What’s better than a homemade roast chicken? A homemade Roast Chicken with sichuan peppercorns! This roast chicken is funky, it’s super delicious and it’s what I call the grown up version of your Sunday Roast!
I love Sichuan cuisine, and I love sichuan peppercorns! Sichuan peppercorns’ claim to fame is their mouth numbing characteristic; you get a tingling (and therefore, slightly numbing) sensation on your tongue which sets the stage for the typically spicy dishes found in Sichuan cuisine. Click here to read more about these peppercorns that are not peppercorns at all!
So today’s recipe, Roast Chicken with Sichuan Pepper, is not really a chilli spicy recipe, unless you want it to be! We use a whole lot of these peppercorns, along with a few other ingredients to create a marinade that will add incredible depth to the meat, with citrusy, sweet and smoky tones. And a touch of spice.
To ensure that the meat gets a friendly dose of the marinade, you must get under the skin, as far as you can go. The best way to reduce the risk of the skin tearing (which we don’t really want), is to do it from the neck end of the chicken with your fingers, and to go gently, especially if you have nails!
Wearing gloves will “blunt” your long, sharp nails slightly and also keep the marinade off your hands, which is not a bad thing! I hate tingly fingers!
How long to Roast the Chicken For?
A good estimate is about 20 minutes every 450 g (1 lb), plus another 15 minutes or so. It’s not an exact science. So, if you have a chicken that weighs 1.5 kg (just over 3 lb), that’s 1 hour plus 15 minutes (or so).
Check at the hour mark, then decide how long more to give your chicken, whether you use a thermometer or go by appearance, as I do. I also like to cover the chicken for the first half hour to stop it from over browning.
How to Serve our Roast Chicken with Sichuan Peppercorns?
- Needless to say, this would work being served as you would your usual roast, with potatoes, gravy, et al.
- However, I love to have this as part of a Chinese or mixed Oriental meal. As you can see in the picture, it’s fantastic with noodles, but will also go famously with some rice and other side dishes.
- It would also be wonderful wrapped up in pancakes with hoi sin sauce, spring onions (scallions) and cucumbers, just like the crispy duck you get at Chinese restaurants.
And, with Chinese New Year around the corner, this would be perfect as part of your Chinese New Year meal! For more ideas, check out the Chinese page, Thai page, Vietnamese page as well as the Singapore & Malaysia page for creating a complete menu with recipes like:
Roast Chicken with Sichuan Peppercorns
- 1 large chicken between 1.5 kg – 2 kg (roughly 3 – 4 lb)
- 2 stalks spring onions scallions
- 1 whole orange halved
- 2 Tbsp sichuan peppercorns
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 cloves garlic
- 5 cm (2") ginger
- ½ tsp coarsely ground black pepper
- ¼ tsp chilli flakes
- 1 Tbsp light soy sauce
- 1 Tbsp honey
- 1 Tbsp Shaoxing rice wine or any rice wine or dry sherry
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- Dry roast the sichuan peppercorns on medium low heat for 1 – 2 minutes, no more, as we want just a bit of depth.
- Place the sichuan peppercorns in a pestle and mortar, along with the salt and pound to a semi-coarse grind. Or just use a spice mill/chopper.
- Pound or chop the garlic and ginger into a fairly fine mince. A food chopper will do, or use the pestle and mortar or just a knife to chop them fine.
- Now mix all the marinade ingredients together, right there in the mortar or in a bowl.
- Rub the marinade all over the chicken, inside and out, and under the skin, being careful not to break the skin, going as far as you can.
- Leave to marinate for a minimum of 1 hour, overnight if you planned early enough! If marinating overnight, place in the fridge.
- 20 minutes before you’re ready to roast the chicken, bring it out of the fridge to allow it to come to room temperature slightly.
- Preheat the oven to 190˚C (375˚F).
- Stuff the chicken with the spring onions (scallions) and orange.
- Loosely cover the chicken with a foil and roast on the middle shelf for 1 hour.
- Take the foil off after 1 hour and roast uncovered for the remainder of the time, which should be about 3o minutes, depending on the size of your chicken. See tips above. Baste your chicken halfway, if you like. I don’t always bother, going for a super crispy skin.
- When done, cover with foil, then a tea towel and leave to rest for 20 minutes, before carving and serving.