Authentic Bavarian Roasted Chicken - Brathendl: The Ultimate Comfort Food Experience
Brathendl, or Bavarian Roasted Chicken, is a quintessential dish from the heart of Germany, known for its succulent, juicy meat and golden-brown, crispy skin. Traditionally served at beer gardens and Oktoberfest celebrations, this scrumptious delicacy is now making its way to kitchens worldwide. In this blog post, I’ll share a my personal take on this classic recipe, so you can create a taste of Bavaria right in your own home. Follow my journey for an authentic and unforgettable Brathendl experience!
Oma's Secret to the Perfect Brathendl
Growing up in Germany, I was always surrounded by the warm, comforting aroma of traditional German dishes, lovingly prepared by my Oma. One of my all-time favorites was her Bavarian Roasted Chicken or Brathendl. I can still remember the excitement I felt as a child when I saw that golden, crispy-skinned chicken emerge from the oven. Now, as an adult with my own kitchen, I cherish the opportunity to share this delightful, mouthwatering dish with friends and family. Let me take you on a journey through the cherished memories of my childhood and share my beloved Oma’s Brathendl recipe.
While Oma passed down many valuable cooking tips, her most important lesson was always to use fresh, quality ingredients. She insisted on sourcing local, organic chickens, and I continue to follow this advice today. Oma also had a knack for perfectly balancing the seasoning to create a symphony of flavors that delighted our taste buds.
Recreating Childhood Memories
When I first began recreating Oma’s Brathendl recipe in my own kitchen, I was nervous about doing justice to her culinary masterpiece. However, with each attempt, I found myself getting closer to achieving the perfect balance of crispy skin and succulent meat. After many trials, I finally felt confident enough to serve my Brathendl at family gatherings, and it has now become a beloved staple on our dinner table.
Tips and Tricks for a Flavorful Brathendl:
Prepare the chicken: I prefer fresh, organic chicken. Remove the giblets and any excess fat from the chicken cavity. Rinse the chicken under cold water and then pat it dry with paper towels. Drying the chicken will help the skin become crispier during the roasting process.
Season well: Rub the chicken generously with the garlic-herb mixture both inside and outside. This will not only infuse flavor but also help to create a crispy skin.
Use butter: Brush the chicken with melted butter before roasting. This will help the skin become golden-brown and crispy during the cooking process.
Truss the chicken (optional): Trussing the chicken helps it cook more evenly and maintain its shape. To truss, tuck the wings under the body and tie the legs together using kitchen twine.
Preheat the oven: Ensure your oven is preheated to 425°F (220°C) before placing the chicken inside. A hot oven will help the skin become crispy.
Start with high heat: Begin roasting the chicken at a higher temperature (425°F / 220°C) for the first 20 minutes, then reduce the heat to 375°F (190°C) for the remainder of the cooking time. This initial high heat will help the skin become crispy and golden-brown.
Place the chicken breast side up on a roasting rack or a bed of sliced onions to elevate the chicken, allowing hot air to circulate around the bird and cook it more evenly.
Baste the chicken every 30 minutes, but don’t overdo it, as you don’t want the skin to become soggy.
Optional – broil to finish: If the skin isn’t as crispy as desired when the chicken is fully cooked, you can briefly broil it. Remove the chicken from the oven, increase the temperature to broil, and place the chicken back in the oven for a few minutes, watching closely to ensure it doesn’t burn.
Let the chicken rest for 10-15 minutes before carving to redistribute the juices and maintain moisture.
How to Check when a Roasted Chicken is Done?
As I continue to cook and share my Oma’s Brathendl recipe, I find great joy in seeing the smiles on my loved ones’ faces as they savor each delicious bite. I hope that by sharing my story and recipe, you too can create special memories with your own family and friends. Enjoy a taste of Bavaria in your own kitchen, and as we say in Germany, “Guten Appetit!”
Bavarian Roasted Chicken - Brathendl
- 1 whole Chicken
- 4 cloves Garlic minced
- 1 tbsp. Fresh Rosemary chopped
- 1 tbsp. Fresh Thyme chopped
- 1 Lemon zested and juiced
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- 2 tbsp. Butter
- 3 tbsp. Olive Oil
- 1 large Onion sliced
- ½ cup Chicken Broth
- Preheat your oven to 425°F (220°C). In a small bowl, mix the minced garlic, chopped rosemary, chopped thyme, lemon zest, salt, and pepper. Set aside.4 cloves Garlic, 1 tbsp. Fresh Rosemary, 1 tbsp. Fresh Thyme, 1 Lemon, Salt & Pepper
- Clean the chicken and pat dry with paper towels. Rub the chicken inside and out with the garlic-herb mixture, ensuring that the seasoning is evenly distributed.1 whole Chicken
- Melt the butter and brush it over the chicken2 tbsp. Butter
- Pour the olive oil into a roasting pan and place the sliced onions at the bottom. Place the chicken on top of the onions, breast-side up. Pour the lemon juice and chicken broth over the chicken, ensuring it remains moist throughout the cooking process.3 tbsp. Olive Oil, 1 large Onion, ½ cup Chicken Broth
- Roast the chicken in the preheated oven for approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F (74°C). Time can vary based on the size of the chicken. Baste the chicken with the pan juices every 30 minutes to keep it juicy and tender.
- Remove the chicken from the oven and let it rest for 10-15 minutes before carving. This allows the juices to redistribute, ensuring a moist and flavorful result.
- Serve your Bavarian Roasted Chicken with traditional German side dishes like potato salad, sauerkraut, or soft pretzels. Don't forget to pair it with a cold German beer for the ultimate Oktoberfest experience!