IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Chili Crisp and Honey-Roasted Whole Chicken

Franklin Gaw

Chef notes

When I was growing up, my family never used the oven. The oven mostly served as a glorified pot holder, its real function a complete mystery to me and my grandma. It wasn’t until we watched Ina Garten pull a golden-brown roast chicken out of her pot holder that we understood an oven’s true purpose. Watching Ina’s Food Network show "Barefoot Contessa" was our ritual. Her otherworldly cooking in the fairy-tale setting of the Hamptons was a fantasy my grandma and I could bond over. This recipe invokes another fantasy — a world where Ina Garten and my grandma get to cook together. A whole roasted chicken stuffed with aromatics absorbs my grandma’s flavors of chili crisp, scallion and ginger through a rich glaze poured over its crisp skin.


  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt, plus more for sprinkling
  • 1 (4-to-5-pound) chicken
  • 14 scallions, ends trimmed
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 4 teaspoons rice vinegar or lemon juice
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 garlic head, halved
  • 1 thumb-sized slice ginger
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon honey
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon chili crisp
  • teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary (from 1 sprig)
  • chopped scallions
  • chopped cilantro


Brine the chicken:

Very generously sprinkle kosher salt (about 1 teaspoon per pound) on the whole chicken from front to back and inside the cavity. Let it rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.While the chicken rests, place 10 of the scallions, the 2 tablespoons salt, ground ginger, sugar, rice vinegar and water in a blender and blend until smooth. Once the chicken is ready, place in a gallon-size zip-top bag. Pour the blended scallion brine into the bag and seal. Refrigerate for 24 hours, flipping it around the halfway mark so the chicken brines evenly.

Stuff the chicken:

The next day, preheat the oven to 425 F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Remove the chicken from the plastic bag and gently wipe off the excess brine. Tuck the garlic, fresh ginger and remaining 4 scallions into the cavity.

Place the chicken on the prepared baking sheet, breast side up. Tie the legs together with kitchen string and tuck the wing tips under the body of the chicken. Melt the 2 tablespoons butter and brush an even layer all over the chicken. Roast at 425 F for 30 minutes. Reduce the heat to 400 F and roast for another 35 to 40 minutes, until the internal temperature is 165 F or the juices run clear.

Make the sauce:

While the chicken roasts, in a small pot over medium heat, melt the 4 tablespoons butter. Add the vinegar, honey, soy sauce, chili crisp and rosemary, and stir until incorporated and smooth. Bring to a simmer, then pour into a container and set aside.

Carve and serve the chicken:

When the chicken is done, remove it from the oven, cover it with foil and let rest 15 to 20 minutes. Uncover and carve into breasts (slice breasts into 4 or 5 pieces for easier sharing), thighs, drumsticks and wings, and place onto a platter. Pour the sauce over the chicken and top with scallions and cilantro to serve.

Reprinted with permission from "First Generation: Recipes from My Taiwanese-American Home" by Frankie Gaw. Text and photography by Franklin Gaw copyright © 2022. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House.