Tea & Spice-Smoked Roasted Chicken

Recipe printed from chiknpastry.com

Tea & Spice-Smoked Roasted Chicken
Adapted from Food & Wine, September 2010; serves 4

chicken brine
2 quarts water
6 garlic cloves, smashed
5 dried red chiles
4 star anise pods
3 T honey
one 2-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
zest of 1 small orange or tangerine, removed in strips with a vegetable peeler
one 1-inch piece of cinnamon stick
1 c soy sauce (gluten-free, if needed)
1 small yellow onion, quartered
1 T sugar
1 whole chicken, wing tips removed

smoking mixture
1/2 c jasmine rice
1/4 c plus 2 T sugar
1/4 c plus 2 T loose black tea
6 star anise pods, broken into pieces
4 dried red chiles, broken into pieces
vegetable oil, for rubbing
1 t Sichuan peppercorns, crushed

scallion-ginger sauce
4 scallions, white and pale green parts only, minced 
2 T finely grated fresh ginger 
2 T canola oil

special stuff: roasting pan or wok & a large pot or Dutch oven

brine the chicken
in a large pot (a Dutch oven large enough to hold the chicken), combine the water, garlic, chiles, star anise, honey, ginger, orange zest, cinnamon, soy sauce, onion and sugar. Simmer over moderate heat for 10 minutes. Let cool.

place chicken in pot of brine and turn the chicken to coat it completely with brine. Turn the chicken breast side down and place lid on pot. Refrigerate for 24 hours.

prepare the smoking mixture
preheat the oven to 375 F. In a bowl, combine the rice, sugar, tea, star anise and chiles. Line a wok or small roasting pan with a double layer of foil. Scatter the tea mixture on the foil and set a rack in the wok/pan. Remove the chicken from the brine and pat dry. Transfer the chicken to the rack, breast side up; be sure it doesn't touch the side of the pan. Tent heavy-duty foil over the chicken and seal all around the edge of the pan. Seal overlapping pieces of foil with tape.

set the roasting pan/wok over high heat and cook for 2 minutes. Reduce the heat to moderately low and cook for 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and let stand for 3 minutes. Uncover the chicken and let rest for 10 minutes.

transfer the chicken to a rimmed baking sheet, breast side up. Rub the chicken with canola oil, sprinkle with the Sichuan peppercorns and season lightly with salt. Roast in the upper third of the oven for 35 minutes. Increase the oven temperature to 425 F and continue to roast for about 35 minutes longer, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the inner thigh registers 165. Transfer the chicken to a carving board and let rest for 10 minutes.

make the scallion-ginger sauce
In a bowl, combine the scallions, ginger and oil and season with salt. Carve the chicken and serve with the sauce.