Grilled Five Spice Chicken

28 Reviews 3 Pics
  • Prep

    15 m
  • Cook

    47 m
  • Ready In

    7 h 2 m
Chef John
Recipe by  Chef John

“Chinese 5-spice powder has a proven track record of awesomeness when combined with smoky, caramelized meats. This grilled five spice chicken recipe is a great example.”

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Adjust Servings

Original recipe yields 6 servings



  1. Score the skin side of each piece of chicken 2 to 3 times, about 1/8 inch deep.
  2. Whisk together the the juice of 1/2 lime, 1 tablespoon fish sauce, garlic, 1 tablespoon rice vinegar, Chinese five-spice powder, 2 teaspoons hot chile paste, ginger, and soy sauce in a bowl. Pour into a resealable plastic bag. Add chicken, coat evenly with the marinade, squeeze out excess air, and seal the bag. Marinate in refrigerator for 6 hours.
  3. Preheat an outdoor grill for medium-high heat, and lightly oil the grate.
  4. Remove chicken halves from the bag and transfer to a plate or baking sheet lined with paper towels. Pat chicken pieces dry with more paper towels. Reserve marinade mixture in a small bowl.
  5. Whisk together the 1/3 cup rice vinegar, juice of 1/2 lime, 1 teaspoon fish sauce, and 1 teaspoon hot chile paste in a small bowl. Set aside.
  6. Grill chicken, skin-side down, on the preheated grill for 2 minutes. Turn each piece, brush with reserved marinade mixture, and move to indirect heat.
  7. Grill, brushing with glaze and turning ever 10-15 minutes, until well-browned and meat is no longer pink in the center, about 45 minutes total. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh, near the bone, should read 180 degrees F (82 degrees C).
  8. Drizzle vinegar lime juice mixture over the chicken and serve.

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Reviews (28)

Rate This Recipe
Smilin' Rosie

Smilin' Rosie

Note* The written recipe has omitted the crushed ginger that John mentions in his video. It DOES make a difference, so add a 1/2 tsp of ginger for the perfect taste he intended. I didn't have the fish sauce on hand, so I used oyster sauce instead and it was so good that when I made it again, I was afraid to change the ingredient. Thanks Chef John, it's wonderful.



I made this yesterday and it turned out great! I omitted the fish sauce from both the marinade and finishing sauce. While I love fish and seafood, the combination with chicken just did not sound appealing. Also, I did not care for the finishing sauce. The chicken was tasty w/o it. I also threw some mesquite chips on top of the briquets for a little smoke. Make sure you use indirect heat otherwise you risk burning it.



I made the marinade portion of this recipe and used on B/S chix b's, delicious! I added a slug of sherry to stretch the marinade a bit, and marinated overnight. Very delicious and different. Thanks, Chef J!

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Amount Per Serving (6 total)

  • Calories
  • 484 cal
  • 24%
  • Fat
  • 27.3 g
  • 42%
  • Carbs
  • 4.4 g
  • 1%
  • Protein
  • 53 g
  • 106%
  • Cholesterol
  • 166 mg
  • 55%
  • Sodium
  • 458 mg
  • 18%

Based on a 2,000 calorie diet



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Grilled Lemon Yogurt Chicken


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Cilantro-Lime Grilled Chicken