Monday, 10 December 2012

Roast Dill Chicken


We have our Dill Chicken Dipping Sauce, and now we're going to use it!  This recipe isn't taken directly from Apicius, but it is based upon plenty which are, so you need not worry about authenticity. Essentially, all that you need for this is some chicken and your dipping sauce (click the link above to get to that recipe).  As I was cooking for just myself I decided to use a chicken breast, but it would work just as well with a whole chicken if you wanted to cook for several people.  You might also have noticed that I served the chicken with some butter beans - that's a little teaser for next week's recipe. 

Before starting, I wish to stress that although I have called this dish Roast Dill Chicken, the chicken isn't actually roasted for the entire time.  To start off with, we poach it in hydrogarum.  This is a lot less fancy than it sounds, and consists of water, pepper, and a few splashes of fish sauce.  It is, in essence, a stock, and boiling the chicken in this hydrogarum adds flavour to the meat before roasting.  Bearing this in mind, let's cook us some chicken!

Roast Dill Chicken


  • Chicken Breast
  • Dill Chicken Dipping Sauce
  • Some Splashes of Fish Sauce
  • A Few Grindings of Pepper


  • Preheat the oven to 180 Celsius.
  • Fill a saucepan with boiling water, a few splashes of fish sauce, and the ground pepper.  Add the chicken and boil for 10 - 15 minutes.
  • Once the chicken has been parboiled, put it on a baking tray or in a casserole dish.  Score several deep cuts into the meat.
  • Pour over the dipping sauce, and rub into the cuts.  Make sure to coat the meat well.
  • Place into the oven for 30 minutes.  Every 10 minutes, baste the chicken with the sauce again.
  • Serve and enjoy!


  • If the sauce reduces too much in the oven, or starts to burn, add a little bit of water and fish sauce to recover it.


Cooking has tempered some of the flavours of the Dill Dipping Sauce, making them blend together that little bit more, but the sauce is still the journey of flavours that it was before.  I'm amazed at how luxurious this chicken tastes, given how simple it is to make.  I'm also amazed at how well the sauce has held up as both a cold dipping sauce and a warm pouring sauce.  If you were willing to sacrifice some of that Roman authenticity, I think this cooked version would work fantastically with rice - cut the chicken into bite size chunks once cooked, serve on a bed of rice, and pour the sauce all over.  However you choose to serve it, just try making it - it is delicious.


  1. Would your neighborhood grocery store have ingredients like date paste and asafoetida? I've never heard of those before.

    If not where should I look?

    1. Hey Jared, it really depends what kind of shops you have nearby! I managed to find Asafoetida in a not-too-big supermarket. It was Schwartz brand. As for date paste, I just made that out of dried dates and water - you can see how here: