Year Of The Red Fire Rooster

Saturday January 28 is Chinese New Year. It is time to say farewell to the Year of the Monkey and hello to the Year of the Rooster! What better way to celebrate than with a poached then roasted chicken.

Twice Cooked Chicken


Special Note:
You will have to start the recipe the day before you want to serve it, as the poached chicken needs to rest overnight.

for poaching the chicken
1.5kg whole chicken (approximately)
2 spring onions, roughly chopped
5 garlic cloves, bruised with the back of a knife then peeled
6cm piece of fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
3 star anise
3 whole cloves
1 cinnamon stick
1/2 cup Chinese rice wine
1/2 cup dark soy sauce
12 cups (3 litres) water, more may be needed

for the marinade
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon sea salt

for serving
thinly sliced fresh red chillies

Place the spring onions, garlic, ginger, star anise, cloves, cinnamon stick, Chinese rice wine and dark soy into a large saucepan. Add the chicken, breast side down. Pour the water over the chicken making sure the chicken is fully submerged. Add more water if necessary.
Bring to the boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low. Simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes.
Remove from heat. Cover and allow the chicken to steep for 1 hour.
Carefully remove the chicken from the poaching liquid and place into a baking pan. Allow to cool for 5 minutes. Refrigerate, uncovered, overnight.
Discard the poaching liquid.
The next day, preheat the oven to 220C / 430F.
Mix together the marinade ingredients.
Brush the chicken with half the marinade.
Bake for 20 minutes. Brush chicken with remaining marinade and continue baking for a further 10 – 20 minutes or until the chicken is cooked.
The best way to check if the chicken is cooked is by placing a meat thermometer in the thickest part of the thigh or the breast without touching the bone. It should be approximately 82C / 180F.
If you don’t have a meat thermometer you can pierce the thigh with a skewer and when the juices run clear the chicken is cooked.
Cover the chicken with foil and allow to rest for 10 minutes before cutting into pieces.
Serve with sliced chillies.

For an extra spicy kick, make a batch of Chinese five spice salt by combining 1 teaspoon Chinese five spice powder with 1 tablespoon sea salt. Sprinkle it over your chicken or use it as a dipping salt.


  1. I enjoy recipes when the ingredients rest and get bruised.I find this hysterical! I need an adjective or verb for food involved in unusual activities. My brain is not working due to Day5 Migraine. Just reading your description and recipe gave me joy, and a whole lot of internal laughter. I think it could be a go should a #MiracleandaPanda arrive at my door. As I remember, I am not a fan of Chinese Five Spice. I will explore to find out what, I assume, the five spices are, and proceed. I want to thank you for this post and recipe.

    Don’t you think all PandaPeeps WorldWide should have a National Panda Holiday? 🎉 🐼Omgoodness, this just popped into my head this very minute 🎂. And what better day than this New Year’s Celebration. I know you have the ear of a certain prestigious , panda, one Bob T. Panda. Perhaps you might persuade him to start a movement. I bet Mehitabel would help. Triss is good to go. 🐈

    Love and eternal hugs. 💖 🌼

    We need a cupcake emoji. Who do we need to get dirt on. Or bribe. Or, well, well, you know.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I never realised how funny some of the instructions could be – bruised, rested, massaged. Some recipes even call for a hair dyer 🙂 I will try to come up with a term for these amusing methods.

      I’m not a fan of Chinese five spice which is why I used it as an accompaniment. The five spice are usually Sichuan pepper, cinnamon, cloves, star anise & fennel.

      We’ll have to get Bob T to start a movement for a cuppycake emoji and an International Panda Day. Chinese New Year would be perfect – a changing date for our changing pandas!

      Hope that migraine goes away soon.
      Hugs, love and panda kisses.

      Liked by 1 person

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