World Cuisine

  • 1 chicken, about 1.5 kg (3 lb)
  • 2 tablespoons Chinese five-spice powder
  • 1 tablespoon Szechuan peppercorns, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon groundnut oil
  • 500 g (1 lb) plums, halved and stones removed
  • 200 ml (7 fl oz) Shaoxing rice wine
  • 150 ml (¼ pint) vegetable stock
  • 2 tablespoons clear honey, or to taste
  • salt and pepper

Place the chicken in a roasting tin and pat the skin dry with kitchen paper. Mix together the five-spice powder, crushed Szechuan peppercorns and oil in a small bowl. Rub over the chicken as evenly as possible and season with salt and pepper. Roast in a preheated oven, 200°C (400°F), Gas Mark 6, for 30 minutes.

Place half the plums around the chicken and pour the rice wine and stock over them. Return to the oven and roast for a further 30 minutes.

Add the remaining plums to the roasting tin and continue to roast for 20–25 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through (cover the chicken with foil if it is browning too fast) – the juices should run clear when the thickest part of the thigh is pierced with a knife.

Transfer the chicken to a warmed srving plate and leave to rest in a warm place. Heat the plum mixture in the roasting tin on the hob over a high heat. Stir in the honey to taste and season well with salt and pepper. Serve the chicken with the plum sauce, steamed Asian greens and rice or egg noodles.

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