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Five-spice Chicken

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Five-spice Chicken
Five-spice powder adds an extra kick to a marinade for grilled chicken. The recipe allows for extra marinade to use as a basting sauce.


  • 1 1/4 - 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs
  • Marinade:
  • 3 TB light soy sauce
  • 2 TB dark soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 3 tsp five-spice powder
  • 4 tsp brown sugar
  • 2 tsp minced ginger
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 scallion (green onion, spring onion), finely chopped
  • 1/8 tsp Tabasco sauce, or to taste, optional


1. Cut any excess fat from the chicken, rinse in cold running water and pat dry. In a medium bowl, whisk together the light soy sauce, dark soy sauce, rice wine or sherry and olive oil. Whisk in the five-spice powder, brown sugar, ginger, garlic, and scallion. Add the Tabasco sauce if using. Reserve about 3 - 4 tablespoons to use as a basting sauce.
2. Place the chicken breasts in a large bowl or a large resealable plastic bag. Add the marinade and cover the bowl or reseal the bag. Marinate the chicken in the refrigerator for about 2 hours, turning occasionally to make sure the chicken breasts are coated.
3. To grill: Preheat the grill. Remove the chicken thighs from the bag, discarding the excess marinade. Lay flat on the cooking surface and grill, turning every few minutes and basting with the reserved marinade, for 10 - 15 minutes or until the thighs are cooked through and the juices run clear. Serve hot.
To broil the chicken: place the thighs on a rack sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Add 1/4 cup of water on the tray underneath to prevent the fat from catching on fire. Broil the chicken on high heat, 9 inches from the cooking source, for about 15 minutes, turning every 5 minutes and basting with the marinade, until cooked through. Serve hot.

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