“‘Hungry again?’ he asked.  There was still half a honeyed chicken in the center of the table.  Jon reached out to tear off a leg, then had a better idea.  He knifed the bird whole and let the carcass slide to the floor between his legs.  Ghost ripped into it in savage silence.” -A Game of Thrones

Thoughts:

Yum. The sauce reduces down to a thick, syrupy consistency, which melts ever so slightly when drizzled over the hot chicken.  The raisins soak up the sauce, and become absolutely delicious little morsels.  Combine a bite of the chicken, dripping with the juice from the plate, with a plump raisin, and you’re golden.

Bottom line?  Omnomnom!

Medieval Roast Chicken Recipe

This was a recipe that gave us some difficulty; Absurd, when it seems so straightforward.  However, there appear to be no recipes for “honeyed chicken” from a surviving period cookbook.  At last, we found a recipe that we could work with.  Thank you Ancient Romans!  Now, you say that ancient Rome is not the Middle Ages, and you are correct.  However, we use what we can.  And really, it’s honeyed chicken.  Are you really going to hold that against us?

Our changes:  Since this dish is mentioned in The North, we took out a few things that were more Roman than Stark.  We started with Apicius’ recipe for Chicken in Honey and Dill Glaze (Apicius, 6.8.2).  Instead of white wine vinegar, we substituted apple cider vinegar, and added raisins, assuming that apples are easier to come by in The North than are grapes.  We eliminated the dill and date syrup for the same reason. Also, absolutely no fish sauce with our chicken.  This left us with ingredients as follows:

Ingredients:

  • 1 whole chicken for roasting
  • olive oil/butter (~1 Tbs)
  • salt

Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • Dash of mint, dried or fresh (abt. 1 tsp.)
  • Small handful of raisins
  • ~1 Tbs. butter

Rub the chicken down with olive oil/butter and salt.  This makes the skin crispy and delicious.  Cook in an oven at 450 degrees F for approximately an hour, or until the juices run clear, and the thick meat of the breast is no longer pink.

While your chicken is roasting away in the oven, combine all ingredients in saucepan and allow to simmer until the raisins plump and the sauce reduces slightly.  Remove from heat, and when the chicken is done, spread the sauce and raisins over the bird.

Enjoy!

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131 Responses to Honeyed Chicken

  1. duckchick says:

    Oh wow, I was looking online for this recipe specifically, and found a bunch of modern twists. I’m no medieval expert, so I was just looking to adapt one that sounded most delicious to me. Now I have this! THANK YOU!!

  2. Rhaygar says:

    Did you brine the chicken first? I will definitely be making this one for the viewing party!

    • Needs Mead says:

      Hey Rhaygar, we just covered it with olive oil and liberally sprinkled salt on it. It’s the simplest thing, and makes crispy, delicious skin! Best of luck with yours! :)

  3. Felux says:

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  4. Basel Gill says:

    Out of curiosity, if you think that grapes will be less common in the North than they would have been in ancient Rome, then why the raisins? You removed the white wine vinegar, but added raisins. If raisins are made from grapes, wouldn’t the same logic apply to them as well? I’ve been considering making this with dried cherries, or perhaps dried cranberries, as these fruits would be more common to northern Europe.

    • Needs Mead says:

      Good point! We figured that while grapes wouldn’t grow in the north, raisins could be bought and transported from the south. You are correct that wine vinegar would also be perfectly feasible as a northern ingredient, but for the flavor combination, we simply preferred apple cider vinegar. This would also likely have been available at Winterfell, and we thought the flavors suited one another. Using cherries and cranberries also sounds delicious! Let us know how it turns out!

    • jake says:

      where did you see there were cranberrys in northern europe???!!!

      • sadie says:

        They grow in the bogs found throughout the Northern Hemisphere. Whether they were specifically found in Medieval Northern Europe, I don’t rightly know (they need acidic growing conditions, so if those bogs don’t exist in Europe, then maybe not, but there might be bogs like that in the interior of Russia), but they definitely grow in the some of the northern parts of our world.

        • Nil Zed says:

          cranberries don’t grow there, but related plants, barberries and lingonberries do. They are red, and tart, though smaller, and dried *unsweetened* cranberries are a perfectly valid substitute if you don’t have the sort of import markets to get dried barberry (middle eastern markets) or lingonberry (markets catering to scandanavian immigrants).

          • Ute says:

            As Nil Zed pointed out, the European variety, is smaller and commonly called lingonberry or English mossberry which is grown in boggy parts of central Europe, Finland and Germany, and is known as Vaccinium oxycoccus. The European variety has slightly higher acidic profile in terms of the percentages of quinic, malic and citric acid (anti-oxidant) levels.

        • Omppu says:

          There are acidic bogs in Scandinavia and Finland, where I live, and cranberries grow there. We are quite northern, too.

          Great recipe! I´m bookmarking it and making it sometime. :-)

  5. Lori says:

    I have two chickens defrosting Hubby never can find apple cider vinegar so he tells me . Another recipe said to use tomatoe sauce if you don’t have apple cider vinegar some how this doesn’t seem right . Think I should go to the market myself.

    • Needs Mead says:

      Another vinegar would work if you have it, or even some wine. The key is to carefully reduce the sauce over low heat. Tomato sauce could be an option, but you’d lose the proper “Honeyed” chicken part of the recipe.

      Best of luck!

    • saucedpoppet says:

      Husbands are USELESS in stores!! Apple cider vinegar is quite easy to find, usually kept in the aisle with the pickles & condiments or in the baking aisle.

  6. Aaron Miller says:

    we also used this recipe. I opted for the precooked rotisserie chicken. I loved the sauce though. I went with the fresh mint and changed the raisins to goji berries. We had them around and they seemed exotic enough to work.

    For the side vegetables I made fresh green beans with salt and butter with black forest bacon and almond slivers.

  7. No One says:

    Did a pair of honeyed chickens tonight on the grill! Split the birds in half, coated liberally with olive oil and a pinch of black pepper. Smoked with hickory wood about an hour indirect followed by 20 minutes of direct grilling. Came out golden brown and crispy on the outside, tender on the inside. Then drizzled them with the sauce (I used a little more honey than you call for). Even my lady Cersei at an entire half and then some!

  8. Jack says:

    I tried this recipe last Sunday, came out great! The sauce was delicious, only thing i did different was stuff the inside of the chicken with raisins and apples. This blog is awesome, I’m using a new recipe for each time the show comes out.

  9. Taply says:

    Sounds like a great recipe! Any ideas how I should prepare the chicken that i bought straight from freezer?

    • Needs Mead says:

      Right! If your chicken is frozen you’ll want to thaw it. To do so, soak it in hot (but not too hot!) water until it is thawed completely through. You should then be able to follow the usual cooking instructions. Hope that helps!

      • Cold water. DO NOT DEFROST CHICKEN IN HOT WATER. Place chicken in airtight plastic bag and submerge in cold water from the tap. Change the water every 20-30 minutes.

        • Ute says:

          I have to agree with defrosting in cold water, simply because there are parts that will defrost sooner using hot or even warm water, like the wings and legs and could be in danger of developing bacteria before the inner parts are fully thawed…thawing in the refrigerator is the slowest but safest method you can use since the temperature of the refrigerator is usually around 35°F to 40°F which will discourage growth of harmful organisms as the chicken thaws. Place your hand in the cavity to make sure there are no ice crystals left in the bird…(this has save my b*tt more than once as I have forgotten to take the giblets (and the little paper bag) from the cavity. ;)

  10. void777 says:

    Just wanted to say that this recipe came out AWESOME! I basted the chicken with the butter, salt, and oil mixture about every 15 mins to keep it moist and doubled up on the raisin-honey sauce and let it soak into the chicken for about 30 minutes before serving. Had friends from the party literally picking the bones clean. Would it be a good idea to marinate the chicken in the sauce overnight? Just curious.

    • Needs Mead says:

      Glad you liked it! It’s one of our favorites… As for marinating, I’d say that doing up a whole chicken overnight wouldn’t probably make that much of a difference. If you were using the sauce recipe with pieces of chicken, such as breasts, thighs, or drumsticks, I’d say marinating would be a great idea. If you try it, let us know how it turns out!

      • MeBeShe says:

        Try using a flavor injector into the pre-cooked chicken to deliver the sauce into the meat. It looks like a really big, scary version of a doctor’s needle.

  11. Trina says:

    We made this tonight and it was very tasty! The sauce was a new flavor combination for us, and one we’ll definitely be wanting to eat again. We also made the crusty, fresh-baked bread, which sopped up the mingled sauce and chicken juices very nicely. In the future I’ll probably be lazy and just make the sauce for baked boneless/skinless chicken breasts, but for now I have a lovely stock cooking from the bones and leftovers!

  12. Zelanity says:

    Made this tonight with b/s tenders. It was absolutely delicious over rice. My husband asked for thirds and my two year old actually cleaned his plate! Thank you, very much.

  13. Basel Gill says:

    Made this tonight with dried cherries instead of raisins, with sweet potato fries on the side. The sweet potatoes worked really well as a side dish to this. One question I have is, how much cooking time did you allow for the reduction to get to spreadable consistency? I simmered the sauce for about ten minutes. I removed it from the heat with two or three minutes to go, and it had reduced slightly, but it was still too liquid to spread. I wound up spooning the liquid and cherries onto the meat. It tasted good, but I felt it would have worked better as a spread.

    • Needs Mead says:

      In the future, you’ll probably want the sauce to reduce a bit more, until it is the consistency of thick honey. It should melt a bit when it hits the hot chicken, and then be a great, gooey consistency. The time for reducing is sort of a rough guideline, more than a definite one. :)

      • Basel Gill says:

        I think next time I do this recipe, I will begin reducing when I first put the meat in to cook, maybe even when I begin preheating. I can just take it off when it hits the right thickness then, rather than depending on when the meat is done.

  14. kathcmills says:

    If I were to make this dish with chicken thighs instead of a whole chicken, what would you suggest in terms of cooking temperature/time? (Oh, the challenges of cooking for one.)

    • Needs Mead says:

      If you are baking the chicken thighs, I’d recommend around 45 minutes at 350 degrees. Of course, if you were to spring for a whole chicken for yourself, you could then count on tasty leftovers, and even boil down the carcass for a nice, sweet chicken soup. Just saying… :)

      • Ute says:

        If I had to choose one tool that has come to my rescue on a consistent basis, I’d have to say a Classic Instant-Read Pocket Thermometer! They run about 5 bucks on Amazon. Checking for the right temp on whole poultry you want it to read 165 degrees for 15 seconds. (Thighs and wings should cook until juices run clear.) You can search for “ServSafe Minimum Internal Cooking Temperatures” on the internets to get some good guidelines!

  15. kmw5 says:

    I tried this one out tonight. I used butter, salt, and pepper to prep the chicken, and then added another ~1 tablespoon of butter dolloped over the chicken halfway through cooking.
    My husband was a bit put off by the sharp smell of the apple cider vinegar, so I added the juice of one lemon, then added the butter/juice from the cooking chicken. I poured this over the chicken for the last 15 mins, and at this point it was a big juicy mess! The result was amazingly moist chicken with a nice sweet twist to it. We have plenty of leftovers for lunch tomorrow, and I’m boiling the carcass for a great stock I can use once autumn rolls around.

    PS: LOVE the site! I had commented to friends that there ought to be a Song of Ice and Fire cookbook, and they directed me here.

  16. Brooke says:

    This is incredibly delicious. I would love to feature this recipe in my cooking column and link back to your blog. Would that be ok?

  17. Bogdan says:

    Excuse me, do I put water in the initial sauce, with all the ingredients (in the saucepan)?
    I am trying to make this recipe and really need to know :P

    • Needs Mead says:

      Nope! No water, just the ingredients for the sauce: 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar, 1/3 cup honey, Dash of mint, dried or fresh (abt. 1 tsp.), Small handful of raisins, ~tbs. butter. Good luck!

      • Bogdan says:

        Thanks for the help, I managed to get it! It was delicious! Had a little problem with the sauce, I poured it on the chicken to early and some of it didn’t stick to the chicken :D

        Next time Ill do better!

  18. Ironica says:

    Just tried this as my first attempt from this blog. We have a *lot* of food allergies, so we’re always looking for old-fashioned or ethnic recipes that happen to not have our triggers in them. I can’t wait to try some of the other items in here!

    I used the olive oil on the chicken, as dairy is one of our issues. Very crispy skin; yum! I made the sauce according to the recipe, just subbing saved chicken fat for the butter, and found like kmw5 above that it was too sharp (and I’m a vinegar-lover, so I knew the rest of the family wouldn’t like it). Since I was making two chickens anyway, I added another 1/3 cup honey, juice of one lemon, and some more mint, and reduced it again. *This* time it came out WONDERFULLY. Everyone adored it!

    We opted to serve the sauce separately, as our kids (ages 3 and 7) often get upset if we befoul their meal before they get a chance to do it themselves ;-) but it worked great to dollop onto individual servings.

    We served it with an adapted version of the Summer Greens with Grapes and Pecans (cashew cheese instead of gorgonzola; walnuts instead of pecans, because we had them on hand; skipped the fennel; made a honey-mustard vinaigrette instead of the apricot dressing). Delicious top to bottom!

  19. I’m planning on making this either this weekend or next week! I was wondering if you have a favorite recipe you like to follow to make stock out of the leftovers from this. Thanks!

    • Needs Mead says:

      Generally I just put whatever bones are left into a pot, cover with water, and simmer down for a couple of hours. Then I strain it, and stick it in the fridge/freezer until the fat has set on top, at which point I can scrape it off and discard it. Because of the honey, the broth tends to come out uniquely sweet, and unlike other chicken stocks. Very yum.

      On the somewhat rare occasions we’ve had meat left over, I’ve made risotto with mushrooms and asparagus (also AMAZING with duck stock, fwiw), or with a little extra meat you could make up a chicken pot pie. I’ve also used the stock for making Turkish red lentil soup, Italian strachiatella soup, and the usual standby of traditional chicken noodle.

  20. Alexis says:

    You DON’T mention that later in that same feast (same page, actually), Benjen Stark spears a roasted onion:

    “He snagged a roasted onion, dripping brown with gravy, from a nearby trencher and bit into it. It crunched.”

    So the menu would be: Honeyed chicken with roasted onions in brown gravy, paired with “summerwine.”

    yum

  21. So I made this tonight as it turned out fantastic. Everyone loved it. I didn’t put the sauce on the chicken until it was on the table so everyone could have as much or as little sauce as they wanted and even though the sauce turned out a little thin, it was still spectacular. And I don’t even like raisins.

    Thanks for this recipe! Can’t wait to try more!

  22. My aunt makes a tarragon/honey chicken that’s TO DIE FOR. How do you think tarragon would work in this instead of mint?

  23. Ian Hayano says:

    I’m making winterfell honeyed chicken tonight! I am using a dark wildflower honey for the sauce, omitting the raisins, and stuffing the chicken with onions & apples. I can’t wait to see how it turns out!

  24. aproperjoke says:

    Okay, I have to say that I made this today and it was absolutely delicious. Thank you!

    I am curious about the dill. (I come from Estonia, which had five types of herb available during Soviet times. Dill was one of them. (The others were parsley, thyme, oregano and dried bay leaves.)) And I must say that it does grow here just fine. So I’m wondering why you left it out? Was it not used in those days? I know it was grown in the medieval apothecary’s gardens in Tallinn at least. (This is not a particularly important question, I grant you. I just got curious). Oh, and was it an ingredient of the sauce in the Roman recipe?

    Also, I found your blog this week and absolutely love it and can’t wait for the cookbook. At least I have loads of recipes to try before that!

    • Ute says:

      Dill is a wonderful herb used in everything from eggs to pickles. The feathery leaves have a very distinctive flavor that enhance seafood, sauces, salad dressings, chicken and soups…even cheese. While summer savory or even rosemary would be the more “traditional” herbs used in a dish like this, dill could be quite a good choice. For a quick side dish, I use finely chopped dill leaves folded into a half cup of plain yogurt 1 clove minced garlic, 1 T of lemon juice, salt and pepper and pour over or dip fresh cucumber slices in.

  25. Becca Mahar says:

    I just made this, and it was quite yummy! My only complaint is that the ratio of the sauce is VERY heavy on the vinegar, even when I adjusted it to equal parts, and I love vinegar. Reversing the proportions might make the vinegar less shocking! I also improvised a stuffing of toasted sourdough bread, onion, granny smith apple, butter, salt, and pepper. Yum!

    I love this blog! I’ll be making the black bread (old version) and period lemoncakes over the next couple days :D

  26. Alex says:

    Guys, you are awsome! Right at this moment, I’m drinking Salladhor Saan’s Hot Wine, and Medieval Arabic Lamb Meatballs are planned for tomorrow.
    Havent tried this recepie yet, but have an opinion about Roman variant: it wasn’t nessesary to exclude dill. In many cold countries like Baltic States and Russia, dill traditionally is the important part of the menu, and grows in the garden without greenhouse during the summer. So, I think that using dill for cooking fantasy Northern food is OK.

  27. Tried this today, it was awesome, thanks a lot for sharing! The only change was that I used Jerez vinegar instead of apple cider vinegar.

  28. auctorfeminahistoriae says:

    Hey guys,
    As a medievalist, reenactor, and GoT fan, I absolutely LOVE this site. And as a beginner cook, I have a question that might seem stupidly basic. If I were to buy a fresh chicken, are there any parts I should remove before roasting it? I know my mother is always pulling parts out of our Thanksgiving turkeys but I’ve never done a whole chicken before. Thanks very much!

    • Needs Mead says:

      Not to worry! Poultry is usually packaged with the giblets (heart, gizzard, liver, neck, etc), from which a tasty, tasty gravy can be made. However, in terms of actually cooking your bird, all of that should come out first. Looking forward to hearing how your first honeyed chicken goes over! :)

      • auctorfeminahistoriae says:

        It went fantastically! We stuffed it with parsnips and onions, with a salad and Black Beer Bread as a side. It was a big meal for two, but we ate almost all of it! We’re boiling up the remains of the chicken and the tops of leeks (from the Roast Aurochs recipe) into a broth tonight. This site has really expanded my cooking horizons and I look forward to some new adventures!

  29. harbqll says:

    When trying this tonight, I made up two batches of sauce to see which I liked better – one with raisins, the other with 1/3 cup of dried cherries. After one taste of each, I threw the raisin sauce out. The tang of the vinegar really pulled out the cherry flavor, but without being cloyingly sweet. Next time, I’ll make a double batch of sauce; it really didn’t go quite far enough. This is *definately* going on my menu for Gulf War in March.

    • Needs Mead says:

      Hooray! Sad that we won’t be at Gulf Wars to share some with you, but maybe Pennsic? :)

      • harbqll says:

        Much as I’d love to go back to Pennsic, my mundane life keep preventing it. *sigh* Maybe next year…

        Once I get our meal plan fully worked out, I’d be happy to share the line-up with you. You already have at least half the recipes, tho. ;)

  30. Katie says:

    Love your blog, and love the recipes! I am planning on adapting this to roast pork loin for dinner tonight. Can’t wait to taste it!!

  31. sadie says:

    I’ll try this soon, I think, it seems fairly simple and tasty. I’m not a fan of raisins, so I might go for cranberries instead, of possibly blueberries, since they’re a good ol’ northern fruit (I don’t cook much with berries, so it’ll be a nice experiment). I’ll make me some broth afterwards too, and use it to make this soup:

    http://www.ivillage.com/autumn-chicken-stew/3-r-296030

    I feel like the flavours will go together well (I hope)

  32. yakoaohw says:

    We made this for our season 1 bluray premiere along with spinach salad, rustic country bread, roasted potatoes, blackberry pie and mulled Mead. (And a glass of milk with the pie)

    One guy summed it it up with the phrase, “that is the best meal I’ve had since Christmas”.

    In short, this recipe is awesome.

  33. jake says:

    made it with porkchops and its great. thanks!!!

  34. Oisin Anderson says:

    Ran across this blog when I was reading Game of Thrones and thought to myself, mmm honeyed chicken- gee, wouldn’t it be nice if some foodie fans of George R. R. Martin made a website devoted to re-creating the food mentioned in the books? I love the internet. Great recipe, and blog!

  35. Monica says:

    This recipe is great! I made it last night for my Pre-Premiere party. The only problem I had was the olive oil kept smoking up my apartment. Maybe I used too much oil. I solved the issue by covering the chicken with foil, the skin wasn’t as crispy but the meat was moist and the sauce came out great.

  36. giabean27 says:

    Wow! I made this tonight for the pre-premier dinner, and it was FANTASTIC. It was juicy and delicious, and the sauce was heavenly. We rounded it out with the White Beans and Bacon recipe and Lemon Cakes for dessert – using the lemon curd suggestion. My hubby and I have the meat sweats right now, but it was well worth it. Thanks!!!!

  37. Angela says:

    I made this for the premiere last night, and it was delicious. I used golden raisins instead and garnished with fresh mint leaves – it was beautiful. We also had bacon wrapped fingerling potatoes, peas and onions, scotch eggs, crusty bread, hard cheese (gruyere), soft cheese (goat cheese rolled in herbs), sausage (hard salami), strawberry lemon galette, summer wine with strawberries, mead and ale — it was awesome!

  38. Aly says:

    I served this at my premier party last night, and thought it was amazing. I prepared two chickens (one was 4 pounds, and the other was right under 4 lbs), and was nervous about the cooking time, so I added 15 minutes to the hour recommended – it was perfect. I was worried about the amount of vinegar in the sauce, but you’re right – it just has to be reduced enough, and then it’s fantastic. I added a little butter to the sauce and used golden raisins, but those were my only changes. Thank you!

  39. All the lords and ladies at my dinner party were very pleased with this dish. Instead of a whole chicken, I used 10 whole chicken legs and tripled the sauce recipe. Roasted them for 1 hour and 40 mins with a little water in the bottom of the pans and aluminum foil on top, removing the foil for the last 15 minutes. It worked great to keep them moist, thoroughly cooked, and crisply browned. The sauce stung my sinuses a bit (in a good way) while it was simmering. But, once it reduced, it had the loveliest, mild, sweet tang. Thanks so much.

  40. Katie says:

    Making this Sunday for the finale! I also got my cookbook this week, can’t wait! I’ve never attempted roasting a chicken before so if you have any other tips it would be greatly appreciated!

  41. sadie says:

    I finally got around to trying this (albeit with a number of changes), and I have only one thing to say: Holy. Mother. Of. God. That is the best thing I’ve eaten in, like, ever (which is saying something, since I’ve already identified a number of screw-ups…). Now I just have to try it with all of the actual ingredients, and without the screw-ups, and see if I like it better when done properly.

  42. Angie says:

    Hi from Indonesia!
    My friends and I recently tried out this recipe exactly as written, and we all loved it. A picture of it is here: http://milkita.tumblr.com/image/31261750304

    We love this blog and we’ll be sure to try out the other recipes very soon. Thanks so much.

  43. Brandon says:

    Just finished trying out this recipe with a variation that I think worked out rather well. Very simple to make, but it turned out very good. Definitely something I would try again.

    Rather than a whole chicken, I used a pair of cornish hens. As the recipe says, I made up a baste of olive oil, butter, and salt and put it over the hens. Also, I stuffed each with a few slices of apple.

    It was kind of a spur of the moment project, so I didn’t have any mint or raisins. More fool I. Raisins I could do without, but after I finished, I could tell that the mint would have made a nice contrast. I also didn’t have any apple cider vinegar, so I substituted that with the last of a bottle of merlot I’d been trying to find an excuse to use up for awhile now. I had a feeling it wouldn’t thicken up the same as boiling vinegar, so I added an extra tablespoon of honey, along with a good dash of cinnamon just because. They mixed together very well, but as expected, it didn’t reduce as much as I’d have liked and ended up being watery, but still very sweet.

    My only major mistake was not using a large enough pan for the two hens. It gave off a lot more juice than I expected and by the time it was done, the lower third of each bird ended up being boiled rather than properly baked. It was still cooked thoroughly, but the crispy basting did it’s job and it would’ve been much better across the whole thing. As for the sauce, it ended up putting it into a pair of finger bowls and using it as a dipping sauce rather than drizzling it over the birds. Outstanding.

  44. Athenais says:

    What To Do with the Leftovers (AKA the best soup in the universe)

    I am a firm believer in stretching food as far as it will go. This is a conviction that comes greatly from the fact that I am the poorest person in the world. My freezer is usually filled with the frozen carcasses of poultry I have roasted, awaiting the day that I am so strapped for cash that my only option for dinner is “Soup Made Out of Frozen Chicken Carcass and Whatever is Getting Dodgy in my Refrigerator”. It was a happy accident that led to this soups existence, when on such a day, I fished the decimated remains of my previous weeks foray into Westerosi cuisine out, noting that there was still some sauce and meat in the container. Culinary genious that I am, I invented the greatest soup ever, which accidentally was so totally gourmet that it more properly evokes the feeling of attending a feast in the Capitol of Panem than awaiting your imminently violent and premature death in the bleak frozen halls of George R.R. Martin’s North.
    Ingredients

    1 or 2 thoroughly picked over and decimated Honeyed Chicken carcasses (including any leftover sauce, carrots, berries etc.)
    10 – 12 medium white potatoes, washed with skin on (you can peel them if you are the kind of baby that also does things like cut the crusts off your sandwich, but the skin has most of the vitamins and is getting blendered-to-hell anyways so you should totally leave it on)
    Fresh ginger to taste (peeled is actually a good call on this one though. I used about half a medium sized root)
    1 large onion (also peeled)
    Two cloves garlic, chopped
    5 – 10 medium carrots
    1 sprig fresh rosemary
    1 bay leef
    Salt and pepper to taste (lots of salt makes for better broth and unhappy hearts, I used about a quarter cup)

    Put potatoes, carrots, ginger, onion, garlic, rosemary and bay leaf in a large pot with leftover honeyed chicken and leftover sauce. Cover with water, and bring water to a boil. Add salt and pepper. Reduce heat and let simmer for a very, very long time (I usually try and let my soup get all soupy for at least two hours… the longer you let it boil the better your broth will be). If it boils down too much (the water does not cover the potatoes anymore) than add some more water. If it lacks the pizzaz you are looking for you are allowed to add more salt. Soup is not an exact science guys… keep tweaking it until you are satisfied.
    The hardest part of this soup is the next part. You have to separate the stuff you want to eat (almost everything) from the stuff that will get stuck in your throat and kill you (the tiny chicken bones). I use tongs to fish out the cooked potatoes, onion, ginger and carrots and put them in a large bowl to await further instructions, and than strain the broth into another pot, using a colander to catch the chickeny bits.
    There is usually a good amount of meat left in the colander, along with the disgusting mass of animal cartilage. Because, as I mentioned, I like not-wasting food, I usually put the colander-full of chicken carcass in the freezer for fifteen minutes to cool it down, and than spend 20 minutes picking out all the remaining edible goodies to put back in the soup. Be sure to get the remaining dried fruit too, as it adds a certain je ne sais quois (which is French for ‘who the frick knows’) to the finished soup.
    When you have a bowl full of meats and berries, add them back into the broth, along with the potatoes carrots onion and ginger. Now the exciting bit.
    If you are the kind of person who has a submersible blender, than you are the kind of person who is going to find the next step laughably easy and hassle free. If you are not that kind of person, this part suuuuuuucks.
    You gotta blend this suckah till its smooth and creamy, which can be accomplished in about a minute of not-getting scalded or getting blended potato (which, incidentally bears a remarkable similarity to poster-glue when it cools down) everywhere in your kitchen, with the use of a submersible blender. Otherwise you have to ladle some broth and chunky bits into your stupid normal blender a couple of ladles-full at a time, which takes approximately eight thousand years, and if you are anything like me, results in the greatest kitchen disaster that your kitchen has ever experienced. Enjoy explaining the soup splatter on your ceiling to your landlords guys.
    But trust me, this is so totally worth it. If your soup has, during the duration of your exploits become somewhat less hot than you would like, heat it up on the stove again for five or ten minutes. This is also based on a vichyssoise recipe, which means it is delicious cold as well. Should any survive the initial serving and end up in your fridge.
    I generally make food in quantities best described as ‘a f***-tonne’, and this one serves about 5 or 6 normal humans. Or it would, if it wasn’t so goddamn delicious, or if you and your roommates happen to be as ravenously barbarous as me and mine, which means it serves 4.

  45. Aine says:

    Hi from Italy! I am a medieval re-enactor and I really had to try the honeyed chicken: I cooked it during a medieval festival in Austria… Everyone loved it and dinner was a great success! Thank you! :)

  46. Hey Ladies –

    Any suggestions on how would you alter the recipe for a turkey? I planned to do chicken, but our family ended up with a free turkey from work, so why not, right?

    • Needs Mead says:

      Great! I’d say you’ll want to at least triple the amount of sauce. Take a look at the amount, compared to the size of the turkey, and see if it looks like you’ll need more. I’d also suggest for that amount easing back just a bit on the vinegar, maybe adding a splash of straight apple cider. Dried cranberries, appropriate to the holiday, would also be a great substitute for the raisins.

      Be sure to send a photo of your bird! :D

  47. Chandler Smith says:

    Hi! I’m planning on trying to cook this dish for some of my friends at school. Never cooked a full chicken before, so would you happen to have any helpful tips for a nervous college student who doesn’t want to mess up what looks like an amazing recipe? Also, should I stuff the chicken with anything or just leave it as is? Thanks so much! Your blog is awesome!!

    • Chandler Smith says:

      What would be the best way to adapt the cooking time and sauce for chicken breasts? Or for, say, 10 or 12 chicken breasts. I just found out that I’m cooking for a lot of people…

    • Needs Mead says:

      Hey Chandler! You cook the chicken unstuffed (I like stuffing, but it makes the chicken take longer to cook). For the breasts, I’d suggest finding an online recipe for temperature/time specifics. When I cook a pair of chicken breasts, they usually take around 20 minutes at 400F. Keep an eye on the sauce, and remember to have fun! :)

  48. Alexandre says:

    I’ve just made this…and…it was just DELICIOUS. I used a lavender honey instead of a normal one -the flowery one- and added a cup of cider. I had hard time reducing the sauce, but it came out sirupy as needed. The chicken was tender and juicy and…well, you know what I mean. I served it with chestnut/pumpkin puree and a bottle of hard cider from Britanny. Next time, I think I’ll put less raisins and more cider.

  49. Rory says:

    How many people will this serve? My party is going to have 6 guests

    • Chelsea M-C says:

      I’d say that one honeyed chicken, with a few sides, could serve 4-6, so with enough hefty sides, you should be set. Two would be safer, though, and make for awesome leftovers! :)

  50. Hello, I am making this for a viewing party tomorrow and am wondering how much butter to use for the sauce. The recipe does not indicate how many tablespoons to use. I want the sauce to be perfect, and don’t want to use too much or too little.

  51. Dr. Bones says:

    Hi! I made this for my GoT premiere party and it turned out great! I just did one minor change though…seeing the line “absolutely no fish sauce” brought out my contrariness, since I use fish sauce on chicken all the time, so I used fish sauce instead of salt. Maybe that makes it less Westerosi, but possibly more Free Cities? Thanks again for this great recipe.

  52. K.C. says:

    This sounds amazing! Any thoughts on cooking the chicken in a crock pot? I know you would lose the crispiness of the skin, but do you think it would work, otherwise?

  53. emc2spider says:

    Just made it, and was AMAZING!! loved the recipe, is the first one I make but certainly won’t be the last… just great :)

  54. Jesse says:

    Another winning recipe. I’m in love with the sauce. Be patient – the vinegar can be a bit overwhelming at first but let it reduce down and you will have an amazing, flavorful and fragrant sauce. I plan on doubling the sauce next time. It was a big hit tonight – plates licked clean.

  55. Nerdygirl says:

    I would love to try this! Maybe tomorrow when GoT is on TV!! But one idea: instead of olive oil, use canola oil. Olive oil is a typical Mediterranean Greek/Italian oil. Canola oil is more traditional Northern. I am from Finland… Olive trees don’t grow in the North. But plenty of canola fields in North Europe. :)

  56. Kristen says:

    I made this for our weekly dinner watching party…delicious!!! Thanks so much for your hard work.

  57. David Berron says:

    Absolutely superb
    Thank you so very much for helping me making one of the best meals my family has ever had.
    Everybody loved it!
    There was nothing left, really!!!

  58. Reg-o-rama says:

    Planning this as a second main course for Season Three Finale Feast—I usually do a honeyed chicken with honey (and garlic) under the skin. Going to have this sauce, though, as an additional dipping/dripping sauce.

  59. Pank says:

    Just made this last night for the season finale, and it was the most comforting thing about the whole night! Cherries were used instead of raisins, and the honey in the sauce was a 1:1 ratio to tame the apple cider vinegar. It’s good enough for company!

  60. Rachel says:

    If I wanted to use a stuffed chicken for this recipe, what would you recommend I use as stuffing?

  61. Hannah says:

    Looks amazing! I can’t wait to try and make this. Your blog is fantastic and have just bought the cook book! I found that I was cooking the same old thing again and again, but now I can really vary it up in the kitchen!

    I was wondering what it’d be like to use the sauce with slow-cooked pulled chicken… mmmmm. Think I’ll have to try that!

  62. Deryn Harris says:

    Made this last night with pomegranate-blossom honey and OH MY SEVEN was it yummy.

  63. Ana says:

    The moment when good books lead to good food is a moment of bliss! I Love your blog, I love the recipes and I’m definitely buying the book and than most definitely I’m going to try them all – one bite at the time! And this chicken is going to be my secret weapon to impress guests whenever I’m trowing a party!

  64. Marie Kathryn says:

    I’ve made this so many times! With chicken, Cornish hens and even duck!
    I like to put lemons in the chicken, then double the sauce recipe so I can put a little bit on the chicken about 10 minutes before its done so it seeps in to the chicken.

  65. Kronk says:

    Hey,
    I tried to make this a couple of days ago. Since there was no apple vinegar avalible, I used half balsamic vinegar/ half water instead and added a couple of appleslices to the sauce. At the end, I crushed some walnuts and sprinkeld it over the dish. Added a small side salad with a fresh lemon dressing to create a balance to the sweetness. What can I say.. Amazing! Felt like the Lord of Winterfell… Well, you know, in the good days. :) greetings

  66. d says:

    I think I’m going to do this in a crockpot, and then reduce the sauce separately. I’ll stuff the bird with apples and raisins – yum!

  67. Hali says:

    I made the recipe from the eBook and LOVE it. I’ll admit I only had a1/4 could apple cider vinegar in the house so I substituted some white wine. I used the sauce over the chicken and some vegetables that I roasted along side. Absolutely perfect.

  68. Made this last night with turkey instead of chicken and cranberries instead of raisins. It was delicious and the leftovers are just as good!

  69. Authiel says:

    I made this for a family get-together. I did put my own spin on it. . . I’m a vegetarian, as are my aunt and uncle. I don’t shy away from meat recipes at all; I love coming up with meatless equivalents. So, instead of using real chicken, I used Quorn naked “chicken” breasts. Four boxes of them is about the equivalent of a whole chicken. (I looked at a rotisserie chicken in the grocery store for ounces, then got that many ounces of fake chicken.) I baked them in the oven on a baking sheet with salt and olive oil until golden as I made the sauce.

    It’s fantastic. Like, really, really good. I’m planning on making it again.

  70. Elen says:

    I made this tonight and OH my jesus hell was it fantastic. I tried it once a few nights ago, but the family was to impatient and we ended up scrapping the sauce. This time i tried alone and waited it out as i was supposed. My chicken wasn’t big enough, cus there were only 300 grams of leftovers for the chicken hand pies thingies! So next time i’ll just make two chickens and double up the sauce! Then, COME ON, there HAS to be enough leftovers for those darn, delicious looking pies!

    Fantastic recipe, i’ll defiantly share it around! Already ordered the book on amazon, via your link. Hopefully it’ll be here soon.

  71. May W. says:

    I made this recipe for a late lunch today after finding out about it last night. It was wonderful except for the overpowering smell the vinegar left in my kitchen and the smell of it in the sauce. Has anyone made this and left out the apple cider vinegar? I have a potluck in a couple of weeks and want to try making it again.

    • elen says:

      I have not actually made it without vinegar, but i’ve tried it twice with different results. Try using French Apple Cider Vinegar instead of the original. To my nose the smell is much less horrid, but it does still smell. Not on the chicken and you can’t taste it, at all, but your kitchen might still have a weak taint of leftover vinegar.
      Still a better alternative then no vinegar at all, i feel. :) good luck!

    • Hali says:

      I’ve made it with part white wine and it was wonderful. It gives it a more citrus like flavor.

    • James says:

      I have found the smell of the vinegar does dissipate after a few hours, and the sauce keeps well in the fridge, so what I have done is make a batch of the sauce a day or two before and put it in a mason jar to use later, so that my house does not smell when people are over. Just leave the jar out for a bit so that the sauce is close to room temperature and pour it on the hot chickens right before you are ready to serve.

  72. Daniel says:

    At what temperature do you make the sauce?

  73. Ceadda of Fox Hall says:

    So for the past two years this recipe, or a modified version of it, has become a staple dinner for me and my husband. Mine’s a bit simpler, more for the commoners table.
    In the crueset crock pot I add chicken, either pieces or just a dozen breasts or tenders. Olive oil and sea salt. Then chopped up apples, an onion, a pear, mushrooms, raisins, herbs (rosemary, sage, thyme). Pour on the honey on top, cover and cook for one hour. It makes more of a stew-like dish but is heavenly. We never get tired of it. Its not as showy and presentable as a whole chicken, but it tastes delicious. and everything is period. I want to try this over a fire at a camp someday soon.

  74. Tterrag says:

    What sides go well with this?

    • Erik Stark says:

      I highly recommend mashed potatoes. They can soak up some of the sauce. Very awesome.

      Other than that? Roasted root vegetables are fantastic. Broccoli and/or Asparagus are very nice.

      If you’re a greens fan? A nice pot of sautéed kale is also great.

  75. Erik Stark says:

    Well, this recipe certainly isn’t suffering from a lack of much-deserved praise, but there’s always room for more raving!

    I’ve made this recipe a total of five times now. It is one of the simplest, yet most delicious dishes that I know how to do.

    My friends continue to accuse me of sneaking crack into the dish somehow, because they can’t stop eating it when I put it in front of them! ;)

    Great dish! I usually like to tinker with recipes after I’ve made them a couple times. This one? I haven’t changed a darn thing, because it’s just perfect the way it is!

  76. Brianne says:

    I made a feast over the weekend and this was the main dish. Everyone loved it! There were hardly any leftovers. I was worried the sauce would be too sweet but it’s perfect. Great job!

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