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Five-Spice Grilled Chicken with Hoisin-Maple Glaze

Scott Phillips

Servings: 4 to 6

Chinese cooks have used five-spice powder and hoisin to flavor barbecued meat for centuries, and they’re really onto something: it gives this chicken a sweet, spicy, haunting flavor. Unless you’re feeding all white-meat lovers or all dark-meat lovers, grill an assortment of chicken legs, thighs, breasts, and wings.


  • 2 Tbs. dark brown sugar
  • 1 Tbs. sweet Hungarian paprika
  • 1 Tbs. minced fresh garlic (about 3 large cloves)
  • 2-1/2 tsp. Chinese five-spice powder
  • 1 tsp. ground fennel seed
  • 1 tsp. dry mustard
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 lb. bone-in chicken pieces (legs, thighs, breasts, and wings)
  • 1/4 cup hoisin sauce
  • 2 Tbs. pure maple syrup
  • 1 Tbs. soy sauce
  • 1 Tbs. honey
  • 2 tsp. Asian sesame oil
  • 2 tsp. minced fresh ginger
  • 1/4 cup peanut or canola oil

Nutritional Information

  • Calories (kcal) : 440
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 220
  • Fat (g): 24
  • Saturated Fat (g): 6
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 7
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 10
  • Cholesterol (mg): 105
  • Sodium (mg): 1050
  • Carbohydrates (g): 20
  • Fiber (g): 1
  • Protein (g): 35


  • In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, paprika, garlic, 2 tsp. of the five-spice, fennel, mustard, 1 Tbs. salt, and 2 tsp. pepper. Put the chicken pieces in a 9×13-inch baking dish and rub the spice mix all over the chicken. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and no more than 6 hours.
  • Prepare a charcoal or gas grill fire for indirect cooking over medium heat (325°F to 375°F). In a small bowl, combine the hoisin, maple syrup, soy sauce, honey, sesame oil, ginger, and the remaining 1/2 tsp. five-spice powder.
  • Lightly brush the chicken pieces with the peanut oil and arrange skin side down over direct heat. Cover and cook until grill marks form, 3 to 5 minutes. If the chicken flares up, immediately move it to indirect heat. Flip the chicken and mark the other side, 2 minutes more. Move the chicken to the cooler side of the grill to finish cooking over indirect heat. Cover and cook, occasionally rearranging the pieces to ensure even cooking, until an instant-read thermometer registers 165°F (breast pieces) to 170°F (leg pieces), 30 to 45 minutes.
  • Generously brush the glaze on the chicken and flip glaze side down over to the hotter part of the grill. Cook until the glaze is bubbly and deep red, 30 to 60 seconds. Brush more glaze on the top of the chicken, flip, and cook for 30 to 60 seconds more. Serve immediately.

Prepare a perfect summer meal by serving the grilled chicken with a Tomato, Feta, and Chickpea Salad and Triple Ginger Ice Cream Sandwiches for dessert.


Indirect grilling is a must for chicken on the bone so the chicken can cook through before the outside burns. Don’t glaze the chicken until just before it’s done, or the glaze will burn; watch for flare-ups after the glaze goes on.


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Reviews (10 reviews)

  • user-6986285 | 09/30/2019

    Excellent! The meat was juicy and tender and fell off the bones. The skin was well charred and a bit sticky. Came together quickly and effortlessly. I followed the recipe exactly as far as the ingredients were concerned, but did the spice rub the day before, and baked the chicken in the oven instead of grilling. It was as deeply charred as the chicken in the recipe photo. I used drumsticks only and set them on a greased rack over a foil-lined baking pan. Baked them at 400° for 20 minutes, then brushed them lightly with the glaze and baked them for an additional 25 minutes, flipping and brushing with sauce frequently until the glaze was gone. Turned the broiler on for about 2 minutes at the end. So easy and so good!

  • User avater
    jackie2830 | 07/22/2012

    OUTSTANDING! My hubby is our charcoal grilling expert and his chicken is the BEST with a salt/pepper crispy skin, but this is a step beyond.....not only flavorful and delicious, but the rub really tenderized the thighs [our choice for grilled chicken] with a falling off the bone quality. This is worthy of a company dinner. We had with Paula Deen's Broccoli Slaw.....perfect foil for the sweet/sticky chicken.

  • alexiako | 01/04/2012

    A very yummy recipe! Everyone loves this chicken so much because of it's rare taste! I'm a fan of cooking chicken dishes in that case I always do some research and I want to share this fabulous recipe to you guys, I know you'll surely love this, http://chicken.gourmetrecipe.com/Popular_Chicken_Dishes_Barbecue_Chicken! Check it out!

  • Kitchencrew | 12/16/2011

    This recipe is a keeper! Too cold and rainy to grill so prepared the chicken as directed and baked it in the oven at 350 and finished it off under the broiler. Served with Basmati rice and mixed vegetable saute. Ants would starve on what was left over!

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