Festive Roast Chicken with Plums and Star Anise


A juicy roasted chicken is a wonderful main dish for Christmas. This recipe includes the festive flavours of cinnamon, star anise and ruby red colours of roasted plums and sweet red onions. Serve with a side of garlic smashed roasted potatoes and added fresh red currents for extra Christmas flair.


  • 1 family size free range chicken

  • 20 gm butter 

  • 2 tbsp fresh thyme leaves

  • 8 plums cut in to halves

  • 2 medium red onions

  • 5 cloves garlic plus a whole bulb

  • 2 cinnamon sticks

  • 5 star anise

  • Pinch of ground cinnamon

  • 2 tbsp berry jam

  • Sea salt

  • Olive oil


To serve:

  • Fresh red currents (optional)



  1. Preheat the oven to 180°.

  2. Take the chicken out of the fridge and bring it up to room temperature.

  3. Mix together in a small bowl the butter and 1 tbsp fresh thyme and 1 small garlic clove, crushed. Place it in the fridge to firm up for 5 minutes.

  4. Using a butter knife, gently lift the chicken skin away from the breast at the cavity end, be carful not to make a hole in the skin.

  5. Gently push in the thyme butter into this pocket under the skin, pull the skin back down. Use your fingers to spread the butter out over the breast area from the top side of the skin.

  6. Place the chicken into a roasting pan and tie the legs together with kitchen twine.

  7. Sprinkle over with sea salt and a good drizzle of olive oil, place in the oven for 1 1/2 hrs.

  8. In another baking tray add the red onion chopped into half moons, the cinnamon sticks, star anise, 1 tbsp thyme leaves along with the plums cut into halves, a good sprinkle of salt, a pinch of cinnamon, and a good drizzle of olive oil and the berry jam. Toss to coat all ingredients, add a whole garlic bulb to the tray cut in half for decoration and bake in the oven for 30 - 40 minutes.

  9. Once the plums and red onions are cooked spoon them into the chicken tray and cook for another 20 minutes until the chicken is cooked through.

  10. Serve the chicken with fresh red currents for colour and a side of  smashed roasted garlic potatoes.


Prep time: 20 - 25 minutes

Cook time: 1 1/2 hrs

Serve: 5-6

Recipe, styling and photography by Bonnie Coumbe. Visit her site here & Instagram here.

Ingredients for Festive Roast Chicken with Plums and Star Anise

Garlic Head Each

$2.00 ea

Onion Red Spanish Each

$1.92 ea

Fresh Herbs Thyme Punnet

$3.99 ea

Hazeldenes Free Range Chicken 1.3-1.8kg

$14.38 ea