Five-spice, soy & lemon roast chicken

Try a roast with a difference – Chinese five-spice, citrus and ginger add warmth to the rich soy and hoisin sauce-based gravy

  • Prep:10 mins
    Cook:1 hrs 40 mins
    plus 30 mins marinating
  • Serves 4
  • Easy

Nutrition per serving

  • kcal 516
  • fat 29g
  • saturates 8g
  • carbs 7g
  • sugars 5g
  • fibre 2g
  • protein 58g
  • salt 2.1g


  • thumb-sized piece ginger, thinly sliced
  • 1 large chicken (about 1.8-2kg), untied
  • 2 bunches spring onions
  • 1 head garlic, halved across the middle
  • 1 lemon, halved, plus 4 wedges
  • 1 tsp Chinese five-spice powder
  • 1 tbsp vegetable or sunflower oil, to drizzle
  • 1-2 tsp golden caster sugar
  • 2 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp hoisin sauce
  • fragrant rice and steamed greens or stir-fried vegetables, to serve


  1. Put most of the sliced ginger into a large roasting tin, then sit the chicken on top. Stuff the chicken with remaining ginger, the green ends from one bunch of onions, half of the garlic and a lemon half. Mix the five-spice, 2 tsp oil and seasoning, then rub all over the chicken. Nestle the other half of the garlic nearby, and drizzle all with 1 tsp oil. Loosely re-tie the legs. Set aside at room temperature for half an hour or so.

  2. Heat the oven to 190C/170C fan/gas 5. Roast the chicken for 1 hr. Toss the lemon wedges and the spring onion ends into the pan juices, then roast for 30 mins more or until the meat is cooked at the thickest part of the thigh and the lemon wedges are sticky. Lift the chicken from the pan and set aside, uncovered, to rest.

  3. Spoon away any excess fat from the pan, then put the pan onto a medium heat and bring to a simmer. Add 1 tsp sugar, the soy, hoisin, juice from the remaining half lemon and any resting juices. Simmer for a few mins until it thickens slightly, then check the seasoning and add more sugar if needed – don’t add any extra salt as the soy and hoisin will add plenty. Serve with the chicken, rice and vegetables.

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