Friday, May 2, 2014

Sesame roast chicken

I got this recipe from my MIL who got it from her ethnic Chinese-Vietnamese friend.  I have tweaked it with a load of sea salt and to make it quick & easy.  I don't even bother marinading.  I use leg quarters instead of butterflied whole chicken (culturally we prefer dark meat; it's more flavorful, fatty and nutritious.  Only in the breast obsessed USA does one find bioengineered, factory farmed chickens who are so top heavy they can't walk or breed.  

I call this my "oven-fried chicken" recipe because when the fat renders it leaves the skin this perfect crispy texture while the meat remains moist and tender.  My daughter and her dad love to eat the skin, the cartilage, the marrow, and some bone.

I make this almost weekly.  And one of these days I will take some photos.

Variations include using real olive oil, lard, or avocado oil and using various seasonings/herbs.


  • 6 organic chicken leg quarters (can use a butterflied whole chicken)
  • 1/4 cup toasted sesame oil
  • lots of sea salt (can use white/bleached sea salt, or mineral-rich grey salt)
  • optional organic garlic powder/minced


  • roasting pan with a rack
  • wide aluminum foil or parchment paper
  • baking dish
  • silicon marinade brush

Preheat the oven to 470 degrees F. 

Line a roasting pan with foil or parchment paper to catch the grease and insert the roasting rack.  Pour in a 1-2 cups of water so there is a thin layer.  This prevents any burning/smoking.

Fill a square baking dish with the sesame oil.  Dip the leg quarter in the oil and coat any  missing areas using a silicon marinade brush.

Lay the leg on the rack and generously coat both sides with sea salt.  The sea salt keeps the meat moist, helps render the fat/moisture for extra crispiness, and through baking osmosis it is pulled into the meat itself making the meat as  flavorful as if it were brined.  So use more sea salt than you think you will need.  do not fear the sea salt.  If it ends up being too much, you can just crack the salt crust off or take off the skin.

Add water to the roasting pan below the level of the rack to prevent burning/smoking. Roast for 40-50 minutes until the skin is crispy and rendered.  If I am dealing with bigger legs, I will use the last 10-15 minutes to broil it.  You can use the drippings for gravy/au jus if you like.

Allow to cool and shred the chicken while it's still warm and pliable.  Reserve the bones, cartilage, and fatty skin bits for broth/soup (basic recipe here).  Shredded chicken can be used for stir-frys, soup, salads, wraps, spring rolls, etc.  Done this way a chicken can be stretched for 3-4 meals making it actually efficient to buy organic chicken.

Ăn Ngon Lành|Eat Delectably!

No comments:

Post a Comment

I'd love to hear from you! How did yours turn out? Comment below or email me realfoodrealpho @