This recipe is for a Chinese banquet favourite, Peking chicken roasted until the skin is crisp, then served with stir-fried greens, spring onion, hoisin sauce and wrappers.
- 2 x 2.2 kg whole chickens, trimmed
- 3 tsp sesame oil
- 2 bunches Asian greens (choy sum, gai lan)
- 60 ml (¼ cup) Chinese rice wine (shaoxing) (see Note)
- 60 ml (¼ cup) oyster sauce
- store-bought Peking duck wrappers (see Note), hoisin sauce and shredded spring onion, to serve
- 2 tbsp honey
- 1 tsp ground five spice
- pinch pillar box red food colouring powder (see Note)
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
You'll need to begin this recipe 1–2 days ahead.
Using paper towel, pat chicken skins and cavities dry. Place on a wire rack in a roasting pan and refrigerate, uncovered, for 1–2 days to dry out the skin; the longer you do this, the crisper the skin will be when roasting.
Preheat oven to 200˚C. Tie each pair of chicken legs together with kitchen string, then return chickens to wire rack in roasting pan. Pour 500 ml water in pan to prevent the pan drippings burning; add more water throughout cooking if necessary.
Combine marinade ingredients with 60 ml water and stir to combine. Brush chickens thoroughly with the marinade mixture.
Roast for 35 minutes or until skin is starting to brown. Reduce heat to 170˚C. Roast, basting every 20 minutes, for a further 55 minutes or until skin is browned and crisp, and the juices run clear when the thickest part of the thigh is pierced with a skewer.
Meanwhile, heat sesame oil in a wok over high heat. Add Asian greens and stir-fry for 3 minutes or until just wilted. Add rice wine and oyster sauce, and toss to heat through.
Serve roast chicken with duck wrappers, hoisin sauce, spring onion and Asian greens.
• Shaoxing is from selected supermarkets and Asian food shops. Substitute dry sherry.
• Peking duck wrappers are available from Chinese barbecue restaurants.
• Pillar box red food colouring is from Asian food shops and selected greengrocers. It is available in both powder and liquid form.
As seen in Feast Magazine, Issue 16, pg70.
Photography by John Laurie & Brett Stevens