Five-spice, soy & lemon roast chicken

Five-spice, soy & lemon roast chicken

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(8 ratings)

Prep: 10 mins Cook: 1 hr, 40 mins plus 30 mins marinating


Serves 4
Try a roast with a difference - Chinese five-spice, citrus and ginger add warmth to the rich soy and hoisin sauce-based gravy

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal516
  • fat29g
  • saturates8g
  • carbs7g
  • sugars5g
  • fibre2g
  • protein58g
  • salt2.1g
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  • thumb-sized piece ginger, thinly sliced



    Mainly grown in Jamaica, Africa, India, China and Australia, ginger is the root of the plant. It…

  • 1 large chicken (about 1.8-2kg), untied



    While it's the traditional Christmas bird, turkey is good to eat all year round, though…

  • 2 bunches spring onions
    Spring onions

    Spring onion

    sp-ring un-yun

    Also known as scallions or green onions, spring onions are in fact very young onions, harvested…

  • 1 head garlic, halved across the middle



    Part of the lily, or alium, family, of which onions are also a member, garlic is one of the most…

  • 1 lemon, halved, plus 4 wedges



    Oval in shape with a pronouced bulge on one end, lemons are one of the most versatile…

  • 1 tsp Chinese five-spice powder
  • 1 tbsp vegetable or sunflower oil, to drizzle
    Sunflower oil

    Sunflower oil

    Sunflower oil is made from pressing sunflower seeds and extracting the oil. It's usually…

  • 1-2 tsp golden caster sugar
  • 2 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp hoisin sauce
  • fragrant rice and steamed greens or stir-fried vegetables, to serve


  1. Put most of the sliced ginger into a large roasting tin, then sit the chicken on top. Stuff the chicken with remaining ginger, the green ends from one bunch of onions, half of the garlic and a lemon half. Mix the five-spice, 2 tsp oil and seasoning, then rub all over the chicken. Nestle the other half of the garlic nearby, and drizzle all with 1 tsp oil. Loosely re-tie the legs. Set aside at room temperature for half an hour or so.

  2. Heat the oven to 190C/170C fan/gas 5. Roast the chicken for 1 hr. Toss the lemon wedges and the spring onion ends into the pan juices, then roast for 30 mins more or until the meat is cooked at the thickest part of the thigh and the lemon wedges are sticky. Lift the chicken from the pan and set aside, uncovered, to rest.

  3. Spoon away any excess fat from the pan, then put the pan onto a medium heat and bring to a simmer. Add 1 tsp sugar, the soy, hoisin, juice from the remaining half lemon and any resting juices. Simmer for a few mins until it thickens slightly, then check the seasoning and add more sugar if needed – don’t add any extra salt as the soy and hoisin will add plenty. Serve with the chicken, rice and vegetables.

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Comments, questions and tips

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Louise K66
12th Apr, 2020
Cooked this during lockdown Easter weekend with my son. We couldn't get spring onions but followed the recipe without and it was delicious. We had to make our own 5 spice too. Fantastic fragrant and juicy chicken we will definitely cook this again.
28th Jan, 2018
Mmm, really nice. The gravy is very intense, you only need a little bit. We just had this with a big salad and it was a very tasty dinner.
4th Feb, 2017
Recommend as a take on roast chicken, well worth a go. The 5 spice and the lemon are very tasty. I'll be making it again, but will add two tsp of the 5 spice.
18th Apr, 2015
This was sensational. Because I didn't want to faff around with rice and steamed vegetables, I added chunks of sweet potato to the roasting pan half an hour after I'd put in the chicken, then added broccoli florets with the lemon and spring onions. It's the most delicious Chinese-style roast chook I've tasted. Everyone raved about it.
19th Jul, 2014
Really love this recipes, it has now become a family favourite. However I found roasting the lemon in with the chicken made the sauce bitter, so I leave it out and just add the juice at the end. Delicious
12th Apr, 2014
What do you do with the second bunch of spring onions?
9th Mar, 2014
The sauce is very tasty there just wasn't enough! If you like saucy food then increase the amount you make with this recipe. It was also very thick, watered down just a little worked well.
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