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
4.83 from 17 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
    [email protected]
    October 29, 2021 at 12:39 pm

    5 stars
    I’ve been fooling your blog forever and don’t comment nearly enough but I wanted to let you know that since you posted this recipe we have made the cabbage 6 times. We love it! We made the entire recipe 2 times and loved it with the chicken/potatoes but we make the cabbage all of the time. Thank you for sharing so many scrumptious recipes.

  • Reply
    September 28, 2021 at 8:08 pm

    Darn Gremlins! Sometimes goes by the name of ‘Alex’! LOL!
    Should be *a reward* not “I reward”!

  • Reply
    September 28, 2021 at 8:03 pm

    5 stars
    Finally! I finally managed to make this entire recipe pairing – chicken and cabbage! LOL! And it was only an unseasonably +29º C today in my Canadian prairie city! I truly had no choice as I seasoned the chicken and left it over night. This small blistering detail was not going to stop me and what I reward was to be had! Yes…the house is melting even with the A/C on but it is worth it!
    Thank you Sue for your initial guidance and especially for sharing two beautiful dishes with us! Loved them!
    I used every ingredient that you listed and the ‘sweet-spicy’ flavour imparted from the cloves and allspice berries in the spice combination gave the chicken such a delicious hit and then to have the potatoes roast in the same seasoned chicken fat was Oh.So.Tasty! I loved the sweetness of the roasted apple slices too. They provided a perfect balance to the ‘heat’ of the cloves and allspice that kind of sneak up in the back of your throat.
    The cabbage dish was truly a taste treat too. Again, the allspice and caraway seeds melded delightfully with the caramel butter and the hit of lemon at the end was a perfect finishing touch!
    On my next go-round with these dishes I will know better the timing of everything too for my own oven and burner behaviours. I used only chicken thighs and luckily I tempted them at the 35 minute mark as they were already done. I just pulled them out of the oven – loved that crispy skin! – and got to roasting the potatoes following with the apples.
    My cabbage was also cooked quicker that the stated time but I think that had to do with using a fresh market garden cabbage. I do find seasonal produce to be a wee bit more tender as a rule of thumb compared to the ‘stored’ produce that are in the grocers. But again, I just turned the heat off and waited until I was reheating it to add in the lemon juice and taste for seasoning.
    Everything was warm and juicy at supper time!
    The only thing I might do next time with the cabbage is to place the peppercorns in a wee sachet to better retrieve them. For some reason, some were soft enough to eat but others not so much!
    This was my very first recipe to try from your offerings, Sue, and I was so delighted! Next up tomorrow is Praline Pumpkin Snacking Cake. Cannot wait!
    Thank you again so very much and I am absolutely so glad I ‘found’ you!
    Warmest wishes and please take good care!

  • Reply
    Chtid T
    September 26, 2021 at 9:33 am

    5 stars
    We absolutely LOVED this roast chicken with baby potatoes and apples recipe. It was the perfect early fall meal that was a treat for the senses while still in the oven. We happened to have a couple of Walla Walla sweet onions from a trip west we included in wedge form for the roast, and it was also a wonderful complement to the dish! Next time, I may also include a few cloves of garlic to accompany the roast. Used white cardamom pods from Penzey’s which is labeled as the type used in Scandanavian cooking. Thanks, Sue, for a wonderful and different recipe!

  • Reply
    Melanie Barnes
    September 24, 2021 at 3:00 pm

    The recipe looks wonderful!
    I cannot find Cardamom pods or Allspice berries.
    Can you substitute ground Cardamom and ground Allspice for the berries?
    If so, how much would you use?

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      September 24, 2021 at 3:59 pm

      You can try 1/2 teaspoon of the cardamom, and 1 tsp of allspice.

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