Roast Chicken with Potatoes, Apples and Brown Cabbage

roast chicken with potatoes, apples, and brown cabbage in a cast iron pot

Roast Chicken with Potatoes, Apples and Brown Cabbage ~ the combination of flavors in this cozy Scandinavian recipe is unexpected, and transforms simple roast chicken into the ultimate hygge meal!

Roast chicken with potatoes, apples, and brown cabbage in a pot with spoon

make room in your recipe box for your new favorite chicken dinner

Do people even have recipe boxes anymore? I don’t have one, but I guess you could say I use my whole blog as one giant recipe box. Speaking of which, did you know there’s an option on the blog that allows you to save your favorite recipes in your very own recipe box right here on tvfgi? Just click on the ‘Save recipe’ option in the recipe card below.

a pot of roast chicken with apples and brown cabbage

if you think of Scandinavian cooking as mild or bland, think again!

I hardly know where to start talking about this dish, everything about it is so special, but I guess the obvious place to start is with the spices, both in the chicken itself and in the cabbage, since that’s what drew me to it in the first place. Scandinavian cooking makes use of spices masterfully, and in combinations that you probably aren’t used to, but please don’t let them scare you away, the flavors blend beautifully. 

chicken spices (these are ground from whole, you can use a spice/coffee grinder, or a mortar and pestle)

  • allspice
  • cloves
  • cardamom
  • black peppercorns

cabbage spices:

  • caraway seeds
  • black peppercorns
  • ground allspice
rubbing spices on chicken legs

an aromatic spice rub

You may not have thought to use these spices with chicken before, so it will likely be a new taste experience. You’ll rub the spices into the chicken to get them into every nook and cranny, and then let it marinate for an hour or up to overnight.

spice coated chicken in a bowl

brown cabbage doesn’t sound exciting, but the name doesn’t even come close to describing this amazing side dish

Think cabbage lightly braised in a browned butter caramel sauce with black pepper, allspice, and caraway seeds. Whaaaat? The short version: this is cabbage like you’ve never had it before, you must try it. I basically want to have brown cabbage with every meal going forward 🙂

Note: the original recipe calls for braising the cabbage for 2 hours…but my fresh veggie lovin’ antennae went up on that and I only cooked it for about 20 minutes ~ perfect.

Brown cabbage in a white pot

ingredient notes for roast chicken with potatoes, apples and brown cabbage

I used little Pee Wee potatoes because I love them and they cook quickly, but if you can’t find them you can use regular small waxy potatoes cut into bite sized chunks.

Use any apple you like, I used Honeycrisp because it’s my current apple obsession. I think the red skin looks pretty in the dish, so I’d go for a red apple if possible.

You can also customize the chicken parts. I love to use whole legs (the leg and thigh attached) when I can find them, but you can use a whole chicken, cut up, or all thighs, it’s up to you.

Look for a small firm head of cabbage. It makes a lot when you slice it up thinly so no need to hunt out a big one.

cooking stages: chicken in a pot with potatoes and apples

important ~ use the right pan!

Although the cast of characters is unusual, this dinner comes together super easily, there’s nothing complicated about it. But using the right pan is key ~ you’ll need a heavy duty, wide shallow pan for best results. And while you can spend lots of money on great cast iron pans, I love my Amazon Basics braiser, I find myself turning to it over and over again. When you’re roasting meats and poultry its wide shape allows you to arrange everything in a single layer to get the best caramelization. This pan makes a beautiful table side presentation, too.

a plate of chicken with potatoes, apples, and brown cabbage

we all loved this recipe

In our house this dinner was an event ~ we all loved it and we plan to repeat it soon. I plan to substitute shredded Brussels sprouts for the cabbage for a fun variation. My Fried Cabbage and Bacon Slaw would work well with it, too. Enjoy!

roast chicken with potatoes, apples, and brown cabbage pin
roast chicken with potatoes, apples, and brown cabbage in a cast iron pot
4.75 from 12 votes

Roast Chicken with Potatoes, Apples, and Brown Cabbage

Roast Chicken with Potatoes, Apples and Brown Cabbage ~ this cozy Scandinavian chicken dinner recipe is the ultimate hygge meal
Course Main Course
Cuisine Scandinavian
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
marinate 1 hour
Yield 4 servings
Calories 582kcal
Author Sue Moran


  • large braising pan or roasting pan
  • a spice/coffee grinder, or a mortar and pestle



  • 10 cardamom pods
  • 2 tsp allspice berries
  • 5 cloves
  • 2 tsp black peppercorns
  • 1 Tbsp sea salt or kosher salt


  • 2 lbs chicken parts, I used 2 whole legs (leg and thigh attached) and 2 large thighs, all bone in, skin on
  • olive oil (or butter)
  • 12 ounces Dutch Pee Wee potatoes, halved (don't peel) .
  • 1 apple, cored and cut into wedges (don't peel)

brown cabbage

  • 2 lb head of green cabbage
  • 5 Tbsp butter
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
  • 2 tsp ground allspice
  • 2 tsp carraway seeds
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 bunch tyme springs, tied in a bundle
  • salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 Tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice, or to taste


  • Grind the first 4 spices together in a spice grinder or a mortar and pestle. Mix in the salt.
  • Rub the spices all over the chicken parts, and then cover and refrigerate for an hour. You can also leave it overnight if you like.
  • Preheat the oven to 400F
  • Arrange the chicken, skin side up, in a single layer in a large roasting pan. Brush the chicken lightly with olive oil and roast for 45 minutes, basting several times. If you don't get enough juices to baste, melt some butter on the top of the chicken to get it going.
  • Add the potatoes to the pot, making sure to baste with some of the juices. Roast for another 30 minutes, basting occasionally. Add the apples and cook for another 15 minutes, basting occasionally.
  • Serve the chicken alongside the cabbage.

brown cabbage

  • While the chicken cooks, make the cabbage. Cut the cabbage in half, and remove the core. Slice into 1/4 inch slices.
  • Melt the butter in a large saucepan and cook until it starts to turn golden brown. Add the sugar and cook for a couple of minutes, stirring to melt the sugar into a light brown caramel sauce.
  • Add the cabbage, spices and herbs and mix well. Lower the heat, cover, and let it cook for about 30 minutes, just until the cabbage is tender but still firm, stirring often. Remove the herb bundle and the bay leaves. Season to taste with salt, pepper and lemon juice.

Cook’s notes

This recipe is adapted from Scandinavian Comfort Food


Calories: 582kcal | Carbohydrates: 54g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 32g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 11g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 119mg | Sodium: 2007mg | Potassium: 1171mg | Fiber: 11g | Sugar: 26g | Vitamin A: 883IU | Vitamin C: 97mg | Calcium: 178mg | Iron: 4mg
The nutritional information for recipes on this site is provided as a courtesy and although tries to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.

Other Scandinavian inspired dishes on the blog ~

 Scandinavian Comfort Food is a great resource for fall and winter cooking especially if you love to explore outside your regular routine. It makes a great gift for the foodie in your life, click here to purchase.

e book

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    Leave a Reply

    Please rate this recipe!

  • Reply
    September 22, 2021 at 7:52 am

    5 stars
    Sue, I made this last night, it was delish! I will try to post, wish I could post pictures in here. I thought I had everything to make this, because I have a well stock pantry of spices. But, I did not have Cardamom or Caraway seeds or Fennel and I was out of bay leaves, I always have bay leaves. So, will have to make sure I have so I can do this again. I used Fresh nutmeg, and oregano instead and it worked. I also used Swerve for the sugar as I have really stayed away from sugar a lot the last 3 years, but it worked. But, this tasted like fall, loved it sending you big hugs!

  • Reply
    September 21, 2021 at 9:00 am

    Hello Sue!

    I have just very recently discovered your site and I am looking forward to making several of your recipes already! I love your back story, your approach to cooking and the warm “” feeling I get when I read your posts! Thank you!

    I do have 3 questions please for the spice blend preparation, and these are…
    1. Do you remove the seeds from the cardamom pods, or process the whole pods with the other spices?
    2. I am assuming it is green cardamom pods you are using?
    3. Please define quantity for a bunch of thyme? Many sprigs? Could dried thyme be used in a pinch? If so, what amount do you suggest? Personally I find that thyme can take over and I do not want to lose all of the other beautiful spice flavours!

    Thank you very much Sue for your anticipated guidance. I’ll look forward to your reply and even more so to making this dish soon!

    With Warmest Wishes from the Canadian Prairies!

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      September 21, 2021 at 11:58 am

      Hi Alex, glad you found me! I use the black seeds only when I grind cardamom, and yes, they are the green ones. As for the thyme, I’m not super precise, I just grab a bunch of sprigs, maybe 15 or so. You can definitely use less or more, to your taste. Hope you enjoy this!

      • Reply
        September 21, 2021 at 5:18 pm

        Thank you, Sue!
        Your prompt response is so welcome and helpful! I am ready to make this chicken dish with only one stop to make to pick up a wee cabbage, some chicken, and fresh thyme. Everything else is in my kitchen ready to go!
        Can’t wait!
        Please take good care and stay safe.

  • Reply
    May 10, 2021 at 10:47 am

    5 stars
    Oh my gosh this is sooo good! I didn’t have all the spices for the cabbage so I think I just used allspice and herbs de Provence. I did it a bit later in the day, so having to come into the kitchen and basting my chicken,potatoes,and apples was kind of exhausting. It was worth it though! I used russet potatoes, medium-thinly sliced because that’s what I had. I should’ve put them in a bit earlier than after the initial 45m, because they were still a bit underdone after my apples had cooked for 15m. I was actually short on cabbage, but I just modified the amount with your scaling tool. Anyways, I’ve shared this with my brother and friends because I love it! It reminds me of carribean-spiced rum chicken. Also tasty!

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      September 19, 2021 at 8:56 am

      Thanks Kirthi ~ isn’t it interesting how flavors can connect such different cultures!

  • Reply
    October 22, 2019 at 5:57 am

    5 stars
    I just have to say this is SOOOO Good! I was a little apprehensive about the amount of cooking time for the chicken, but the end results were incredible. The flavor from the spices really pulled through in the chicken, and paired beautifully with the roasted apples and potatoes. Hands down one of the best chicken dishes that I’ve had and made.

    • Reply
      October 22, 2019 at 7:51 am

      And my cooking time is way reduced from the original recipe! But remember every time you add ingredients, plus all the basting, reduces the oven temp a bit, so the time is a little longer than if you were straight cooking chicken. Glad you liked this Kristen, thanks 🙂

  • Reply
    October 16, 2019 at 10:09 am

    5 stars
    Outstanding! great work sue.

  • Reply
    October 14, 2019 at 8:47 am

    I wanted to comment since I always click on your postings since I admire your style of cooking and the recipes you share. As a lover of cabbage, I was very curious to learn about brown cabbage and look forward to trying it. Just wanted to thank you for all the great recipes you provide. You are one of my favorite recipe sources.

    • Reply
      October 14, 2019 at 8:52 am

      Hey Susan, nice to meet you 🙂 The cabbage was my favorite part of this recipe, so unusual and really tasty. Thanks for the nice vote of confidence, I enjoy what I do!

  • Reply
    October 14, 2019 at 7:57 am

    Looks Divine. I don’t see Save to recipe Box near rhe print button…only Go To recipe Box. What am I missing?

    • Reply
      October 14, 2019 at 8:30 am

      Once you’ve saved one recipe, you’ll have your box, and then now it will say ‘go to recipe box’, which will save your recipe. Does that make sense? I’ll see if I can change that wording to be more clear. In other words, just click on that, and it should save the recipe and bring you to your box.

  • Reply
    October 14, 2019 at 7:06 am

    Hooray! I love the recipe box feature, and the Shopping List field is brilliant In the past I have saved your recipes to my Pinterest page. THIS is so much easier. Thank you! This chicken recipe is in my menu for this week

  • Reply
    Tricia B
    October 14, 2019 at 4:36 am

    5 stars
    This is going to be our next dinner! I love cabbage and chicken and everything about this recipe. So pretty too! Pinning and printing 🙂

    • Reply
      October 14, 2019 at 8:37 am

      You’re gonna love it 🙂

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