If you love Asian food, you will go nuts over this Chinese Chicken! Made with the same Char Siu marinade as the ever popular Chinese Barbecue Pork (Char Siu), this recipe calls for Asian staples you might already have. BBQ it, pan fry, bake or broil/grill it. The smell when this is cooking is outrageous!
If you’ve strolled through Chinese neighbourhoods, past Chinese BBQ shops with the bronzed, glistening ducks and Chinese Barbecue Pork hanging from hooks in the window dripping with sticky glaze, then the smell when this hits the hot pan will be familiar.
And even if you’re not familiar with that smell, you will just know, you will know that this is 100% lip smackingly delicious and a total crowd pleaser. 🙂
This Chinese Chicken is the chicken version of Chinese Barbecue Pork. The marinade is slightly adjusted to make it more suitable for chicken – mainly less sugar because there’s more surface area with chicken so I find the pork Char Siu marinade a bit too sweet and also easier to cook on the BBQ/stove without burning the marinade.
And I even added the tiniest drop of red food colouring to give it that warm reddish tinge that Chinese Barbecue Pork is so well known for. (Entirely 100000% utterly and completely optional 🙂 )
And speaking of optional – the skewers are totally optional too. I just used them to do something a bit different because it dawned on me that I had done the Thai Coconut Marinated Chicken recently that would look very similar once cooked. Plus, they are handy for turning the chicken. 🙂
The flavour of this chicken is classic Chinese – it has lovely depth of flavour, it’s sweet and savoury, and a hint of Chinese Five Spice Powder flavour that makes this distinctly Char Siu. This is terrific cooked in the oven or broiled/grilled, but hands down the best way is on the BBQ or stove. That caramelisation that you get on the surface is just gold. GOLD. – Nagi xx
PS If you make this, tell me in the comments below if you agree that the smell when this is cooking is outrageous!!!!
PPS If you haven’t made it yet but you want to, tell me in the comments below if you can tell just by looking at the photos that the smell when this is cooking is outrageous!!!!
The marinade for this chicken is based on the famous Chinese BBQ Pork (Char Siu), a very popular recipe on my blog! It’s sweet, savoury, sticky, laced with Chinese Five Spice. Add your own touch like ginger and chilli for a kick! The red food colouring is optional – it gives the chicken the reddish tinge that Char Siu is known for. Recipe VIDEO below, MARINATING TIME: 3 - 24 hrs.
- 2 garlic cloves , minced
- 2 tsp brown sugar
- 1 1/2 tbsp honey
- 1 1/2 tbsp hoisin sauce
- 2 tsp oyster sauce
- 1 ½ tbsp light soy sauce (or all purpose)
- 1/2 tsp Chinese five spice powder (Note 1)
- 1/2 tsp sesame oil (not critical)
- Few drops red food colouring , optional
- 750 g / 1.5lb chicken thigh fillets , skinless boneless (or breast)
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 10 – 12 bamboo skewers , soaked in water for 1 hour (optional)
- Green onions / scallions , finely sliced, for garnish (optional)
Place Marinade ingredients in a ziplock bag or bowl and mix to combine.
Add chicken and mix to coat. Marinade for 3 – 24 hours.
Optional: Cut chicken into bite size or large pieces and thread onto skewers. Use 1 skewer for small pieces, 2 for large, like pictured in post.
Heat half the oil in a heavy based skillet over medium high heat, or BBQ on medium (if using grill side, brush oil on bars).
Remove chicken from marinade (RESERVE for basting) and place in the skillet - cook in 2 batches, don't crowd the pan. Cook for 4 minutes then turn.
Use the Marinade to baste the cooked side of the chicken. After 3 minutes, turn the chicken over so the basted side is now cooking again - cook for 1 minute.
Baste the chicken, then turn again and cook for 45 sec - 1 min.
Transfer chicken to a plate, cover loosely with foil and rest for 5 minutes.
Serve, garnished with green onions / scallions if using!
1. Chinese Five Spice Powder is a blend of five spices that is now commonly found at every day supermarkets in the spice section. It is the same prices as other dried herbs and spices. If you can't find it, this will still be super tasty without it because Hoisin Sauce has five spice in it so you will still get a subtle fragrance of it.
2. I like to make this with thigh because it's juicier but it works really well with breast too because the sugar in the marinade makes it caramelise nicely.
3. Oven: Preheat to 220C/425F. Small (150g/5oz) - Bake on top shelf for 18 minutes, then turn and bake for another 4 minutes. For large (200g/7oz), do 20 minutes then 5 minutes.
Grill/Broil: Preheat to medium high, then cook for 6 - 7 minutes on each side (watch carefully, will get dark brown spots and can burn easily due to sugar in marinade).
4. Nutrition per serving.
Chinese Chicken recipe video!
The ever popular Char Siu Chinese Barbecue Pork!
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