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Roast Chicken With Black Bean Sauce


Like an anchovy in an Italian ragù, fermented black beans, the “secret” ingredient here, bring deep umami flavor to this dish without otherwise announcing their presence. You can find this ingredient—called douchi in Mandarin—in cardboard canisters or vacuum-sealed bags at Asian markets.

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  • For the Black Bean Sauce:
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 shallot, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 3/4 cup Shaoxing cooking wine
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 15 cloves garlic
  • 10 Chinese fermented black beans
  • 3 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 3 pieces
  • For the Roast Chicken:
  • 4 skin-on chicken breasts
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper


Servings 4
Adapted from


Step 1

Make Sauce:
Heat oil in a large saucepan or Dutch oven over low heat. Add shallots and sauté until they soften and become translucent, about 10 minutes. Add wines to pan and cook until liquid is reduced to ¾ cup.

Add stock, garlic and beans to pan and bring to a boil. Decrease heat to low and continue cooking until liquid reduces to about 2 cups. Use a fine-mesh sieve to strain sauce. Reserve garlic and discard other solids.

Use a blender or food processor to purée garlic and sauce together until smooth. Set aside.

Roast Chicken:
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Pat breasts dry and liberally season skin side with salt. Add oil to a cast-iron pan large enough to hold all 4 breasts comfortably. (Don’t use a nonstick pan, as it will prevent flavorful brown bits needed for the sauce from forming.) Heat oil, swirling to coat pan, over medium-high heat. Once oil begins to smoke, add chicken skin-side down, making sure not to crowd.

Cook chicken without turning until skin is light golden brown. (Decrease heat if skin darkens too quickly.) Season flesh side with salt and pepper. Flip chicken skin-side up. Place pan in oven and roast until skin is deep golden-brown, 12-15 minutes. Transfer chicken to platter and let rest.

Return hot pan to stove over medium-high heat. Add 1 cup sauce and bring to a low boil, scraping up browned bits on bottom of pan. Taste and add a little water if sauce is too salty. Reduce heat to low. Add butter to sauce, whisking to emulsify.

To serve, top each breast with sauce.

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