Easy roasted chicken with vanilla

Vanilla and Rosemary chicken the perfect summer food:

One of my family’s favorite meals remains the humble roast chicken. Golden roasted, I find this Vanilla and Rosemary Chicken 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 store it in 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, and so this recipe for  an easy vanilla and rosemary chicken was created. Vanilla-and-rosemary-chicken

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.

Vanilla and rosemary chicken

How to make  this easy vanilla and rosemary chicken:


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


  1. Preheat the oven to 200 ° 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 and butter
  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 every  1/2 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!

 rosemary chicken
Vanilla and rosemary chicken

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For another, awesome vanilla chicken recipe, head over to The Olive Scene for this Vanilla Balsamic Chicken recipe.

Vanilla and Rosemary chicken

An easy and delicious roast chicken. Full of flavor and juicy.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time1 hr 30 mins
Resting time to redistribute juices15 mins
Total Time2 hrs
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: French
Keyword: roasted chicken, vanilla roast chicken,
Servings: 8


  • Roasting bag and Oven


  • 1 med free-range chicken
  • 1 tsp salt
  • freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 1 lemon's zest and juice
  • 12 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 1 tsp vanilla paste
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract


  • Preheat the oven to 200°C
  • Rub the chicken with salt and pepper all over, including the inside cavity.
  • Loosen se skin around the breast carefully by inserting your hand and rub the vanilla paste and butter between the breast of the chicken and the skin.
  • Place half of the rosemary and the juiced halves of the lemon in the chicken cavity and tie the chicken's legs together with string.
  • Place the chicken inside of the roasting bag on top of the remaining rosemary
  • Mix the zest, lemon juice, vanilla extract and pour over the chicken in the roasting bag.
  • Bake for approximately 1 ½ hour until the juices of the chicken runs clear. During this time turn the bag every ½ hour to baste the chicken and make sure it roasts golden on both sides.
  • Remove from oven when cooked and rest.
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