“What’s Cooking” – Crispy Skin Spiced Chicken


This is the first time that I have made a crispy skin spiced chicken. My partner and I love it so much that I am going to share with you. I have found this recipe in an old Chinese cooking book in my cupboard. But, I never follow the exact ingredients and measures. I like to use a cooking book only as a guide, understand the technique and process to make the dish.

In the recipe, a whole duck is used. Because I don’t have a whole duck, I substitute with a Tasmanian “Growenewald” free range chicken. The recipe asked to marinate the meat in chinese cooking wine, red peppercorn, star anise, ginger and spring onion. I added a few other things for added flavour. The meat is marinated, cooked by steaming, then let cool until dry, and deep fried until the skin is browned and crispy. The meat is then shredded and served with a bit of sweet sauce (like Hoi Sin) in a chinese pancake wrapper. I didn’t have the pancake wrapper, so I improvised by serving the meat in a bed of baby spinach (fried in virgin olive oil, cracked pepper and sprinkle of sea salt) and cauliflower puree (see the Recipe Page).

The chicken skin is thin and crispy, flesh is soft and tender, tangy in flavour from the infused spices of peppercorn, star anise and ginger. It is really good. I will try again next time with a duck for comparison.

I wish that I have taken a photo of the chicken at each step of the process. Step 1 – Marinate, Step 2 – Steam and Step 3 – Fried. Unfortunately, I have not done it. I was not sure if my improvised recipe will work. So next time when I try on a duck (when I can get hold of one in Hobart), I will take some photos of the process involved.

DSC01435 Step 1

Mix the following ingredients:

1 tablespoon red peppercorn (aka Szechuan Peppercorn) – grounded

2 star anise – grounded

1 big piece ginger – finely chopped

8 spring onions (white section) – finely chopped

5 tablespoon Chinese cooking wine

1 tablespoon light soy sauce

1 teaspoon sesame oil

Sprinkle of crushed sea salt

Marinade a whole chicken by rubbing the ingredients inside and outside of the meat.

Refrigerate overnight.

Step 2

Remove the chicken from the refrigerator.

Place on a tray, breast side up.

Put in a steamer (I used wok and a lid) filled with water. Keep checking to make sure there is sufficient water during the steaming process.

Steam the chicken for 1 1/2 hour.

Remove the chicken and let it cool down.

Place in the refrigerator until the chicken is cool and dry.

Step 3

Heat up a wok with enough cooking oil to deep fry the chicken.

Immerse the chicken and deep fry until the skin is browned and crispy (I cut the chicken into 4 portions to fry separately).

Remove and let excess oil drained before serving.

You can serve the crispy skin spiced chicken anyway you like. It is nice by itself with a bit of Thai sweet chili sauce. Maybe you can even try with 1 kg of chicken wing! Same marinade. 🙂

Enjoy your meal!

22 responses to ““What’s Cooking” – Crispy Skin Spiced Chicken

  1. yummmmm………

  2. nice food. it looks like my hometown’s food. i’ve reviewed a restaurant from there. take a look: http://hungrygoat.wordpress.com

  3. Grrrrr…im hungry now…

  4. Hi Foodtrail,
    I also cook without following the exact ingredients or measurements of the recipes. Your chicken looks amazing. Great job on the crispy skin. I love to eat and also write a food review on cheap, good eats in Vancouver. If you have time, please check it out:) http://CheapAppetite.com

    Hope all is well in Tasmania,

    • Hi Tana (CheapAppetite) – thanks! I am with you – cheap food doesn’t necessary mean bad food. That’s why I go back to Asia at least once a year to feast my appetite of good food, but value for money. I like your idea in your blog searching for such eateries.

      I gather Vancouver is not only a beautiful place, but a great place for food and has a big Chinatown, with great variety of Asian food. Cheers!

  5. Sagari Das, Oghex, Mike – thanks! It is yummy. Twice cooked – takes some time, but easy cooking and worth it.

  6. Hi Victor, love the sound of that & thanks for sharing the recipe. I might try it just with WINGS! LOL!

  7. Hi, I am Maddie from Cookin With Chef Maddie.
    Great recipe 🙂 I am a pro-chef (Been cooking for 3 years!) and I have a recipe blog for everyone. We are working on our new website. So I will not give any links until about 5 weekdays. On week ends, we will be having a “Weekend Recipe” for all the chefs on Cookin With Chef Maddie! Come and comment on Cookin With Chef Maddie anytime! We have not opened our Comment Department yet so no quick comments-back.
    Thank you,

  8. Oh my gosh it looks like so much work, but it looks SO GOOD! I’m sure the end result is just amazing.

    • It does sounds like a lot of work, but it is really simple. Marinade work should take only 5 minutes, then leave the meat for a few hours or overnight. Steaming work – really all you need to do is to heat up the water and leave the meat sitting in the steamer (so you can watch TV or do something else), and lastly Frying should only take 5-10 minutes. So total kitchen work time will be less than 30 minutes, Softballgirl78. 🙂

  9. That sounds wonderful, I’m going to have to try that this weekend!

  10. hmm..yummy…it’s very delicious food ever i see..make me want taste it more…^^
    I’ll try it at home…for my family or other…my girl friend too..^^

  11. Wow Victor that looks awesome. I will have to give it it a try. You steamed the chicken whole for 11/2 hours and then segmented it into 4 when cool? Is that right?
    I am sure it wouldn’t be as good with Steve’s chicken wings!

    • Hi Stephen – that’s correct. I steamed the whole chicken first. The cooling process is to make sure the whole chicken is very dry, and best to put in the fridge.

      LOL! I don’t really know – SteveC may surprise us. I am certain he will do a marvelous job. But, I wouldn’t steam the wings, just marinade then deep fry.

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