Vietnamese roast chicken

Vietnamese 5-Spice Roasted Chicken/Cornish Hen (Gà Nướng)

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Vietnamese Roasted Chicken (Gà Nướng) is a finger-lickin’ good yet easy-peasy Vietnamese poultry dish. I went for a Cornish game hen this time – It’s tender, juicy, and just the right size for a couple’s meal.

Marinated with a 5-spice-infused sauce before baking it in the oven or air fryer, there’s a secret ingredient in the marinade and an ultimate dipping sauce that I’ll reveal later.

Vietnamese roast chicken

🙋‍♀️ Gà Nướng or Gà Roti

I found that outside Vietnam, Gà Nướng and Gà Roti are often seen as one dish. They both refer to Vietnamese-style baked chicken (whole chicken or leg-quarters, drumsticks, etc.). However, in Vietnam, my home country, these two dishes are not the same.

Gà Nướng , like its name, is basically grilled chicken. Traditionally, Vietnamese would grill the chicken over an open flame. Now, we also use the air fryer to cook Gà Nướng (oven is not a popular thing in Vietnam).

Vietnamese roast chicken
Gà Nướng (Grilled/Baked Chicken)

For Gà Roti, despite its name being derived from “rotisserie chicken”, as it is a French-Vietnamese dish , there are no similarities to the roasted chicken in any way.

Ga Roti instructions
It’s Gà Roti in Vietnam

If you travel Vietnam and order Gà Roti in a restaurant, there’s a high chance you won’t get a baked or roasted chicken. Instead, the chicken is pan-fried and then simmered in coconut juice until the sauce thickens and creates an appetizing glaze over the chicken.

🍗 Ingredients

I aim to keep the marinade simple with just the ingredients popular in any kitchens. The star here is condensed milk.

Ingredients for a 2.4 pound/1 kg Cornish HenQuantity
All-purpose soy sauce2 tbsp
Chicken powder½ tbsp
Oyster sauce1 tbsp
Paprika powder (optional)1 tbsp
Sriracha sauce1 tbsp
Garlic powder1 tbsp
Condensed milk3½ tbsp
Cooking oil1½ tbsp

Fresh milk, condensed milk, evaporated milk, and coconut milk are often used by both Vietnamese and Thai cooks to tenderize meat. Condensed milk can even serve as a sugar substitute, adding a sweet note to the marinade.

You could substitute these milks with others, just be sure to adjust the flavor. Honey is also a good substitute for condensed milk.

📝 Instructions

Marinate the chicken

Step 1: Rub the cornish hen with coarse salt and rinse it thoroughly. Use kitchen papers to pat it dry, moving from the outside skin to the inside.

Step 2: Combine all ingredients of marinade. Massage the cornish hen with the marinade both on the outside and inside. Allow it to rest for at least 30 minutes or overnight in the fridge for the best flavor.

Step 3: Before cooking, allow the chicken to rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Marinade for Vietnamese Roast Chicken
a marinated cornish hen in a bowl.

Roast the chicken

With air fryer

  • Air fry the chicken at 356°F (180°C) for 15 minutes.
  • Flip the chicken, brush the remaining sauce onto it, and air fry for an additional 10 minutes.
a roasted cornish hen in air fryer.
a roasted cornish hen in air fryer.
  • As my hen is small, I air fry it for only 25 minutes. Adjust the cooking time based on your chicken’s size, but be cautious not to overcook. To check for readiness, use a toothpick to prick the thick part of the chicken (breast or thighs). If no red blood comes out, the chicken is ready.
  • Let the roast chicken rest for 15 minutes before serving.
a roasted cornish hen in air fryer.
a roasted cornish hen in air fryer.

With oven

  • Preheat the oven to 392°F (200°C) for 10 minutes.
  • Bake the chicken in the oven for 25 minutes.
  • Flip the chicken, cover the burnt part with foil, and brush the remaining sauce onto the chicken.
  • Continue baking the chicken at 356°F (180°C) for an additional 20 minutes.
  • Check the readiness of the chicken with a toothpick.
  • Allow the roast chicken to rest for 15 minutes before serving.

🥣 Dipping Sauce

In Vietnam, dipping sauce (nước chấm) is just as crucial as the main dish. The sauce I’m introducing to you today is a favorite in Vietnam, particularly for grilled chicken and seafood.

It goes by the name “Muối Tiêu Sữa” (Pepper, Salt & Milk Dipping Sauce), a variation of the traditional Muối Tiêu Chanh (Lime Pepper Salt Dipping Sauce).

Thai Nam Jim Jaew also goes great with this grilled chicken.

Muối Tiêu Sữa

Ingredients for Muối Tiêu Sữa: salt, black pepper powder, condensed milk, sugar, lime/lemon juice, fresh chili/chili flakes, kaffir/lime leaves

Combine all the ingredients with my ratio but tweak it to your liking. The dipping sauce should boast a harmonious balance of sweet, sour, and salty flavors.

🌟 How to serve Gà Nướng

Vietnamese roast chicken

There are many ways to serve Vietnamese roasted chicken:

A whole roasted chicken also looks enticing on the dining table for festive occasions such as Tết (Vietnamese Lunar New Year), Christmas, Easter, or Thanksgiving.

Thank you for trying my recipe!! Don’t forget to stay in touch with me on InstagramFacebookPinterest, and YouTube 🥰.

Vietnamese roast chicken

Vietnamese 5-Spice Roasted Chicken/Cornish Hen (Gà Nướng)

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Vietnamese Roasted Chicken (Gà Nướng) is a well-loved and simple Vietnamese poultry dish. This time, I chose a Cornish game hen – It's tender, juicy, and just the right size for a couple's meal.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Vietnamese
Servings 2 people

Ingredients
  

  • 1 Cornish Game Hen (2.4 pound or 1.1 kg)
  • 2 tbsp all-purpose soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp chicken powder
  • 1 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tbsp paprika powder (optional, just for color)
  • 1 tbsp Sriracha sauce
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • tbsp condensed milk
  • tbsp cooking oil

Muối Tiêu Sữa Dipping Sauce

  • ½ tbsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper powder
  • tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp condensed milk
  • 2 tbsp lemon/lime juice
  • ½ tbsp water
  • ½ kaffir leave/lime leave

Instructions
 

Marinate the chicken:

  • Rub the chicken with coarse salt and rinse it thoroughly. Pat it dry using kitchen papers, starting from the outside skin and moving towards the inside.
  • Combine all the marinade ingredients.
  • Massage the chicken with the marinade on both the outside and inside. Let it rest for at least 30 minutes or overnight in the fridge to enhance the flavor.

Air fry the chicken:

  • Place the chicken in the air fryer basket, air fry it at 356°F (180°C) for 15 minutes.
  • Flip the chicken, brush the remaining sauce onto it, and cook for an additional 10 minutes.
  • Since my hen is small, I cook it for only 25 minutes. Adjust the cooking time based on your chicken's size, but be cautious not to overcook. To check for readiness, use a toothpick to prick the thick part of the chicken (breast or thighs). If no red blood comes out, the chicken is ready.
  • Before serving, allow the roast chicken to rest for 15 minutes.

Bake the chicken in an oven:

  • Before cooking, preheat the oven to 392°F (200°C) for 10 minutes.
  • Bake the chicken for 25 minutes.
  • Turn the chicken over, shield any charred areas with foil, and apply the remaining sauce to the chicken.
  • Continue baking the chicken at 356°F (180°C) for other 20 minutes.
  • Check if the chicken is ready ot not with a toothpick.
  • Let the roast chicken rest for 15 minutes before serving.

Make dipping sauce:

  • Mix all ingredients together. Adjust to your taste. The dipping sauce should have a balanced flavor of sweet, sour, and salty.
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