Grandma's Polish-Style Roast Chicken

  • Active Time 35m
  • Total Time 2h 5m

8 servings

Serve this spice-roasted chicken with buttered egg noodles and steamed green beans.


  • 2 chickens (3 1/2-4 pounds each)
  • 1 onion, peeled and quartered
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 tablespoons sweet Hungarian paprika
  • 2 teaspoons salt, plus more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, plus more to taste
  • One 14-ounce can reduced-sodium chicken broth, divided
  • 1/3 cup vodka
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh dill
  • 2 tablespoons reduced-fat sour cream (optional)


Position an oven rack in the lower third of the oven; preheat to 350 degrees F.

Prepare the chickens: Remove the giblets. Place the hearts, necks and gizzards in a roasting pan and reserve the livers for another use. Remove the excess fat with a sharp knife. Dry the insides with a paper towel. Loosen the skin over the breasts and thighs with your fingers to make pockets, being careful not to tear the skin.

Combine the onion, garlic, paprika, 2 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon pepper in a food processor or blender; puree until smooth.

Spread 1/4 cup of the onion puree in the bottom of a roasting pan. Place the chickens in the pan, at least 1 inch apart. Rub 1 tablespoon puree into each cavity and spread the remaining puree under the skin. Tuck the wings back and tie the legs.

Roast the chickens for 20 minutes. Drizzle with 1/4 cup broth and roast for 40 minutes more, basting with pan drippings every 20 minutes. Tent the chickens with aluminum foil and continue roasting until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh, away from the bone, registers 180 degrees F and the cavity juices run clear, about 30 minutes more .

Transfer the chickens to a platter and cover with foil to keep warm; leave the giblets in the pan.

Pour the pan juices into a bowl and chill in freezer for 10 minutes to bring the fat to the surface. Meanwhile, add the remaining chicken broth and vodka to the roasting pan and bring to a boil over medium heat, scraping up any browned bits adhering to the pan. Add any juices accumulated in the chicken platter.

Skim off the fat from the chilled pan juices. Add the juices to the roasting pan and return to a boil. Strain the juices through a fine sieve into a medium saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Blend the water and cornstarch in a small bowl; whisk into the simmering gravy. Cook, stirring, until slightly thickened, about 1 minute. Whisk in the dill and sour cream, if using. Season with salt and pepper.

Carve the chickens, discarding skin. Serve with the gravy.

Recipe reprinted by permission of Publisher. All rights reserved.

RecID 8912

nutrition information per serving

329 calories; 11g total fat; 3g total saturated fat; 136mg cholesterol; 738mg sodium; 4g carbohydrates; 0g fiber; 45g protein

These nutrition facts are calculated according to the ingredients listed in this recipe. Any substitutions will change these facts. Although we strive for accuracy, please note that food manufacturers occasionally change their food formulas, which could affect the calculations as shown.

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