baby chickens roasted in wine and herbs

by Sam on June 26, 2011

succulent and juicy roast baby chickens with herbs and white wine

The inspiration for this recipe comes from Justine Drake’s recipe  for roast chicken with verjuice and herbs, published in Fresh Living magazine a while ago. I simply love the herby sauce this makes, and think this is one of the best roast chicken recipes ever.

succulent roast baby chickens

The baby chickens used in this recipe are free range chickens that are reared on a farm about 80kms outside of Cape Town, and I got them from Salvin Hirschfield, the butcher at the Neighbourgoods market at the Biscuit Mill. If you don’t know him, its well worth going to the market to procure one of his beautiful, plump, free range chickens or some of his other spectacular meat.

Salvin says that not only is the manner in which the birds live their life important, but how they are slaughtered, in determining the quality of the meat.  These are chickens that live in open spaces, and are killed in a very humane way.

His chickens remind me of the ones we ate when I was a child, and can easily feed a family of four. I had forgotten how much white meat a bird could have and the flavour is far superior.

baby chickens roasted in wine and herbs

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours

Serving Size: 1 large chicken, 2 babies

baby chickens roasted in wine and herbs

Ingredients

  • 1 onion peeled and roughly chopped (I like to add onion and carrot to my roasting pan to add flavour)
  • 2 carrots peeled and roughly chopped
  • 250ml (1 cup) dry white wine
  • 125ml (1/2 a cup) chicken stock
  • 125ml (1/2 cup) finely chopped herbs (I used rosemary, parsley and thyme) - but sage and basil are also good
  • 4 cloves of garlic crushed
  • 3 tsp of Dijon mustard
  • 3 - 4 Tbs of olive oil (I like to coat the chicken to ensure a beautiful crispy brown skin)
  • salt and pepper

Instructions

  1. Pre heat the oven to 200 C
  2. Place the chicken on the chopped onion and carrots in a deep sided roasting pan
  3. Mix all the liquid, mustard and herbs together and pour this sauce over the chickens and into the cavity
  4. Drizzle over the olive oil and season the birds with salt and pepper and roast uncovered for 1 1/2 hours and until the chickens are cooked (I turned them over half way through so that the underside gets golden brown and crispy too)
  5. Strain the pan juices, onion and carrot and use this delicious jus as your gravy
http://drizzleanddip.com/2011/06/26/baby-chicken-roasted-in-wine-and-herbs

ready for a roasting

Just out the oven

I like to cut the chicken up into rustic big pieces and then pour over  the pan sauce so they wallow in it before serving.

wallowing in sauce

so much flavour

comfort food at its best

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Leave a Comment

{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }

Jon June 26, 2011 at 10:11 am

Yumscrumptious!! Guess what I’m gonna be havin for dinner tonight! :)
Ps. I think the photos look just divine :)

Jane-Anne June 26, 2011 at 10:53 am

Absolutely mouthwatering, Sam. Beautiful photographs, lovely styling and great recipe. Congrats, and please send over left overs

Sam June 26, 2011 at 11:02 am

Thanks JA :-)
All eaten I’m afraid, but thoroughly delicious choeks from Salvin, couldn’t believe how much meat on those little babies.
s x

Sam June 26, 2011 at 11:56 am

Thanks so much Jon. Seriously try this recipe, its a total winner! (and then let me know what you thought)

Steve June 26, 2011 at 1:13 pm

Just the most beautiful photos featuring a blikbord! And the simplest, yummiest recipe for the poussins – aromatics, herbs and gentle acid balance from the white wine and mustard.

Mr Hirschfield has the most schizophrenic business card: white “Neighbourhood Butcher” on the front, black “Forensic Auditor” on the back. Wonder which came first?

Sam June 26, 2011 at 1:27 pm

Hi Steve and thank you. I had no idea Salvin was a forensic auditor, how interesting. His meat is certainly at the top of the heap.

nina June 26, 2011 at 1:47 pm

Brilliant work Sam, absolutely stunning. Hope your quests were appreciative of this meal!

Sam June 26, 2011 at 2:47 pm

Thanks Nina, it was very much enjoyed :-)

dina gibbs June 26, 2011 at 5:42 pm

Absolutely scrumptious looking – I can practically smell it! My mouth is watering… beautiful photography, too!

Sam June 26, 2011 at 5:50 pm

Thanks Dina! :-)

Ishay June 27, 2011 at 12:22 am

Crispy skin, juicy bird- this is what Sunday lunch is all about. About time I made a roast chicken too. Lovely pics, now as Jane Anne said, send some over ;-)

Sam June 27, 2011 at 8:45 am

Thanks Ishay! Nothing beats a good roast chicken.

Lori June 27, 2011 at 9:40 am

Beautiful Sammie x

Salvin June 27, 2011 at 10:25 am

Hi Sam
Very yummy recipe and the styling / pics really great!
The petit p are available during the week if anyone call me on 0823079985 – Neighbourgood Butcher – or on a Saturday morning at the neighbourgoods market.
Ciao

janice tripepi June 27, 2011 at 12:06 pm

Nothing beats the taste of a free range organic chicken. They don’t shrink to the size of a peanut in the oven and as you say one chicken – goes far!! It’s just so important to be mindful of where our food comes from. This is such a great way to cook a chicken allowing all the natural flavours to prevail xxxx jan

Peggy June 27, 2011 at 2:55 pm

Oh my! These birds look absolutely heavenly! And that sauce – well worth making the recipe just for that delicious sauce =)

Sam June 27, 2011 at 2:57 pm

HI Jan, Thanks so much, I find this to be one of the best recipes ever for roast chicken. I love all the flavourful sauce it makes. s

Sam June 27, 2011 at 2:58 pm

Thanks Peggy! The sauce is superb. You could even add a bit more stock and wine to get even more.

Jani December 5, 2011 at 1:34 pm

According to my boyfriend this is the best roast chicken I have ever made. So thank you for this fantastic simple recipe.

torrey June 6, 2012 at 1:40 am

This is probably the best roast chicken I’ve ever made. I usually put butter under and on the skin so this was a nice change without all that extra fat. The flavor of the strained pan sauce was so good we were dipping the chicken in it!

Sam June 6, 2012 at 8:20 am

Thanks Torrey, I think so too and glad you enjoyed it. The sauce is something else.

Sam June 6, 2012 at 9:15 am

Thnaks Lori – wish you were here – I need my eating partner. S xx

Belinda Visser September 7, 2014 at 9:23 am

OMG! this recipe is fantastic! so easy and so delicious…its my new fave.
Thank you for sharing. The only thing I did differently was stuff my baby chicken with a few whole herbs and a whole (pierced) lemon – which complimented the dish perfectly.

Sam September 8, 2014 at 5:33 pm

Hi Belinda – Im so pleased. Thanks for letting me know
Sam

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