Szechuan Peppercorn Roasted Chicken

Szechuan Peppercorn Roasted Chicken

What’s better than Asian Flavored Salts? A recipe using a flavored salt + a nice little gift from me to a randomly chosen lucky ducky winner (keep reading!) I am notorious for seeing something on TV, wanting coveting, and then coming up with 101 reasons fo Why I Must Have This Kitchen Gadget. Of course, after explaining to husband reason #79 for the fifth time in a row, he usually gives in….not because he thinks I Must Have This Kitchen Gadget, but because I’ve nagged him to death. Poor man. He’s since banned me from late night television. Something about child-locking any channel above 13 after 1 a.m. Prior to censoring late-night infomercials, I purchased multiple dehydrators, juicers, shark-vacs, chopper-boppers, swirly-twirlies, sucker-puckers, pasta-prestos and the Pocket-Rocket.

Oh wait…that wasn’t a kitchen gadget :::blush:::

ANYWAYSSSS…..I would buy these gadgets, rave and rave about them. We’d have fresh fruit juices every single morning for 2 weeks straight. Banana chips and beef jerky for breakfast, snack and lunch for 2 weeks straight. Random items in the household were vacuum sealed. Pureed pea porridge for 2 weeks straight. Verrrrry happy mornings if you know what I mean…2 weeks straight. But after the 2 week honeymoon, I’d bore of the Gadget and it would be moved from Prime Real-Estate on kitchen countertop to Skid Row in the garage.

Well, the other night, I lugged out my Flavorwave Oven Deluxe to make Sichuan or Szechuan Peppercorn Roasted Chicken. OH MY….I suddenly remembered reason #38 – luscious, moist, roasted chicken. I can’t even begin to tell you how amazing this chicken tastes. This has become my favorite roast chicken recipe (sorry, Joanne Weir Roast Chicken) and the tingly dipping salt that accompanies the chicken is quite addictive.

If you are tired of your same ‘ol chicken dinners, then you simply must try this. Once you cook the Sichuan Peppercorn Salt with the bird, it really does infuse the entire bird with all of its earthy aroma and flavors. Even my little kids loved this chicken and liked having a dipping salt. When you get your package of SZP (either from the store or from winning the contest below) – take a couple pods and chew. The tip of your tongue goes numb!! The peppercorn is not hot-spicy at all. Cooking with the SZP tames the pepperyness.

Szechuan Peppercorn Roasted Chicken

I almost always buy organic chicken now. It’s healthier and the prices have gone way down on organic meats. Usually, I visit my small local butcher, The Chop Shop, where they have birds for $2.19 per pound that are antibiotic and hormone free. If you don’t have a local butcher that carries good, healthy chicken, and you are lucky enough to have a Super Target nearby, check out their antibiotic and hormone free chickens – $3.89 for a entire 3.25-lb bird. If you are penny-pinching, you really can’t beat that – its cheaper than a chemical-laden chicken! But please support small, local businesses like the butcher if you can.

I stuffed my bird with ginger, scallions and orange. Of course, feel free to substitute….use a few star-anise, cinammon sticks, garlic, lemon, parsley, onion half….basically whatever you have on hand.

My gift to you: In the comments, link to your most favorite recipe on your blog. At the end of the week, I’ll draw a random name and the lucky ducky winner will get a HUGE bag of Szechuan Peppercorns sent from me…enough to spice the world and beyond. Go forth and spread the love and joy of Szechuan Peppercorns! Yup. Thats how much I love you.


Sichuan or Szechuan Peppercorn Roasted Chicken

Servings: Prep Time: Cook Time:
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Of course not all of you have the Flavorwave Oven Deluxe, which really is just a convection oven in a plastic dome.


1 chicken, organic (I like using a small 3 1/2 pound bird)
1/2 orange
2-3 stalks of scallions, cut into 3" sections
4 long, thin slices of ginger
2 tablespoons Sichuan Peppercorn Salt + more to serve as dipping salt
2 tablespoons oil


Preheat oven to 400F set for convection.

1. Wash chicken and pat very dry. Tie legs together with kitchen twine, tuck wings in. Generously season chicken inside and out with the Szechuan Peppercorn Flavored Salt. If you look at my photo, I use quite a bit of seasoning, which I think is one of the secrets to delicious tasting roast chicken. The roasting mellows out the salt - so don't be afraid to have a heavy-hand in seasoning. Stuff bird with ginger, scallions and orange. Place bird breast-side down in roasting pan. Brush 1 tablespoon oil all over the top of the bird (which is the thigh side).

2. Roast chicken breast-side down for 30 minutes. Turn breast side up. Brush breast side with oil. Continue roasting until thickest part of thigh reaches temperature of 175F and breast is 160F. Generally, this will take another 20 minutes for a 3 1/2 lb bird. If using larger bird, add 7 more minutes for every add'l pound.

3. Remove from oven and let rest for 10-15 minutes. Carve and serve with more Sichuan Peppercorn Salt on side for dipping.

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Comments 54

  1. meetaa

    Jaden, hehehe! we sound like we both have that gadget addiction! I just love the way this chicken sounds. The flavors are right up my alley. Nice one!

  2. wokandspoon

    That looks like a perfectly roasted chicken. I’ve only ever roasted a whole chicken once in my life and it was so stressful (I was cooking for a few people and had never roasted a chicken before!) that I’ve been avoiding doing it again! The peppercorn salt sounds like it will go well with fish too (*fingers crossed*). ๐Ÿ˜‰

  3. mrshbt

    Very detailed recipe. Looking at your beautiful bird, I am tempted to try this recipe.
    I have always cooked whole chicken in boiling water with salt, ginger and garlic to make HaiNan Chicken. However, I think my kids would enjoy your chicken better especially the crispy, well seasoned skin.

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  5. LunaPierCook

    I love roast chicken! But I agree with Bourdain that not many people take the time to roast chicken properly. From his Les Halles Cookbook:

    Most people think that if you just scatter some salt and pepper and, God forbid, paprika on a chicken, then throw him, legs askew, into an oven and cook every bit of blood and moisture out of him — that that’s roasting a chicken. Hell, most people figure that if the crispy skin tastes good, and there’s no yucky blood or pink stuff near the bone, that’s a fine roast chicken … Chicken should taste like chicken. Understand also that legs and breasts cook at different rates. In your zeal to make sure that there is no pink (eek!) or red (oooohh!) anywhere in the legs, you are often criminally overcooking your breasts. Find a happy medium. A little pink color by the thigh bone does not necessarily mean you are eating rare poultry.

    This recipe, Jaden, with its "Continue roasting until thickest part of thigh reaches temperature of 175F and breast is 160F", and its great attention to other details, seriously illustrates you know what you’re doing. Thanks for putting this stuff out there!

  6. eatdrinknbmerry

    hi jaden, i made some of the sichuan peppercorn salt after reading your post. very aromatic! not sure i did it correctly though. i dry cooked the peppercorns in a small pan, added a bunch of salt and mixed it around for less than a minute – as it was smoking. and then blended it in food processor. is that correct? thanks.

  7. Amy

    I would have never thought of using sichuan peppercorns on chicken! This looks like a great recipe, I’m definitely making this in the future!

  8. SteamyKitchen

    EatDrink&BeMerry- I dry-roasted SZP until smoking but not burnt. Let that cool a little bit. Dump in food processor to grind. Then you add your sea salt and pulse a just couple of times to fully incorporate the flavors together. I like my S&P a little chunky and not like a fine powder. I use equal amts of SZP and salt.

  9. V

    From one gadget queen to another, I’ll have to drag out my Flavorware Oven from the basement. Used it for one week, and it went back into the box.. til you help resurret it! ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. Laura

    Hi Jaden — This sounds fantastic, and as varied as my spice cabinet is I don’t believe I’ve ever tasted szechuan peppercorns before!

    To that end, I made good use of time while at work today (*cough*) and wrote this up for you — not precisely exotic, but strangely enough favorites never really are, are they?

    Enjoy, I hope ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. blondee47

    i don’t have a web blog but here is one of my most precious recipies:

    1 chicken
    2 small lemons

    wash the lemons and puncture with fork tines all over both then place in cavity of chicken after having seasoned to taste inside and out.

    sew up the cavity and tie up the legs, and roast at 350 for about 1-1/2 hrs or until thermometer reads right.


  12. QPC

    the more traditional approach to this is to rub chicken (preferably dark meat) with salt and szechuan peppercorns and leave them to “marinate” in the rub overnight, then steam. the aroma penetrates through the meat, which takes on a sweetness and “bouncy” texture.

  13. Cynthia

    Look at that chicken! I hope I win, this quite a prize! Will come back and post when I’ve selected my favourite recipe post.

  14. tigerfish

    With the SZP rubbed on the chicken, it would have gone numb – gone numb and not “run” away from you, you don’t have to tie the drumsticks!!! buahahahha!
    You could have cook some rice flavored with pandan leaves, scallions, ginger, then have a plate of Steamy’s chicken rice, with that special SZP chicken ๐Ÿ˜€

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  16. Sue Ann

    I have no idea on what I will use the peppercorns but I will make sure my husband (the cook in the house) will find a way. I don’t know a better cook than you jaden but the latest post is dreamy…….!

  17. Un-Swiss Miss

    I happen to have a prized bottle of pink Szechuan peppercorns in my cabinet. In the past I just used it for ma-po tofu, but guess what I’m making in the very near future? Thanks for sharing! (And amen to the chemical-free chicken.)

    Though it’s not posted on my blog, oven-fried chicken is my favorite recipe.

  18. MeltingWok

    I’ve used SZP in stir-fries and braising recipes. Never thought of making SZP in roasting chicken, gosh..look at the juice pouring out from the bird..must be so m&t, yums ๐Ÿ™‚

  19. Lucy

    The tingle of Szechuan peppercorns…how I love it. Not sure that our strict customs laws would let the spice come through the postal system. Shame, but you have inspired me to make something with the peppercorn salt and maybe some tempeh.

    Lots of food for thought as usual!

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  24. AudBelle

    Mmm…Mmmm…Mmmm…made the seasonings and roasted the “cornish hens” tonight. It all took a lil’ shy of 40 minutes, the hens came out really juicy and bursting with flavors from the stuffing and salt seasoning We wallup all. I think my hubby really liked it (either he was really hungry or plain liking the seasoning). My lil’ guy had all four of the hen drumsticks and many bites of breast meat. This is definitely a keeper! Thanks much Jaden, you rock!

  25. P

    “If you don’t have a local butcher that carries good, healthy chicken, and you are lucky enough to have a Super Target nearby, check out their antibiotic and hormone free chickens – $3.89 for a entire 3.25-lb bird. If you are penny-pinching, you really can’t beat that – its cheaper than a chemical-laden chicken!”

    It’s illegal to give hormones to chickens in the first place. It’s like advertizing cold ice, or wet water.

  26. arthur

    In response to your comment #15: instead of a food processor to grind up the peppercorns and salt I used a Japanese mortar (a “suribachi” ) and pestle . The inside of the bowl is unglazed and has a ridged, striated pattern from bottom to top. Traditionally, the pestle was made from the Szechuan pepper tree (interesting coincidence for this dish). The suribachi (the volcano on the island of Iwo Jima, of WWII fame is named after it) and its pestle are great for any kind of food grinding activity (pesto, etc.); I find of small size most useful (about 5 1/2 in. across the top). Texture is easy to control and it grinds very rapidly. I actually prepared the chicken as a pollo al mattone (Italian butterflied chicken flattened under bricks), using a cast iron skillet and a 10 lb barbell on a pot cover for a weight (based on the recipe in Patricia Wells’ Trattoria book).

    Iwo Jima:

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  29. Jenn

    Hi Jaden, love your blog! Lots of fantastic recipes and I love your writing style (and all your awesome giveaways!).
    I was just wondering if this can be adapted for a regular, non-convection oven? We have a really ghetto one, probably from the 80s, and we aren’t going to be replacing it until we move in the next few years. Thanks!

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