan from the stove. Let sit, covered, for another 10 minutes.
  • After resting the rice, use a fork or spatula to fluff it. Taste the rice. Add more salt and mix again, if needed.

Serving

  • Once rested, carve the chicken and top it onto the rice. Garnish with green onion. Serve hot as a main dish.

Notes

  1. The nutrition facts are calculated based on 1 serving of roasted chicken without the rice.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 234kcal | Protein: 35g | Fat: 9.3g | Saturated Fat: 2.5g | Cholesterol: 105mg | Sodium: 977mg | Potassium: 321mg | Calcium: 17mg | Iron: 2mg