Mahogany Chicken

I’ve made this recipe many times over the years. It origianally called for chicken wings, but Stan really doesn’t enjoy wings, so I mainly make it with legs and sometimes with thighs.

Plated Chicken Legs


3 pounds chicken legs or wings, split with tips discarded
½ cup soy sauce
½ cup honey
¼ cup molasses
2 tablespoons chile sauce
1 teaspoon five-spice powder
2-3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
chopped scallions and sesame seeds for garnish (optional)

Marinade ingredients
Marinade Ingredients


Rinse chicken thoroughly, drain and pat dry. Place chicken in a large re-sealable plastic bag. In a medium bowl, mix well the soy sauce, honey, molasses, chile sauce, five-spice powder and garlic.

Pour the mixture over the chicken. Seal the bag, pressing out as much air as possible. Place the sealed bag in a pie plate or bowl (in case of leakage) and refrigerate from 4 hours to overnight, turning the bag occasionally.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).

Line a large sheet pan with aluminum foil, spray foil with cooking spray, and arrange chicken in a single layer. Bake in the preheated oven approximately 25 minutes. Remove pan; turn wings and brush with some of the remaining soy sauce marinade. (Discard any remaining marinade.)

Reduce oven heat to 350 degrees, return wings to oven for about 20 more minutes, until meat is no longer pink and juices run clear.

Note: Five-spice powder is generally a blend of cinnamon, cloves, fennel seed, star anise, and ginger. Various spice brands produce varying proportions of these spices. I personally don’t like to flavor of star anise very much, which seems to prevail in a number of brands. I’ve found that the best five-spice power for me is made by Pinzeys. The first ingredient is cinnamon, not star anise.

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