Oktoberfest Roast Chicken (Original Version)

My original method for cooking oktoberfest roast chicken involves a process of poaching, then roasting the bird for perfectly tender flesh and crisp skin.

My original method for cooking oktoberfest roast chicken involves a process of poaching, then roasting the bird for perfectly tender flesh and crisp skin.

For the updated, slow-roasted method, click here.

Oktoberfest Roast Chicken.

Oktoberfest Roast Chicken (Poach then Roast)

Jay Wadams
Oktoberfest isn’t just about the beer! No meal is more important to Munich’s famous festival than the the Oktoberfest Roast Chicken  ‘Halbes Hendl’, half a beautifully seasoned, succulent chicken cooked rotisserie style. I use a technique of poaching, then roasting the chicken to ensure perfectly juicy, delicious meat every time.
5 from 8 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Serves 2


  • 1.25 kg whole chicken
  • 1 chicken stock cube
  • 3 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp sweet paprika powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • pinch of chilli flakes
  • sea salt and black pepper


  • POACH CHICKEN: Remove any giblets or organs from the chicken, truss the legs together and set aside. Fill a saucepan large enough to hold the chicken two thirds of the way with water, crumble in the stock cube and bring to the boil. Gently slide the chicken into the hot stock, then turn the heat to low and simmer very, very gently for 30 minutes.
  • MAKE BASTING MIXTURE: Meanwhile, heat the oven to 180°C / 350°F / Gas 4 and place a roasting rack onto an oven tray. In a small bowl stir together the oil paprika, garlic, chilli flakes and a few grinds of black pepper. 
  • DRAIN CHICKEN: After half an hour, use two forks to lift the chicken out of the poaching water, tilting it to drain any liquid. Place on a paper towel lined plate, pat dry and allow to cool for a minute or two.
  • REMOVE BACKBONE: Cut the string trussing the legs together, then use a pair of kitchen shears or a sharp knife to cut through the breast bone of the chicken. Cut along both sides of the spine and discard it. Gently lay the chicken halves on the prepared rack, season generously with salt, then brush the paprika mixture evenly over the chicken, making sure to get right under the drumsticks and wings.
  • ROAST CHICKEN: Roast the chicken in the oven for 20 minutes or until golden, basting once with any oil that has dripped from the chicken. For crispy skin either turn the oven right up for an extra 5 minutes of cooking time, or turn the grill/broiler on until the skin is crisped to your liking.
  • REST AND SERVE: Allow to rest on a warm plate for 5-10 minutes before serving with potato salad, french fries or coleslaw and a slice of lemon.


Don’t throw away the stock that you poached the chicken in! It is an excellent base for soups and stews or anything else you need stock for!
    • Can I double or triple the recipe?
    • Absolutely! Either use multiple pots or a big stock pot. Remember to keep the water barely simmering otherwise the skin can get tough.
    • I can’t get a small chicken! Can I still make this recipe?
    • Yes, you can, though you may want to cut the chicken into quarters rather than halves as this size chicken serves two people perfectly.

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Serving: 0.5chicken | Calories: 844kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 57g | Fat: 66g | Saturated Fat: 16g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 22g | Monounsaturated Fat: 24g | Trans Fat: 0.4g | Cholesterol: 225mg | Sodium: 690mg | Potassium: 638mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 1419IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 43mg | Iron: 3mg
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Course | Main Event
Cuisine | Bavarian