Vertical Chicken Roast



  • 2 cups button mushrooms
  • 1/4 cups black peppercorns
  • 2 cups soy sauce
  • 1 cups mirin wine or other sweet chinese wine
  • 1/4 cup soy paste (Kimlan makes a good one)
  • 1 oz loose oolong tea (or lapsang souchong for stronger flavor)
  • 6 oz. fresh ginger (6"), peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 9 cups water, divided
  • 1/3 cup peeled garlic cloves, divided
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds, divided
  • 2 bunches scallions, but into 3" pieces
  • 2 lbs, ice cubes
  • 1 chicken, trimmed


  1. Place mushrooms and peppercorns in large, heavy saucepan and cook until fragrant and peppercorns start to pop, 8 minutes. Add ingredients up to the water plus 4 cups water, half of the garlic and half of the cumin. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Off hear att scallions and ice; let stand until ice is melted. Submerge chicken in brine. Cover and chill for at least 2 hours or overnight.
  2. Strain 2 cups of the brine into a small saucepan and reduce to 1/2 cup (about 20 minutes over medium-high heat).
  3. Place chicken in 350F oven in a roasting pan or, better yet, over a can with wings ends up inside a roasting pan. Fill pan with remaining garlic and water. Brush chicken with half of the reduced brine. Bake 1 hour; brush with the remaining brine and continue baking for another 1/2 hour or until a meat thermometer shows it is done.