Slow Roast Aromatic Chicken by Hanna Geller of Building Feasts

"There is something about the winter months that gives us permission for slow cooking. Unlike many of my recipes, this chicken cooks at low heat for 3 hours, leaving plenty of time for pottering around and produces succulent, falling off the bone warmly spiced chicken as a prize at the end. This chicken is delicious either served shredded back into the cooking sauce, or more delicately carved on a serving plate." 

Hanna Geller of Building Feasts

  • 4 banana shallots or 2 medium yellow onions
  • 1 head of garlic, cloves separated but unpeeled
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp chili flakes salt and pepper
  • 1 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 1 red chili
  • 2 star anise
  • 2 fresh bay leaves
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 180ml - 250ml water


An hour before you want to cook the chicken, remove it from the fridge to bring it to room temperature. Preheat your oven to 160C.

Combine the cinnamon, coriander, ginger and chili flakes together in a small bowl and add the salt and pepper. Rub the spice mixture all over the dried chicken and allow to sit while you start the rest of the dish.

Drizzle over 1/2 tbsp olive oil and rub everything into the skin one more time. Peel and slice the shallots into rounds. If you are using onions, halve through the root, peel and slice into thin half moons.

Place a heavy bottomed casserole onto a medium heat, covering the bottom with the remaining 1/2tbsp olive oil. Add the sliced shallots or onions, garlic, star anise, whole chili, bay leaves and a small pinch of salt to the pan and heat until the onions are translucent and beginning to brown. Remove from the heat and place the chicken breast side down. Drizzle over the soy sauce (for colour and umami).

Just before placing in the oven add enough water to come 1/4 way up the side of the chicken. (The quantity here is vague as it depends on the size of your pan) Cook for 3 hours, turning the chicken over after the first 90 minutes and basting every 30 minutes thereafter.

Allow to rest in the pan for 20 minutes before carving or shredding off the bone and back into the sauce with the onions.

Hanna Geller of Building Feasts