Chinese Roasted Chicken with Bean Sprouts and Snow Peas
Visually stunning, this dish is a feast for the eyes as well as the stomach. Prepare this chicken with other sides for your during-the-week menu, or wow your guests with the full presentation. The beautiful browned skin and moist meat will have you making this again and again! Try the marinade ingredients with different meats.
1 (3.5 – 4 lb.) chicken
Coarse salt (kosher or sea)
2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons dry white wine
2 tablespoons sesame oil
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon five spice powder
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
1 large clove garlic, run through a press or finely minced
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Dash of cayenne pepper
1/2 pound snow peas, rinsed, strings pulled
2 pounds bean sprouts, rinsed and drained well
1 medium yellow onion
2 strips bacon, cut into ½” pieces
4 cloves garlic, mashed
Salt (preferably coarse)
Dark soy sauce
Rinse and pat chicken dry. Cut chicken down the backbone. Lay chicken out, butterflied, skin side down, on flat surface. Cut away excess fat. Press down on either side of breastbone until it pops out. Remove, along with cartilage that runs between breast halves. Rub salt liberally all over both sides of chicken. Set aside. Combine remaining ingredients in a cup.
Place chicken in a large pan or bowl, and pour marinade over, rubbing over entire chicken. Pay special attention to rib areas of breast. Tuck wings under. Marinate, covered, at least 30 minutes or overnight in the refrigerator, turning occasionally.
To cook, preheat oven to 375. If refrigerated, remove chicken and let stand at least 30 minutes before cooking. Place chicken, skin side up, on broiling rack (I line my drip pan with foil, replace rack, then spray the whole works with non-stick cooking spray). Reserve marinade. Bake at 375 for 30 minutes. Baste with marinade. Reduce heat to 350, and cook 30 minutes more, basting only once during this time (excessive opening of the door causes uneven cooking, and you do not want to contaminate the chicken with raw juices). If bird browns too quickly (watch the wings), cover browned areas with foil. You may end up covering the entire bird with foil; this is fine as you don’t want the skin to burn. Reduce heat to 325, and cook at this temperature, if necessary, until done (count on approx 20 mins per pound). Remove chicken to a shallow pan and let sit for at least ten minutes before cutting.
Meanwhile, prepare the vegetables:
Add about 1 tbsp. olive oil to wok or large, deep pot. Heat on medium high heat, just to smoking point. Saute one clove of garlic, and let brown slightly. Do not burn! Remove and discard garlic. Add snow peas, tossing to coat. Season with salt, white pepper and pinch of sugar. Do not overcook (no more than one minute). Remove snow peas.
Add about 2 tbsp. olive oil to wok. Heat to smoking on high heat. Add bacon and onion. Stir. Season with salt, white pepper and pinch of sugar. Stir fry for 30 seconds. Add remaining garlic. Continue cooking until bacon begins to crisp and onions begin to color, about 30 seconds more. Add bean sprouts. Stir-fry about one minute; do not overcook. Bean sprouts should still be crisp. Add about 1 tbsp. soy sauce or to taste. Check seasonings and remove to a large platter. Add reserved snow peas, arranging in decorative pattern around the edges, if you like.
Cut or hack chicken into pieces. Arrange on bed of bean sprouts. Reserve yummy juices that come from chicken when cutting and pour over chicken to serve. (Discard juices and fat in broiling pan). Serve with white rice.