Recipe for Peking Chicken


  • 1 whole chicken, about 3 1/2 lbs
  • 1 large yellow onion, finely sliced
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2-3 drops red food coloring
  • 2 tsp five spice powder, check the tip section
  • 1 Meyer lemon juice, freshly squeezed
  • 2 Tbs papaya seeds
  • 1 1/2 tsp candied ginger, finely chopped, + 2 Tbs for infuser
  • 1 Tbs peppercorns, coarsely crushed
  • 1 Tbs ginger garlic paste
  • 1 Tbs fleur de sel, + 1 tsp
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup, or dark honey
  • 2 Tbs rice vinegar
  • 2 Tbs dark molasse, + extra for the infuser
  • 1 Tbs butter, soft at room temperature
  • 2 tsp soy sauce

Cooking Directions

First, make sure the skin of the chicken is not punctured. Clean the chicken thoroughly. Get rid of the fat chunks near the bottom of the chicken. Leave the skin on.

Insert an air pump hose into the neck hole. Close the cavity at the bottom to get the skin to separate from the flesh.

Combine the crushed black pepper and candied ginger in a sauce pan. Add about 1 cup of water. Bring to a boil. Remove from the heat. Place some iced water in a bucket.

Add the papaya seeds, lemon juice, the ginger/pepper
mixture and a few drops of red food coloring in a bucket. Add the chicken and fill up the bucket with iced water. Make sure the brine covers the chicken.

Set aside in a cool area for at least 3 hours. Stir frequently and add ice when necessary. Remove the chicken from its liquid. Discard the brine.

In a medium-sized non-stick pan, caramelized the onion for about 10-15 minutes. Drain the oil. Keep the oil aside though.
Fill a large pot of water. Bring the water to a boil. Add the caramelized onions. Add the chicken.

Cook for about 5 minutes. Remove from the stove. Drain and discard the water. Pat dry the chicken with paper towels.

In a bowl, add the five spice powder, salt, 1 tablespoon of the onion oil, ginger garlic paste, salt and 4 tablespoons of maple syrup.

Wearing gloves, score the bird using a fork. Spread all the mixture in the cavity and on the outside of the bird. Rub evenly. Place the chicken on a vertical stand (without the infuser) and plastic-wrap the duck.

Chill in top shelf of the refrigerator for about 4 hours. Remove the chicken. Discard the liquid at the bottom of the vertical stand. Wash the stand in soapy water.

Preheat the oven at 350°F.

In a bowl, mix the rest of the maple syrup with rice vinegar and soy sauce. Brush the duck with the vinegar mixture using a silicone brush. Drizzle with a little onion oil, then sprinkle about 1 teaspoon of salt on the bird.

Cover just the tip and shoulders with foil so that they don’t burn. Place on the rotisserie of your oven or simply in a roaster. I used a vertical stand with an integrated infuser.

Place a little citrus juice and molasse in the cup, stuff it with the remnant quarters of citrus and 2 tablespoons of candied ginger, and then seal the infuser. Place the chicken on top and place the whole thing on a tray.

Roast 350°F for 30 min. Then lower the heat to 325°F for another 10 minutes. Remove the foil. In the microwave, melt some butter and the molasses.

Baste the bird with the butter mix using a silicone brush. Increase the temperature to 425°F for 10 min to brown the chicken.

Get the bird out of the oven. Cover with foil (don’t entirely wrap it, the skin won’t be crispy otherwise). Let the meat rest for a least 10 minutes. Be patient .

The thermometer should register 165°F in the thickest part of the bird or the juice should run clear when you crack around the thighs.

Serve with some homemade banh bao (steamed buns) and garnish with cucumber, green scallions, fresh cilantro and some hoisin sauce.

Peking Chicken Photos

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