Vanilla and Rosemary Chicken

One of my family’s favorite meals remains the humble roast chicken. Golden roasted, I find it hard to declare not being one of my favourites to make.  I usually can’t wait for it to come out of the oven. Especially during the summer months, when it is sweltering hot in Pretoria, I like to prepare it early and stuff it into the refrigerator to cool down.  Served with a green salad and fresh bread it is the perfect summer food.

My husband, who is probably also the biggest fan of my food, bless his dolly heart, told me about a radio interview which he overheard the other day. In this interview, the various uses of vanilla were being discussed, which also included using it in chicken dishes.  Being the explorer I am, I decided to give this a try.

Although this is slightly different from the way I usually roast chicken, I thought the taste to be quite interesting. I never thought that vanilla could work  well with chicken, after all vanilla ( I have always thought) is for baking but somehow it just does…

So if you are feeling a bit adventurous, maybe you should like to have a bash at it… You might be pleasantly surprised.



  • 1 Medium sized chicken approximately 1-1.5 kg
  • Salt (about one teaspoon) and freshly ground pepper to season
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla paste
  • 2 Tablespoons of butter melted
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • Freshly squeezed lemon juice of one lemon
  • 6  Sprigs of fresh Rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1 Roasting bag


  1. Preheat the oven to 190 ° C
  2. Rub the chicken on the inside of the cavity as well as the the outside with the salt and pepper to taste
  3. Loosen the skin carefully on top of the breast and rub with vanilla paste
  4. Place some of the rosemary inside of the chicken’s cavity and tie the chicken’s legs together with string.
  5. Place the chicken in the roasting bag
  6. Mix the rest of the ingredients together and pour over the chicken in the roasting bag. Rub the mixture into the chicken.  Place the remaining rosemary under the chicken in the bag
  7. Tie the roasting bag and place into  the oven for approximately 2 hours
  8. Turn the roasting bag after 1 hour so that the meat can brown on both sides and the juices can baste the chicken
  9. When the chicken has turned golden on both sides and the juices run clear, remove from the oven and cool slightly before serving

I served this on a hot summers day with fresh flat breads, green salad and corn on the cob.

Bon Appetit!


4 Comments Add yours

  1. Jacqueline says:

    Mmmmm….. Lyk heerlik! Hoe laat is aandete? Ek sal die wyn bring! Baie nice vriendin! Well done!

    1. Thank you you are welcome anytime! Please do remember the wine!

  2. Shari says:

    Vanilla on chicken….I would have never though of that! I may have to try!

    1. Please do! You might be pleasantly surprised…. Thanks for stopping by…

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