Roasted baby chickens in wine and herbs

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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.

Roast baby chicken with white wine, herbs and garlic recipe

You can use 2 baby chickens for this recipe or one whole bird. Always buy free-range if you can.

Use a high-sided roasting pan for this recipe. You don’t want too much of the delicious pan juices to escape. Using a wider pan really facilitates evapouration. 

The juices are so tasty I sometimes wish there were more of them. It may seem like the quantity of herbs is too much, but they add so much flavour here.

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

See my updated recipe for a whole roast chicken with wine, herbs and garlic.

The best juicy roast chicken with wine, herbs and garlic recipe

A few more of my favourite chicken recipes:

Roast chicken with orange & ginger

Roast chicken & Italian sausage with herbs & orange

Creamy chicken & mushrooms

Creamy chicken with braised leeks & carrots

Coq au Chardonnay

Roast baby chickens stuffed with pork & sage

One-pot chicken & rice pilaf with orange & spices

Cut up pieces of the best roast chicken with wine, herbs and garlic

Baby chickens roasted in wine and herbs

Succulent and juicy baby chickens roasted in white wine, herbs and garlic.
Print Recipe
Prep Time:20 minutes
Cook Time:1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time:2 hours


  • 2 free-range baby chickens or one whole bird
  • 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
  • 250 ml 1 cup dry white wine
  • 250 ml 1 cup chicken stock
  • 125 ml 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


  • Preheat the oven to 180 C / 350 F.
  • Place the chicken on the chopped onion and carrots in a deep-sided roasting pan.
  • Mix all the liquid, mustard, and herbs together and pour this sauce over the chickens and into the cavity.
  • 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 roast with the breast side up for 30 minutes, then flip them so the underside goes golden for the next 30 minutes and then flip it back upright for the final 30 minutes.
  • Strain the pan juices, onion, and carrot, and use this delicious jus as your gravy.
  • I like to cut the chicken up into rustic big pieces and then pour it over the pan sauce so they wallow in it before serving.


use two baby chickens or one whole bird. Add a little extra water or stock to the pan after an hour if it looks like its drying out.
Servings: 4
Author: Sam Linsell


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

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

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

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

  8. Thanks Nina, it was very much enjoyed 🙂

  9. dina gibbs says:

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

  10. 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 😉

  11. Thanks Ishay! Nothing beats a good roast chicken.

  12. Beautiful Sammie x

  13. 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.

  14. 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

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

  16. 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

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

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

  19. 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!

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

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

  22. Belinda Visser says:

    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.

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

  24. Hi Sam

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

    Thanks 😉

  25. Hi Subsititue Verjuice – its delicious and contains no alcohol.

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

  27. 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.

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

  29. HI Erica, yes thats 400F

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

  31. 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?

  32. 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!

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

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


  35. Doreen Seaborne says:

    Fabulous recipe…tried many times.

  36. So excited for to try this! I would love to do it in my slow cooker though… do you think it would work!?

  37. This is hands down one of my favorite recipes that I have made for years. Thank you so much!!

  38. Hi Monica, I’m so glad to hear you love it.

  39. Beautiful recipe and delightful eating. The spatchcock remained moist. I marinated my half spatchcocks in the liquids, herbs, mustard and crushed garlic for about 3 hours in the fridge as I had to prep ahead on this particular day. I also replaced the white wine with ver juice as the alcohol substitute and the flavour was outstanding!? (much to my sceptic belief!)??? I have printed off the recipe and we will be enjoying this meal for many years to come. Perfect for a dinner date with friends. We will be trying this recipe with quails next. Yummy! ?

  40. Hi Kristen, I’m so glad you enjoyed this recipe and I love the idea of the spatchcock and quail too

  41. Could I use a Dutch oven for this recipe?

  42. HI Laura, Im sure you could use a dutch oven if it was big enough. Just take the lid off for the final roast

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