A Slow Roasted Grappa Garlic and Lemon Pepper Chicken with Parsnip Fries

Slow Roasted Grappa Garlic and Lemon Pepper Chicken with Parsnip Fries (0007)by Meeta K. Wolff

Looking for some repose from all the pink sparkly hearts and frilly red roses? Welcome to this space - a place where there are no cute frosted cupcakes or pink macarons nor will you find adorable red velvet desserts for two or pillowy puffs of pastel colored meringues. Instead, I give you a roasted chicken!

Do not get me wrong I am not your anti-romantic out to stamp Cupid with his own arrow. On the contrary, I am a true romantic at heart and find huge joy in French toast in bed, champagne under the moonlight and picnics at the foot of a mountain. I just find these things hit the heart more effectively when you least expect them and not arranged once a year on a day so commercialized that people crumble under the pressure. Nothing sexy about that!

My man is in Stockholm the whole week, but he did get a little surprise when he opened his suitcase and found a small red heart I cut out of cardboard, with a Rocher chocolate tied to it with a red ribbon. Happy Valentine’s - my way!

My surprise was Soeren cuddling up to me all sleepy eyed early yesterday morning, “Dad told me to give you a big kiss!” he said “but I am not going to give you the dad kind of kiss, ok?” And then gave me a small box of boozy chocolates. Happy Valentine’s - his way!

That was the height of our V-Day! And that was that and for us, in our own way, special. We’ve been together for 14 years and by now know a day like Valentine’s is not going to bring more magic to our relationship. We have it already, on some days more and on other days less. We love, we argue, we kiss, we make up!

Slow Roasted Grappa Garlic and Lemon Pepper Chicken with Parsnip Fries (0010)by Meeta K. Wolff

We won’t be seeing each other this week not until till Sunday and then we only have the evening together before he flies off to Stockholm again. He’ll be back Friday night and I’ll be on my way up north to Münster to work on styling and shooting a cookbook by Lisa Nieschlag - her third in the Anni series. I am fairly excited about this project, because for the first time I have been booked purely as a food stylist and will be working together with photographer Julia Cawley. It’ll be different: for once I can focus only on beautifying the set. It’ll be fun: the three of us have been corresponding for several weeks behind the scenes and I already feel the fabulous connection between us. There’ll be more: and because we harmonize so well, we’ve already got a second project underway.

I hope, when I return I will have a few pictures of the things that went on behind the scenes of a photo shoot to share with you.

Slow Roasted Grappa Garlic and Lemon Pepper Chicken with Parsnip Fries (0008)by Meeta K. Wolff

For now I am taking you back to good old rustic home cooking, pepped up a little with exquisite flavors. A divine corn-fed, free-range chicken, roasted so slowly that all the beautiful flavors are locked into the moist flesh. Flavors of powerful garlic, tangy lemon pepper and boozy Grappa come together here, served with lemony parsnip fries - aren’t you glad you came over! 

Recipe: Slow Roasted Grappa Garlic and Lemon Pepper Chicken with Parsnip Fries

Printable version of recipe here

Slow Roasted Grappa Garlic and Lemon Pepper Chicken by Meeta K. Wolff

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 10 minutes
Serves: approx. 4


  • 1 free-range chicken, about 1.5kg
  • 2 onions, peeled and thickly sliced
  • 2 carrots, quartered lengthways
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • 1 lemon, quartered
  • 1 head garlic, cut in half
  • 175ml Grappa
  • Fleur de sel
  • Lemon Pepper
  • Olive oil
  • Lemon zest from one lemon
  • 750g parsnip, cut lengthways into fries


  1. Preheat oven to 160 degrees C. Trim the excess fat and skin off the chicken and wash well under running water, then pat dry with kitchen towel. Lay half of the onion rings and half of the carrots in a roasting pan and stuff the rest into the chicken along with the rosemary, bay leaves, lemon and half of the garlic head.

  2. Rub the chicken all over with the other half of the garlic head, then massage the fleur de sel and lemon pepper into the chicken with your hands. Place the chicken on top of the onions and carrots in the roasting pan and pour the grappa into the cavity. Drizzle a good glug of olive oil all over the chicken. Cover the pan with some heavy duty aluminum foil and roast of about an hour and a half.

  3. In the meantime toss the parsnip fries with the lemon zest and a pinch of fleur de sel. Add some olive oil and coat the parsnip fries well. Place the vegetables in a baking dish and roast in the oven along with the chicken for the last 20-30 minutes.

  4. Turn the heat up to 200 degrees C. Remove the foil and roast the chicken for another 15 to 20 minutes, basting with the liquids to keep the flesh moist and until the top takes on a golden color. Keep an eye on the fries, making sure they do not dry out or burn. Serve the chicken with the fries and a green salad.


Slow Roasted Grappa Garlic and Lemon Pepper Chicken with Parsnip Fries (0003)by Meeta K. Wolff

This is the kind of dish I like to bring to the table after a busy week. The oven does most of the work leaving me plenty of time to relax and catch up with the family. A glass of red wine, lots of hugs and cuddles and a few kisses - and it does not have to be Valentine’s Day.

P2P badge-Somerset V1_15.11.11 Talking of food styling, over at the Plate to Page website we have a little treat for all the budding food stylists out there. Culinary consultant extraordinaire and author of the awesome The Food Stylist’s Handbook Denise Vivaldo, gives an inside look at her career as well as the world of food styling. We’re very excited to present to you A Stylish Devotion to Food. Don’t forget we’ll be in Somerset, UK from May 18 to 22 for the third From Plate to Page Workshop. If you’d like to join us for the 2.5 days check out all the details here.

DubaiBadge-Sidebar-250 If you are closer to Dubai however then maybe you would like to join me over at Nasimi Beach, Atlantis, The Palm for a 2-day Workshop, focusing exclusively on food photography and styling.

The details are as follows:
When: Tuesday 3rd and Wednesday 4th April
Where: Nasimi Beach, Atlantis, The Palm, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Your Instructor: Meeta K. Wolff
Your Host: Sally Prosser
Workshop Website
MonthlyMingleBanner February2012

Finally  the Monthly Mingle has kicked off again this month again and we are over at Hila’s from Add to Taste all the way in South Africa. Her theme this month is Heart Healthy and I am sending her this slow roasted chicken with many hugs and thanks for hosting the MM this month Hila!

Stay healthy and see you next week.



You might like these heart healthy ideas from WFLH:

AsianInspiredChickenCabbageSalad_0013-2 CannelliniBeanSalad-0094-WM TapenadeRoastedVeggieTarts_0005
Asian Chicken Red Cabbage and Peach Salad Cannellini Bean Salad with Olives and Ricotta Roasted Pumpkin Aubergine Zucchini Tapenade Tarts with Buffalo Mozzarella

All photographs and written content on What's For Lunch, Honey? © 2006-2012 Meeta Khurana Wolff unless otherwise indicated. | All rights reserved | Please Ask First

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  1. I so agree with you...so much commercialism surrounds this day that there is pressure:-(... Congrats on the styling & photography job!Cant wait to see it

  2. Oh I LOVE roast chicken!! It's both elegant and comforting and just all-round fabulous. Never thought of incorporating Grappa but what a fab idea. As for V-Day... I spent mine in bed with a fever and hubby's gift to me was a whisky sour with lots of fresh lemon juice (for the vitamin C hahaha!). And LOL, we have been together 14 years at the end of this month - Borg!

  3. che delizia hai realizzato! Davvero golosa! Complimenti, un bacio! :)

  4. What fabulous flavors! That roasted chicken must taste amazing. I love the idea.

    Even if I am a romantic girl, we don't really celebrate this day. I did get a box of chocolates, though... ;-)



  5. There are few things I miss more than eating roast chicken. The smell alone has me drooling but these photos are equally tantalizing. Beautiful!

  6. There is nothing like a beautifully roasted chicken and perfectly cooked fries to go along with it. Congrats on all your exciting adventures. Am wondering why am I not a part of Monthly Mindlge I totally should participate! :)

  7. This looks beautiful.. even the raw chicken.
    Congrats again for the assignment.
    Coincidence that even I made Roasted chicken but herb braised on V-day. Wil be posting in few days!!

  8. What a beautiful roasted chicken..ever since I became a vegetarian, I really miss roast or fried chicken..:-0

  9. I love chicken, but the parsnip fries in the pics looks even better than the chicken!

  10. Gorgeous chicken and fries. I'm craving roasted chicken now!

  11. That has to be one of the plumpest most beautiful chooks ever! Luv Mx

  12. love love love it :)
    i know its simple but it really looks nice. ♥ lemon .

  13. Your blog is so fantastic!!
    I really like your blog, you´re recipes are great!
    I invite you to visit my blog, I have a google traslator, so you can read me :D
    I´m your new follower, if you want we can follow each other.
    xoxoxo from Spain

  14. Beautiful meal, and love those parsnip fires!

  15. Rustic cooking is all my husband wants for V day - and that's fine by me. Can't wait for April :)

  16. Personally I am thrilled to see a post without frilly pink stuff! Congrats on the food styling gig; you will be brilliant at that!

  17. Meeta, I too love a beautifully roasted chicken, thanks so much for sharing.

  18. Meeta I so want to come to one of your workshops..! I love the first photo, can't believe how good you made even a raw chicken look! I have Grappa, I'll try this recipe and lovely to hear about the new theme for the Monthly Mingle. Will try and join in xx

  19. Delicious and healthy recipe, and fantastic photography, as always! Thank you for sharing!

  20. Parsnip fries,,,yum! Love the roast chicken and a great way to use a little of the grappa loitering with intent in the freezer!

  21. To me this would be the perfect valentine dinner! No need for pinky stuff at all!!
    Can't wait to hear how your cookbook shoot went!!

  22. Roast chicken has got to be one of my all time favorites. So much so that I make it about once a week. But that sometimes means I get stuck in a rut of making the same chicken over and over. I am definitely trying this one next time I do roast chicken... which thanks to this post and your photos, may be tonight. Btw I don't know how I got so behind on your blog! It was nice getting to droll over three different recipes today. Yummy!

  23. Love roast chicken and yours does look and sound scrumptious but parsnip fries? What a brilliant idea!! And duh, of course you would be the food stylist for the project-what else? Your photos are quite artistically fabulous!

  24. What a lovely post about the nature of love with one's chosen life partner :) And I agree with you completely! We always stay home on Valentine's and either C or I will cook for the other...this is just the homey type of dish he would request from me!

  25. This is great the lemon fit of it.
    i really love chicken specially the roasted one. thank you for sharing i already try it. so good :)

  26. Looks great and tempting i love indian food !!also love your tag line " What's For Lunch, Honey? "

  27. Roasted chicken is one of the best meals for almost any occasion. Glad you like the flavors here and yes those parsnip fries are pretty good too.

    Thank you for all your lovely comments!

  28. roasted chicken and some fries. that's a great recipe! love your blog. :)


Thank you for visiting What's For Lunch, Honey? and taking time to browse through my recipes, listen to my ramblings and enjoy my photographs. I appreciate all your comments, feedback and input. I will answer your questions to my best knowledge and respond to your comments as soon as possible.

In the meantime I hope you enjoy your stay here and that I was able to make this an experience for your senses.