Dads Cook Good Food

For dads who enjoy cooking for their families

When East Meets West: Herbs and Spices Roast Chicken


Welcome 2014! Let’s start the new year right with an almost-original chicken dish which I thought of through careful research, a few kitchen experiments and  yes, some thoughtful consideration of previous experiences in eating delicious, varied and unforgettable roast chicken dishes. I’m sure the other dads and moms would agree that preparing a big meal such as roast chicken (well, I have a modest standard for roasting chicken alone is a gargantuan task for me!) elicits questions such as ‘Would it turn out okay?,’ ‘Will they like the taste?’ or even realistically asking, ‘Would it be palatable enough?’ 😀

Well, coming up with this recipe was  a challenge! After all, it would be easier to get an existing recipe and tweak it a bit, right? But I wanted to make our traditional New Year’s Eve dinner (in the Philippines, we refer it to as media noche) extra special so I thought of coming up with a somewhat original recipe (I guess only a few can really claim that their recipe is original). To help me with the challenge, I thought of watching a few You Tube videos to check out certain procedures such as tenting the roast chicken, using the right temperature when roasting chicken, checking herbs and spices that will bring out the best taste in chicken,  and recalled the oh-so-good taste of roasted chicken from my previous travels (read: chicken inasal of Bacolod, roast chicken in Hawaii).  From these, I came up with a fusion of East and West or a blend of various herbs and spices that was a superb roast chicken recipe that we’re bound to cook again.

Enjoy and Happy New Year!


1 (5-6 kg) chicken fryer or any 1 whole dressed chicken
1 tbsp. olive oil

For the marinade:
1 tbsp of salt
3 tbsp sugar
¼ cup white wine vinegar
3 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
2 tbsp. lemon juice

For the herb stuffing:
1 onion (cut into quarters)
8 cloves of garlic, pounded
1 lemon grass, chopped

For the chicken rub:
1 tsp of cumin
2 tbsp of paprika
1 tsp. of grounded thyme
2 tsp mustard seed

For the gravy:
2 tbsp flour
2 tbsp unsalted butter

Let’s begin by….


1. Preparing all the ingredients. I have grouped the ingredients above to avoid confusion when preparing the dish. A good tip from my sibling: Read the ingredients aloud so as not to miss out on any ingredient!

2. Wash your hands well then remove all the giblets from the chicken’s cavity and rinse well.


3. On a non-reactive bowl (e.g. glass or ceramic), mix and whisk all the ingredients for the marinade: vinegar, salt, sugar, white wine vinegar, soy sauce and lemon juice. Set aside.


4. Then mix the dry ingredients for the rub on a separate bowl: cumin, paprika, grounded thyme and mustard seed.


5. Pour and rub the citrus marinade on the chicken and in its cavity, wrap in plastic or aluminum foil and marinate it for 2 hours, preferably refrigerated.



6. After 2 hours, drain the marinade on a separate small non-reactive bowl and set aside. Brush it with olive oil and sprinkle the chicken rub on top and rub them both inside and in the chicken’s cavity. Wrap in plastic or aluminum foil and refrigerate for 6 hours or overnight.


7. The next day, preheat the oven to 425 ‘F. Bring out the chicken from the refrigerator and remove the cover. Let it rest for a half an hour to bring the chicken to room temperature. This way, the temperature for all parts of the chicken evens out and you avoid having a dry chicken.



8. Stuff the chicken cavity with the herbs and spices: pounded garlic, lemongrass, and chopped onions. Pounding it will allow it to infuse into the chicken during baking. Use a kitchen twine (or a non-waxed floss) to tie the two legs of the chicken. This prevents the stuffing from spilling.



9. Finally, baste the chicken with the rest of the citrus marinade and rest it on a roasting pan or on a bed of herbs and spices (or you may choose to use potatoes, green peppers, and asparagus).


10. Roast in the oven for 15 minutes in 425 ‘F then reduce it to 375’F and continue roasting for an hour.


11. Insert the meat thermometer in the chicken’s inner thigh (but not the bone)  to check internal temperature. When the temperature is 165 ‘F, the chicken may be taken out of the oven, rested on a heat-resistant board then tent the chicken with a foil. This will allow the juices to redistribute itself.


12. Meanwhile, drain the drippings (these are really flavourful since they came from the marinated chicken infused with the bed of herbs!) from the pan. In a preheated skillet, melt unsalted butter and whisk in flour slowly until it forms a paste. Then gently pour the drippings, continue whisking until it thickens into a gravy. Add salt and pepper to taste.

chicken carve

13. Remove the kitchen twine, carve the chicken and serve with the gravy and herbs (or vegetables).

Serves 4-6 people.


CHOW. Basic Whole Roasted Chicken. Retrieved from on December 31,2013.

Chicken Cooking Times. Retrieved from on December 31, 2013.

Flay, B. , Banyas, S. and Jackson, S.  (2013). Barbecue Addiction.  Boy Meets Grill Inc: New York.

How To Make a Basic Chicken Rub. Retrieved from on December 31, 2013.

How To Roast the Perfect Whole Chicken Recipe. Retrieved from on December 30, 2013.

Roasting Chicken in Oven. Retrieved from on December 30, 2013.

Roasting Chicken in Oven Squishy. Retrieved from on December 30, 2013.


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