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Chinese-Style Roasted Chicken Parts #KitchenMatrixCookingProject

For our second February post in our year-long project that I'm calling the Kitchen Matrix Project, after Mark Bittman's Kitchen Matrix cookbook - you can read about it: here - Wendy at A Day in the Life in the Farm picked 'Roasted Chicken Parts' which meant we could make Greek-style, Chinese-style, or with garlic, rosemary, and lemon...along with any variations or adaptations that we needed or wanted.

The Other Chicken Parts

Chinese-Style Roasted Chicken Parts 

Looking at the options, we decided to go for a variation on the Chinese-style chicken. Ever since I had the kids blend their own Chinese Five Spice in my Spice It Up! class, D loves making his own blend. I never really know what he puts in there, but he keeps my 'Chinese Five Spice' jar filled.

The usual 5-spice blend…
  • cinnamon
  • cloves
  • fennel seeds
  • star anise
  • Szechuan peppercorns
The extras…
  • anise seed
  • ginger
  • nutmeg
  • turmeric
  • cardamom
Place whatever ingredients you're using into a spice grinder, or mortar and pestle if you're going 'old school.' Grind until you get the texture you desire. Keep in a dry, airtight jar until ready to use.


  • chicken parts (we had 4 drumsticks and 2 bone-in breasts which gave us dinner and leftovers for lunch)
  • 3 T garlic, pressed and minced
  • 2 t freshly grated ginger
  • Chinese Five Spice (see recipe above), as needed
  • grated zest of 1 organic lemon (I didn't have an orange)
  • olive oil for drizzling
  • freshly ground salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • Also needed: 2 whole cinnamon sticks and star anise pods


Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. 

Place your chicken parts in a roasting pan. Season them liberally with salt and pepper on both sides. Create a paste with the garlic, ginger, Chinese Five Spice, and lemon zest by adding in olive oil until a thick paste forms. Rub the paste into the chicken and place them, skin-side up in the pan. Nestle the cinnamon sticks and star anise pods around the pieces and drizzle with oil.

Roast, basting occasionally, until the juices of the chicken run clear. Our took about 35 to 40 minutes.


  1. Thanks so much for the recipe for the 5-splce blend! Wasn't this chicken amazing?

  2. Great minds Cam.....Love the homemade 5 spice blend.

  3. We love roasted chicken and I love the inspiration for new ways to fix it 💟

  4. What a fun year long project! I've never used Chinese 5 spice so I'll have to change that!

  5. This sounds delicious and so flavorful!

  6. Definitely going to check out the book, thank you! This looks great, and I have some Chinese 5 Spice in the cabinet.

  7. I love all the flavors in this dish! I'm definitely putting this on the menu.

  8. Yum! I've never tried Chinese 5 spice, but i need to change that!

  9. I have this book and have contemplated making this recipe, but never have. You have inspired me to give it a try!

  10. A great five spice blend! I need to make this and try it! I love these flavors in this dish!


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