Polish Supper: Marjoram Steam Roasted Chicken

I’ve been craving really simple, winter warming food. It’s cold and there is something so comforting about all those lovely flavours coming together, especially with winter vegetables, made just the way we have it when we visit home. I have hundreds of cookery books but somehow, I love the way my mum and sister, Elizabeth make roast chicken.

We like to break with tradition every now and again and have a very simple Parmesan Risotto with our chicken, instead of roast potatoes. I usually just make a plain risotto with stock, adding butter and Parmesan at the end and a drizzle of the marjoram chicken juices. The secret as far as I can tell is to wrap the chicken in foil, or you could use a pot with a tightly fitting lid as long as it holds your chicken. Then my mum adds water to almost steam roast it, taking off the foil or lid thirty minutes before the end for the chicken to brown. Adding the marjoram, carrots, leeks and parsnips to the pot too also adds flavour. Marjoram is a lovely herb, very underrated and quite often used in Polish cooking. The second trick is to cook your chicken on a slightly lower heat, but for longer. My mum leaves her chicken in for a good two hours, even it is a fairly small sized bird.


Marjoram Steam Roasted Chicken
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Main Dish
Serves: 4-6
  • 1 Large or Medium Free Range Chicken
  • 3 Carrots
  • 2 Parsnips
  • 2 Leeks
  • Drizzle of Olive Oil
  • Sea Salt and Pepper
  • 2 tablespoon Dried Marjoram
  • 250 ml Water
  1. Take your chicken out of the fridge around twenty minutes before you start and pre-heat your oven to 200 degrees celsius. Find a nice big large pot with a lid, or pot or baking tray that you can cover tightly with foil. Peel your carrots and parsnips and chop in half lengthways. Wash your leeks well and also chop in half lengthways.
  2. Place the chicken in the pot or tray, throw in the veggies around the chicken. Sprinkle the chicken with a small drizzle of olive oil, about a tablespoon, season all over with sea salt and freshly ground pepper and sprinkle over plenty of marjoram, including some in the bottom of the pan too. Pour the water into the pot or tin, not all over the chicken, just into the pan. Cover tightly with foil.
  3. Place your chicken in the hot oven for twenty minutes and after twenty minutes turn the oven down to 180-170 degrees celsius. Keep the foil on. Continue to roast for one and a half hours. After that time, take the foil off and turn the oven back up to 200 degrees celsius. Keep the chicken in the oven for at least twenty-thirty minutes more, or until golden brown.
  4. There is no need to baste the chicken whilst it is cooking as the steam will keep it nice and moist. Once cooked (the juices should run clean, not pink) take the chicken out of the oven and leave it to rest for fifteen minutes, covered in foil. You can make gravy at this stage, but we just like to drizzle our plates with a small amount of the liquid already in the pan.
  5. Don't forget to use any leftovers and the chicken carcass to make a nice pan of stock or soup.
You can place the chicken the pan with the veggies, drizzle with oil, salt, pepper and marjoram up to a day before you want to cook the chicken. When you are ready to cook it, add the water and cover it with foil.

By next week I am hoping to add another linky up – similar to the one for Simple and in Season – so that hopefully some of you will also add you Family Friendly Recipes throughout the week.


I hope you enjoy the weekend!



    • Ren says

      Hello, sounds lovely, would love to link up. Will pop aling and check out the post and send this across xx

      Simple and in Season is having a seasonal rest, I will be posting a round-up shortly, it will be back in January!!

  1. says

    I love a good roast chicken Ren and especially these days with lots of different (and usually heavy) dishes, a simple yet so very satisfying dish such as this is perfect!

    • Ren says

      Hi Simone, yes it’s always a favourite here and we never tire of it! Thank you so much for the comment and for the visit :-)

    • Ren says

      Hi Sally, I wish I were in Dubai. My hands are so cold I can hardly type. It’s quite remarkable how long the left-overs from this lasted, I’ve just eaten a chicken and mayo sandwich too. Wonder if you can find marjoram where you are? x

      PS Yes, hoping to get new linky sorted soon, but I’m sinking fast at the moment!

  2. says

    What a simple and beautiful dish.. my kind of recipe. Found your blog when I was searching on google, so glad I came here. I’m your new fan – love your recipes and concept. great work & keep it up

    • Ren says

      Hi Shannon, thanks for visiting! YOu are very welcome. I hope you enjoy exploring more recipes here :-) Thank you for your lovely comment. Ren x

  3. says

    Funny, isn’t it, how Mum’s cooking always seems best! Step 5 of the recipe is something that not enough people do. Put a few bits of the leftover meat into the cooking juices and you’ve probably got a pretty good soup already, even without making the carcass into stock.

    • Ren says

      Hi Mark, yes, I do it pretty automatically, pick all the chicken off and then just throw the rest in a pan with a stock cube. We had food for three days from one chicken! Have a lovely weekend.

    • Ren says

      Thanks Laura, can’t beat a roast chicken really can you. I know it’s been done a million times before, but I’m still trying to perfect the way my mum does it! Have a lovely weekend x

  4. Ren says

    Bonjour Karen, can you believe I’m still playing catch up after my trip to La Belle France?! Yes, any variation on Poule au Pot is wonderful, keeping those flavours in as much as possible.