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, I’m excited to let you know that there’s a new 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 to your recipe box’ option right above the print button within the recipe. This works for current recipes and I’m busy updating older recipes to work with the system, too.

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

spice coated chicken in a bowl

I know, brown cabbage doesn’t sound exciting, but the name doesn’t even come close to describing this amazing 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…my California 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

Although the cast of characters is unusual, this dinner comes together super easily, there’s nothing complicated about it. You’ll need a wide shallow pan to cook it in, 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 it allows you to arrange everything in a single layer to get the best caramelization.

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

In our house this dinner was an event ~ we all loved it and we plan to repeat it soon. Enjoy!

roast chicken with potatoes, apples, and brown cabbage pin

roast chicken with potatoes, apples, and brown cabbage in a cast iron pot
4.7 from 10 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
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.

notes and variations

This recipe is adapted from Scandinavian Comfort Food
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.

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    Leave a Reply

    Please rate this recipe!

  • 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
    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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