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Learn this super easy recipe to create extra juicy and tender roast chicken chicken with a crispy skin that is very fragrant. It’s a modernized version of the salt baked chicken and uses the oven to largely simplify the process and create a great result. It’s so easy to prepare and fast to cook, that you can make it for a weeknight dinner. But the result is so amazing that I would definitely serve it for occasions such as Chinese New Year. {Gluten-Free adaptable}

Easy Salt Baked Chicken (简易盐焗鸡)

5 from 5 votes
Learn this super easy recipe to create extra juicy and tender roast chicken chicken with a crispy skin that is very fragrant. It’s a modernized version of the salt baked chicken and uses the oven to largely simplify the process and create a great result. It’s so easy to prepare and fast to cook, that you can make it for a weeknight dinner. But the result is so amazing that I would definitely serve it for occasions such as Chinese New Year. {Gluten-Free adaptable}
To make the dish gluten-free, use dry sherry to replace the Shaoxing wine.
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 45 mins
Total Time: 1 hr
Course: Main
Cuisine: Chinese
Keyword: restaurant-style
Servings: 4 to 6 servings
Author: Maggie Zhu

Ingredients

Spice Mix (*Footnote 2)

  • 1 tablespoon salt (*Footnote 3)
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ginger powder (or sand ginger powder if available)
  • 1/2 teaspoon five spice powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric (Optional, for color)
  • 1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine (or Chinese rose wine, or dry sherry)

Baking

  • 1 (3 lb to 5 lb / 1.3 kg to 2.2 kg) whole chicken (*Footnote 1)
  • 6 green onions , halved
  • 1 thumb ginger , sliced

Instructions

  • For the Spice mix: Combine the salt, sugar, ginger powder, five spice powder, and turmeric in a small bowl. Stir to mix well. Pour in the Shaoxing wine. Stir again to dissolve as much salt and sugar as possible. Set it aside to sit while you prepare the chicken.
  • To prepare the chicken: Cut the chicken along both sides of the backbone one side at a time using a pair of kitchen scissors. Flip the chicken over and flatten out the legs and wings. Press down on the center of the chicken breasts using your hands, until the breastbone cracks and the chicken lays flat. Tug the wing tips under the drumsticks.
  • Preheat the oven to 400° (200°C) convection (highly recommended, for a crispier skin) or 425°F (224°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread the green onion and ginger slices in the center, to form a bed for the chicken.
  • Place the chicken skin side down. Spread a thin layer of the spice mix and rub until it’s even. Transfer the chicken onto the prepared green onion and ginger, skin side up this time. Rub the seasonings over the skin. You will have leftover spice mix if using a smaller chicken.
  • Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until the juices run clear when you probe the thickest part of the thigh and breast. Or the meat should read 165°F (74°C) if using a thermometer.
  • Once the chicken is baked, let rest for 10 minutes before carving. Serve over steamed rice as a main dish.

Notes

  1. The spice mix covers up to a 5 lb chicken, although I personally prefer to use a smaller chicken, which yields a more flavorful result.
  2. You can purchase “salt baked chicken powder” from the Chinese market, which mainly consists of sand ginger powder and salt. You can use 1 pack of this powder to replace the homemade spice mix, if you wish.
  3. For a more balanced taste, use kosher salt. I personally like the dish a bit saltier so it goes perfectly with steamed rice, so I used table salt. Sea salt creates a great taste as well, and it’s also on the slightly saltier side.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving, Calories: 441kcal, Carbohydrates: 2.8g, Protein: 65.7g, Fat: 16.8g, Saturated Fat: 4.6g, Cholesterol: 202mg, Sodium: 604mg, Potassium: 558mg, Fiber: 0.1g, Sugar: 2g, Calcium: 35mg, Iron: 3mg