Fragrant and full of flavor, these chicken breasts lounge in your fridge overnight so that you can pop them onto the grill or in the oven the next day. Use chicken pieces (my family prefers breasts), or a whole chicken.  The best way to get your chicken to cook evenly is to literally just cut out the backbone. Sound hard? Not really—all you need is a cutting board and a sharp knife.  Once you have the backbone out, press down on the breast bone firmly until you hear a good crack and the bird lays flat.

The leftovers from these chickens make fantastic sandwiches, so I always like to throw on a few extra for lunches later in the week!


2 tsp Chinese 5-spice powder
1 tsp salt
4 tbsp sesame oil
1/4 cup canola oil
4 tbsp rice vinegar
1 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1 tsp red chili flakes
8 garlic cloves, crushed
6 bone in, skin on chicken breast halves, or 1 whole chicken, split in half and flattened

  Stir all the ingredients together in a bowl, and then slather all over the chicken and under the skin.  Place in a non-metal baking dish, cover with cling film, and let marinate overnight.

  When you are ready to bake your chicken, pre-heat the oven to 350 F.  Line a broiling pan with foil and place the chicken breast halves on top.  If you are baking a whole chicken, it's best to cook in a roasting pan.  Roast the breast pieces about 35 minutes, or until juices run clear and the internal temperature is 165 F.  If you are cooking a whole chicken, roast for about an hour and a half, or until the juices run clear when you cut into the leg, or the internal temperature in the breast is 165 F.

  Let the chicken sit for about 5 minutes before carving or serving.

Serves 4-6

Hungry for another five spice chicken recipe? Try this Five-spice Chicken Drumstick recipe!