Five Spice Chicken

I think I must have posted this in my defunct and deleted LiveJournal posts, so I shall repost this recipe here. This is from a writeup I wrote for bearsir 3 years ago.

It’s good for chicken (my family prefers dark meat – thighs especially) or for chicken organs (we prefer hearts or gizzards) and I think probably also good for duck and assorted bits and bobs of duck. It would probably work for pork as well (though fowl is ideal) but I’d definitely want to tweak it or use another sauce entirely for beef, lamb or buffalo. I bet it’d be good with ostrich too, though I’ve never tried it.

Also, it might be pretty good with frozen and pressed tofu.

Tonight we are cooking up chicken gizzards and hearts from last weekend’s farmer’s market.

Five Spice Chicken

For each pound of meat, mix in a bowl large enough to hold all the meat:

  • 1 teaspoon Five Spice powder
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced/crushed
  • 1 inch of fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 teaspoon of sesame oil
  • 2 Tablespoons of dry sherry (if you use cooking sherry, it’ll be salty, so you may wish to cut down the amount of soy sauce to compensate)
  • 2 Tablespoons of soy sauce
  • (optional) drizzle of hot (sesame or other) oil, to taste
  • (optional) 1 Tablespoon of minced green onion/chives (these do taste differently, so experiment)


  1. Mix all Five Spice marinade together in the bowl. Dump in meat. Toss thoroughly (I use my hands, but if that’s too squicky, that’s okay).
  2. Marinate (refrigerated) the meat for at least 20 minutes. Overnight is okay, but the marination may in fact taste pretty strongly if you do marinate overnight. I’d experiment to find out what I liked.
  3. To cook: Dump contents of entire marination bowl into a large coverable frying pan, or, if too large, cook in batches. The point is to cook meat in a proportional amount of marination sauce.
  4. Cover and heat (medium to high). This is very fuzzy, but the aim is to steam the mixture in its own juices for a while, then take the cover off and simmer until the juices reduce. If the juices reduce too far, add water. You don’t want to cook the stuff dry, but always cook in some liquid. Cook the meat this way until it’s done. If it’s hearts, just stir it around. If it’s chicken thighs or larger pieces like pork chops, be sure to turn them every few minutes.
  5. My dad and I traditionally slice off a piece or take a piece of the cooking meats out of the mixture to slice it up, taste it and otherwise fuss it to determine doneness, but a meat thermometer should work for most things, although I’m pretty sure hearts are too small.

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