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Roast Chicken with Herbs and Spices

Whole roast chicken with herbs and spices, roasted with an aromatic bacon-nut stuffing that is full of flavour, served with a sauce made with the pan drippings. This is the perfect showstopper for your festive table!
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Indian
Keyword Roast chicken, Roast chicken with herbs and spices
Prep Time 9 hours
Cook Time 1 hour 50 minutes
Resting Time 10 minutes
Servings 8
Calories 424kcal
Author Shinta


  • Oven
  • Saucepan


  • For the brine:
  • 3 litres water
  • 1/3 cup salt use sea salt
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • For the stuffing:
  • 5-6 strips of bacon
  • 3 cloves garlic diced
  • 1 stalk celery chopped
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • ¼ cup raisins
  • ¼ cup pecans
  • ¼ cup cashews
  • ½ cup white bread ideally, 1 or 2 days old, diced
  • 1 tablespoon ghee
  • For prepping the chicken:
  • 1 whole chicken with skin on (for this recipe, I used a 5 oz/3 lb/ 1.5 kg chicken)
  • 30 grams butter softened
  • 1 tablespoon chopped rosemary and sage preferably use fresh herbs
  • 1 tablespoon ghee plus more to brush over the chicken.
  • For the sauce:
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ tablespoon cornstarch
  • ½ cup water or chicken broth


  • The night before you roast the chicken, prepare a brine and keep the chicken overnight in the brine solution.

For the brine:

  • Combine the water, salt and sugar in a large vessel. Stir together until the sugar and salt dissolve. Place the chicken in the solution and keep it covered in the fridge for at least 8 hours, best overnight.
  • After 8 hours, take out the chicken and let it dry out in the fridge, on a shallow plate or pan.

For the Stuffing:

  • In a saucepan, sauté the bacon, until just cooked. Keep aside.
  • In the same pan, add a teaspoon ghee. Sauté the celery, garlic, nuts and raisins with garam masala until fragrant, around 2 minutes. Add this to the bacon.
  • Finally, add the bread and lightly sauté for a couple of minutes, until lightly browned.
  • Add the bread to the rest of the ingredients, mix and keep aside.

To assemble the chicken and roast:

  • Pre heat the oven to 190 C or 375 F.
  • Mix together the softened butter with the chopped herbs. Keep this aside.
  • Pat dry the chicken with a paper towel.
  • Gently, using your fingers, separate out the skin from the meat below it. Starting from the cavity end of the chicken, separate out the skin on the breast and the thighs.
  • Slide the softened herbed butter under the skin of the chicken, gently.
  • Stuff the chicken cavity with the prepared stuffing and truss the chicken legs with kitchen twine.
  • Brush some ghee (or butter) over the chicken, making sure you go over the entire chicken.
  • Transfer the chicken to a roasting pan and place it on a rack centred in the middle of the oven.
  • Roast at 190 C for 1 hour 40 minutes, brushing more ghee on the skin 3 times during the baking time.
  • Once cooked, transfer the chicken onto a platter and let it rest outside the oven for 15-20 minutes before serving.

To prepare the sauce:

  • While the chicken is resting, take the roasting pan which has all the drippings from the roast.
  • Skim off the fat from the pan (this is an optional step) using a spoon.
  • Place the pan on the stovetop, turn up the heat to medium and add the water or broth, balsamic vinegar, brown sugar and salt.
  • Stir with a wooden spoon or silicon spatula and slowly add the corn starch. Keep stirring until the sauce thickens a little. Use the spoon or spatula to scrape up all the browned bits from the bottom of the pan.
  • Run the sauce through a sieve and serve alongside the chicken.


Serving suggestion: You can serve the chicken with roasted potatoes and carrots. At the halfway mark, while the chicken is roasting, add baby potatoes that are pricked with a fork into the roasting pan. The potatoes cook in the juices of the chicken and are a good accompaniment to the chicken.


Calories: 424kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 21g | Fat: 31g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 98mg | Sodium: 5208mg | Potassium: 288mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 235IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 31mg | Iron: 2mg