German-Spiced Roast Chicken


Inspired by the flavors I grew up with, this may be the juiciest roast chicken ever.

Time: 2+ hours

1 6-pound whole roasting chicken, drained and patted dry with kitchen toweling

1 stick of butter, divided into 8 equal pieces

1/2 large onion, cut into four wedges

2 stalks celery, each cut into four pieces

Spice blend:

Grind together with a mortar and pestle or a spice grinder:

1/2 tsp. caraway seeds

1/4 tsp. fennel seeds

1/4 tsp. dried rosemary

In a small bowl, add to the ground spice mixture:

1 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. sage

2 tsp. garlic powder

2 Tbs. paprika

Preheat oven to 350°F

Mix spices together thoroughly and set aside.

Put 3 tablespoons of the butter, the onion, and the celery into the chicken’s cavity.

Next, melt 2 Tbs. butter and brush it over the entire surface of the chicken’s skin.

Sprinkle the spice mixture liberally over all skin surfaces.

Set chicken into roasting pan. Put pats of remaining butter around the chicken.

Roast for 2 hours.

Check temperature with a meat thermometer.

Chicken is done when the internal temperature at the thickest part of the thigh is 180°F.

Baste the bird with the juices and return to oven for 15 minutes if the chicken isn’t finished cooking.

Check temperature again after fifteen minutes, or at subsequent ten-minute intervals until 180°F. is reached.


It is hard to provide a cooking time for this recipe because the timing applies to an accurate oven and finding a bird that weighs exactly six pounds, which is a bit of a long shot. Rely on a thermometer to verify internal temperature.