Szechuan Peppercorn Roast Chicken

Adapted via Steamy Kitchen
Serves: 4 to 6 (or one with leftovers for a week!)

For the Sichuan Rub:
♦ 1/4 cup Sichuan peppercorns
♦ 1/4 cup kosher salt

For the roast:
♦ 1 chicken, organic 
1/2 orange, cut into two or three pieces
1 shallot, quartered
♦ 2 small garlic cloves, halved
4 long, thin slices of ginger
♦ 2 tbsp oil

Prepare the rub: Dry toast the Sichuan peppercorns in a dry skillet over medium-high heat. Make sure you don’t burn the spice! It should take about 5 minutes and you’ll see a bit of smoke. Let cool and grind in spice grinder or food processor and combine with the salt (kosher preferred, but you can use sea salt as well – do NOT use table salt!)

Prepare the chicken: Preheat oven to 400F – wash chicken (briefly) and pat very dry. Generously season the chicken inside and out with 2 to 3 tbsp of the Sichuan rub – feel free to be liberal with this (the roasting mellows out the salt); reserve the remaining rub.

Stuff the bird with ginger, shallots, garlic and orange. Tie the legs together with kitchen twine, and tuck the wings in. Place bird breast-side down in a roasting pan. Brush 1 tablespoon of oil all over the top of the bird (which is the thigh side). Roast chicken breast-side down for 30 minutes. Carefully turn breast side up using two meat forks to flip. Brush breast side with oil, then continue roasting until thickest part of thigh reaches temperature of 175F and breast is 160F. Generally, this will take another 20 minutes for a 3 1/2 lb bird. If using larger bird, add 7 more minutes for every pound.

Remove from oven and let rest for 10 to 15 minutes. Carve and serve with the reserved Sichuan Peppercorn rub on side for dipping.

To read more about this dish and my musical pairing, click HERE.

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