Half roast chicken served with cucumber salad and fries. Juicy meat, crispy skin. Classic Oktoberfest fare.
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5 from 4 votes

Half Roast Chicken

Delicious and moist half roast chicken with crispy skin. One half roast chicken generously serves one to two people depending on the size of the chicken. Precise half roast chicken calories per person depend on the size of the serving. Below noted for half of a 3.5 lb bird.
Cook Time1 hr
Course: Entree
Cuisine: American, Beer Garden Food, German, Oktoberfest
Servings: 2
Calories: 613kcal
Author: CraftBeering


  • 1 whole chicken (3-5 lbs is ideal)
  • 1 quart water for brine
  • 3/4 cup salt (coarse) for brine
  • 1 cup brown sugar for brine
  • 4 bay leaves for brine
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds for brine
  • 1 tsp peppercorns for brine
  • 4 cloves, whole for brine
  • 6 sprigs thyme to stuff chicken
  • 6 sprigs parsley to stuff chicken
  • 3 cloves garlic to stuff chicken
  • 1/2 stick butter to brush over chicken
  • 1/4 cup olive oil to brush over chicken
  • 1 tsp each of paprika, oregano, garlic powder, salt (coarse) to brush over chicken


  • First brine the whole chicken. 
    Heat the water with the salt and sugar until they dissolve. Add ice to cool the solution down. In cheese cloth tie the bay leaves, cloves, mustard seeds and peppercorns. Submerge in the brine liquid and add the chicken. Cover with plastic and brine refrigerated for 12-24 hours, depending on the size of the bird. 
  • Preheat oven to 350 F.
  • Remove the chicken from the brine. Rinse and pat dry. Stuff the cavity with the thyme, parsley, garlic and lemons. 
  • Melt the butter, mix in the olive oil and the spices. Place the chicken breast side up onto the rack of a roasting pan. Brush it with the spiced butter/olive oil.
  • Place in the oven and brush with spiced butter/olive oil again in about 20 minutes. (If the chicken is browning too quickly, tent it with aluminum oil.)
  • In 40 minutes check the temperature with a meat thermometer. Brush with more spiced butter/olive oil.
  • Continue cooking until the internal temperature reaches 165 F. If you want crisper skin, turn the heat up or broil for the final few minutes (keep an eye on it).  
  • Placed the cooked chicken onto a cutting board with a lip of a cutting board inside a baking sheet (to contain the juices). 
    Cut across lengthwise with a heavy knife, pressing down firmly. 
  • Remove the herbs and lemon and serve. 


Cooking time depends on the size of the chicken and the calibration of your oven. 
Bigger birds will take longer to cook. 
Your best guide to a fully cooked chicken is internal temperature of 165 F and crispy, golden brown skin.