Need a quick ovenbake? Try this fragrant Chinese-spiced chicken

Need a quick ovenbake? Try this fragrant Chinese-spiced chicken

Aaron McLean

Inspired by Celia Harvey's 2011 recipe, this chicken is a nice Chinese twist.

Chicken bakes have been popular throughout Cuisine's history.

Celia Harvey's recipe for basque chicken with brave potatoes & chorizo from 2011 is a firm favourite and there is really nothing I could change to improve on the original, but here I've decided to give it a Chinese makeover.

You could of course swap out the capsicums for other vegetables if you are cooking this in winter.

* Recipe: Chicken fricassee with tomatoes & olive
* Recipe: Chicken schnitzel with asparagus
* Recipe: Crispy chicken breasts with potato gratin

Serves 4
Preparation 15 minutes
Cooking 50 minutes


1 teaspoon red chilli flakes
1 teaspoon Sichaun peppercorns
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
½ teaspoon five spice powder
1 teaspoon rock salt
400g washed new potatoes
100ml sunflower oil
1.2kg free-range chicken, cut into quarters (or 8 chicken pieces)
2 red onions, thickly sliced
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
250g lap cheong (Chinese sausage), thinly sliced
½ cup chicken stock
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons Shaoxing rice wine
3 tablespoons red or black vinegar
1 red capsicum, deseeded, cut into thick slices
1 yellow capsicum, deseeded, cut into thick slices
70g dry or preserved black olives
Fresh coriander or chives to serve 

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Using a mortar and pestle or spice grinder, grind together the red chilli flakes, Sichuan peppercorns, fennel seeds, cumin seeds, five spice powder and salt.

Boil the potatoes in salted water until they are just tender. Drain and cool under cold running water. When cool enough to handle, slice into 1cm-thick discs. Put in a bowl with 2 tablespoons of the oil and half the spice mix. Toss to coat the potatoes evenly. Reserve.

Heat the remaining oil in a frying pan over medium heat then brown the chicken pieces in batches, transferring them to a large roasting tray as you go. 

Add the onions, garlic and sausage to the frying pan and fry for 3 minutes, stirring, or until coloured. Deglaze the pan by pouring in the stock and allowing it to bubble, scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Boil until the stock has reduced by half then stir in the soy sauce, Shaoxing and vinegar. 

Pour this mixture over the chicken then add the capsicum, potatoes and olives. Scatter with the remaining spice mix then put the roasting tray in the oven and cook for 40-45 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. Serve scattered with coriander or chives if desired.

WINE: A full-bodied pinot gris, such as the Spy Valley Pinot Gris 2015.

 - Cuisine

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