How to Make It
Preheat the oven to 450°. Finely grind the cloves and 3 of the star anise pods in a spice grinder and transfer to a small bowl. Mix in the butter and season with salt and pepper.
In a small saucepan, combine the soy sauce, vinegar, ginger, garlic, sugar and the remaining 2 star anise pods. Cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the glaze thickens, about 10 minutes.
Place the chicken on a rack set over a baking sheet. Beginning at the top of the breast, gently separate the chicken skin from the breast and thighs. Season the chicken cavity with salt and pepper. Rub the spiced butter under the skin, spreading it over the breast and thighs. Rub the canola oil all over the outside of the chicken and season with salt and pepper. Roast the chicken for 50 to 60 minutes, until golden brown and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh registers 165°. Brush the chicken all over with the soy glaze and let rest for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, using a wooden spoon, stir the flour and boiling water until a shaggy dough forms. Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth, about 5 minutes. Cut into 8 even pieces and roll into balls; keep covered with a damp paper towel. Using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll each piece of dough into an 1/8-inch-thick round.
Heat a griddle and brush it with sesame oil. Cook the pancakes, turning once, until golden in spots and cooked through, about 2 minutes. Transfer the pancakes to a plate and cover to keep warm.
Carve the chicken and serve with the warm pancakes, sliced cucumbers, sliced scallions and hoisin sauce.