I have a confession…. I am always buying products and using them one time! I buy ingredients to make a recipe and then it sits in the pantry. I am sure everyone has this problem, right? The ingredients I usually have this problem with are Asian. I am trying to learn more about Asian cuisine, so much to the point that I have become obsessed with it. Asian ingredients have always been so foreign to me and not because I am scared to use them, it’s I just don’t know how. There, I said it! Which is crazy for me to admit because I love Asian food so much. I love the complexities of flavor and the blend of sweet, spicy, sour, salty, and bitter. Part of my journey to get back to what I love, is to learn more about Asian cuisine and incorporate the ingredients into everyday meals. I don’t want them to just sit on the shelf until there is a special reason to bring them out, especially when there is so much flavor to be had in using them.
Let’s make this clear, I am not talking about the usual Asian ingredients such as ginger, sriracha (not sure if that’s even considered authentic Asian), soy sauce, sesame oil etc. I am talking about Doubanjiang, Doenjang, Miso, Gochujang etc. Which brings me to the introduction of the ingredient Shaoxing cooking wine.
Shaoxing is a Chinese fermented rice wine. It is very aromatic, nutty and has a distinct flavor. I bought it for stir fry recipes, but it is a staple in Chinese cooking and goes in just about everything. I have used it to saute greens, which was very good. What gave me this idea to roast a chicken with it, was a Mind of a Chef episode. It was a guest chef who studied in China and then came back to her home in France to open a restaurant. She dipped the chicken in Shaoxing and slow roasted it. It looked amazing, so amazing I had to try. I am happy I did. It was a change of pace from our normal roast chicken that I always make. It had salty crispy skin on the outside and was moist and juicy on the inside. I put in aromatics to also give it more of an Asian flavor and used white pepper to make it more authentic. Have you noticed in Chinese cooking they only use white pepper? I get it. I think the flavor is less complex. It doesn’t punch you in the face like black pepper can. I read it has more of an earthy flavor. Anyway, give it a try. I hope you enjoy this change of pace with roast chicken as much as we did.
Shaoxing Roast Chicken
1 5-6 lb whole chicken
1/3 cup shaoxing wine
2 tsp sesame oil
4 scallions chopped in half
4 inch piece of ginger, peeled and chopped in 4 pieces
1 head of garlic, sliced in half
1 1/2 tbsp kosher salt
2 tsp white pepper
Preheat over to 425.
In a small bowl, add sesame oil and shaoxing, stir and set aside. Combine salt and pepper in a tiny bowl or ramekin. This will make it easier to season the chicken. Place the chicken on a foil lined baking sheet.
Sprinkle 1/3 of the salt and pepper mixture in the cavity of the chicken. Then stuff the chicken cavity with the scallions, ginger, and garlic. Try to layer the aromatics as you put them in the chicken, break up the garlic a little bit if you need to.
While the chicken is breast side up, tuck the wing tips behind the chicken. Using a pastry brush, brush the chicken liberally with the shaoxing and sesame oil mixture. If you can, try to brush the bottom of the chicken as well (be sure to tuck the wing tips behind the chicken again once finished). After the chicken is liberally brushed with the shaoxing, take what is remaining and pour it in the cavity of the chicken. Tie the legs together with butcher’s twine.
Bake for approximately 90 minutes or until the chicken reaches 165 degrees. Let rest for 10-15 minutes before serving.