baby chickens roasted in wine and herbs

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


  • 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


  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

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

I look forward to connecting with you again

Visit my Drizzle and Dip Facebook page to get updates of all my posts.

I can also be found enthusiastically pinning beautiful food images on Pinterest. 


, , , ,

43 Responses to baby chickens roasted in wine and herbs

  1. 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 🙂

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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)

  5. 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?

  6. 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.

  7. nina June 26, 2011 at 1:47 pm #

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

  8. Sam June 26, 2011 at 2:47 pm #

    Thanks Nina, it was very much enjoyed 🙂

  9. dina gibbs June 26, 2011 at 5:42 pm #

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

  10. Sam June 26, 2011 at 5:50 pm #

    Thanks Dina! 🙂

  11. 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 😉

  12. Sam June 27, 2011 at 8:45 am #

    Thanks Ishay! Nothing beats a good roast chicken.

  13. Lori June 27, 2011 at 9:40 am #

    Beautiful Sammie x

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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 =)

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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!

  21. Sam June 6, 2012 at 8:20 am #

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

  22. Sam June 6, 2012 at 9:15 am #

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

  23. 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.

  24. Sam September 8, 2014 at 5:33 pm #

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

  25. Leila November 19, 2014 at 12:25 pm #

    Hi Sam

    what could I substitute for the wine?will it still taste the same?

    Thanks 😉

  26. Sam November 20, 2014 at 3:10 pm #

    Hi Subsititue Verjuice – its delicious and contains no alcohol.

  27. Daisy June 9, 2015 at 7:41 pm #


  28. Charity February 8, 2016 at 1:08 am #

    How would red wine taste as a substitute for the dry white ?

  29. Sam February 8, 2016 at 8:38 am #

    Hi Charity, I dont think well this is very much designed around white wine or Verjuice. If you search my site I have a fabulous recipe for a red wine roast chicken whichis delicious.

  30. Erica September 22, 2016 at 4:19 am #

    This is Celsius? So it should be almost 400* F???

  31. Sam September 22, 2016 at 10:04 am #

    HI Erica, yes thats 400F

  32. Michelle December 17, 2016 at 9:58 pm #

    Can white cooking wine be used or does it need to be real wine?

  33. Sam December 19, 2016 at 10:24 am #

    HI Michelle, this comment got me confused. What is white cooking wine vs real wine? I only know real wine. Wine you can actually drink and sometiems add to cooking. What is cooking wine?

  34. Joy December 26, 2016 at 1:32 am #

    Today is Christmas. Made a dinner just for two. Used Cornish hens and Pinot Noir. All I had. Absolutely delicious. And great presentation. Onions and carrots and a bell pepper from my garden. A keeper!

  35. Michelle January 19, 2017 at 3:23 pm #

    Hi, i couldn’t find the recipe on this website. Could you please specify where to download it? Thank you very much.

  36. Sam January 20, 2017 at 7:24 am #

    HI Michelle
    Thanks for letting me know and the plugin stopped working. The recipe is up and running again now again on hte post.


  37. Doreen Seaborne March 27, 2017 at 7:01 am #

    Fabulous recipe…tried many times.


  1. Indo Moroccan spiced roast chicken | Food and the Fabulous - June 30, 2011

    […] other day, I read a post  about baby roast chickens by Sam of Drizzle and Dip and was reminded that I my oven hadn’t seen a bird in it for a while. Vivid memories of my […]

  2. My food highlights for 2011 | Drizzle and Dip - July 3, 2012

    […] the best roast chicken with herbs and wine […]

  3. Roast chicken in white wine, herbs and garlic | Drizzle and Dip - September 2, 2015

    […] to make stock. I whipped together this cooking sauce loosely based around my all-time favourite roast chicken recipe, and I added the potatoes to complete the […]

  4. Full On Cooking – The Perfect Roast Chicken | The IanF Show - October 16, 2015

    […] Check out Sam’s recipe for her baby chickens roasted in wine and herbs! […]

  5. Roast chicken with stout, rosemary and honey | Drizzle and Dip - December 7, 2016

    […] taken my all time favourite roast chicken recipe which I’ve made using whole birds and chicken pieces and adapted it using stout instead of wine or verjuice. I really dont know how […]

  6. what to make your dad on fathers day | Drizzle and Dip - June 13, 2017

    […] recipe, and permutations of it with stout, or using a whole bird is the only way I ever want to eat my roast chicken. Once this is in your cooking repertoire, you […]

Leave a Reply

© 2015 Drizzle and Dip. All Rights Reserved.