Chinese Five Spice Chicken

I have a confession, I have never used Chinese five spice powder before. I know, I can’t believe it either. To be honest, I did not think I liked it.  How could that be? It has cinnamon, cloves, ginger, anise, and star anise in it. I like them all, with the exception of the anise, and star anise, which I had never tried before.

Every time I am at the grocery store shopping for spices, I always see it, and in the back of my mind, I’m thinking I should go ahead and just buy it.  But what would I make with it?

Lately, I have been seeing a lot of Asian recipes that call for Chinese five spice powder in my Asian cookbooks. So, when I was at the store the other day,  I thought what the heck, I’m just going to get it and give it a try.

I never knew chicken roasted in the oven could taste so good. The Chinese five spice is a combo of sweet, warm, sour, spicy and pungent flavors all in one. The aroma will fill your kitchen with happiness!

Chinese Five Spice Chicken

5 chicken leg quarters, bone in, skin on (about 3 pounds)


  • 2 Tbs low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 Tbs dijon mustard
  • 1 Tbs rice wine vinegar
  • 2 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 tsp Chinese five spice powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees F.

Rinse chicken under cold water. Add to a gallon sized zip-top bag. Whisk marinade in a glass or ceramic bowl. Add marinade to the bag and mush around to coat. Marinate in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes up to one day. Make sure to take the chicken out of the refrigerator at least 15 minutes before roasting to take the chill off.

Place chicken on a rimmed sheet pan and roast for 40 minutes, until the skin is brown and juices are running clear.

Serve with a side of Jasmine rice and roasted asparagus.

Easy Roasted Asparagus:

Increase oven temp to 425 degrees. Trim asparagus stems, rinse and pat dry. Place on a rimmed baking sheet, drizzle with 3 Tbs of olive oil and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Mix around to coat well. Roast for 10-12 minutes depending on how hot your oven gets.