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Chicken with Anise Seeds

I first began to enjoy this delectably flavoured and scented chicken when the invitations to my inlaws-to-be began. I began to make in immediately upon marriage as it is . . .truly one of the easiest chicken dishes to make. It can be made with a younger chicken, purchased already cut up, or you can buy a roasting chicken, and cut it up yourself. The reason to cut it up is so that all the parts have equal "roastablity" against the roasting dish.

I made this the other day. . .and Stuart still remembers saying as a young boy. . . how much he liked it. The wonderful aroma in the kitchen can be smelled outside and the flavour is truly delicious.
I'm sure that every good Mennonite woman has her own way of making this and I'd love to know how you do it.

Roasted Chicken with Anise
  • 1 chicken, cut up into pieces with the bone and skin
  • salt
  • Anise Seed
  1. Cut up your chicken if it isn't already.
  2. Arrange it in a single layer in a heavy pot or roasting pan.
  3. Sprinkle with salt as you would any roast chicken.
  4. Sprinkle with anise seed. I never measure but I would say several teaspoons.
  5. Put the lid on and bake in the oven at 325 for 2 1/2 hours.
  6. Half way in between, I turn it over to give the skin side a good caramelizing.
  7. Remove the chicken to a serving plate and cover with foil to stay warm.
  8. Sprinkle a tablespoon of flour into the pot with the drippings.
  9. Stir on medium heat until bubbly.
  10. Add 1 cup of milk and continue to stir until bubbly. Add more milk to make the consistency that you enjoy for sauce.
  11. Serve with roasted potatoes or mashed potatoes. 


  1. Yum. My grandma also taught me to include raisins in a very similar dish. We call it chicken with raisins- creative, I know!
    One problem I have is that it becomes pretty greasy if you leave the skin on, and dry if you don't. Any tips on preventing this?

  2. Lovella...thanks for sharing this. I must say....I never grew up with this dish...although whole anise is used in our chicken soup for sure!!! So hmmm...every good Mennonite woman? Grin...maybe my mom just never made it but I love anise so I am thinking I am definitely going to start a 'new trend' in my little home.

  3. That takes me back to my mom-in-laws table...a very good place to be! I love chicken roasted with anise.

  4. Not sure if I've had it with anise, but I'll be able to tell as soon as I smell it baking, I guess. What do you mean by caramelizing it? Basting with the drippings? Now I'm going to be hungry for this. It looks really good!

  5. Allison, I really don't have any suggestions for roasting it without the skin. . .I suppose you could roast it shorter but it wouldn't caramelize from the slow roast. I bet the raisins would be quite tasty in there too.
    Anneliese, maybe I'm thinking of how onions turn really nice and brown with slow long heat. . it is the same with the skin, it turns almost sweet and savoury with the anise flavouring.

  6. That looks so simple and delicious for winter meals! I bet it would be good with rosemary too (my personal favorite herb.)

  7. My dear ladies, I simply cannot be printing off everyone of your recipes. It is exhausting. Please tell me when you are publishing your cookbook of all the recipes you have on this site. I really want to purchase several, because there is not one objectionable recipe here. Susan

  8. That chicken looks FANTASTIC! Mouthwatering. What a great pic! Thanks!

  9. That's an interesting twist! Sounds yummy! (do I HAVE to eat the brussel sprouts?)

  10. Oh this looks so delicious if only I liked anise and chicken together..I am one of the very few I'm thinking who does not like chicken noodle soup..same flavour right?

  11. my mouth is watering right now for this chicken, and it's only 10 after 9 in the morning! That's pretty well the way I cook my chicken... the smell is divine. I stuff pats of butter under the chicken's skin if I'm roasting it as a complete bird. So so so yummy.

  12. Oh I LOVE anise! I HAVE to try this recipe. Thank you!

  13. I made this today, with, as Anneliese suggested, the chicken legs. They were sizable and took up the whole bottom of my medium sized Dutch overn. However I did not have anise seed so I used fennel seed. I checked online to confirm what I thought; they are a similar flavour. It worked out very well for taste, but I did have a glitch which caused me to raise the oven temperature and take the lid off. I burned a fuse in my old stove. I was reading, and suddenly realized I couldn't smell the fennel anymore. Sigh. So while I was coaxing it along, I also braised some spinach and thinly sliced anise bulb with garlic and bacon fat (just a teaspoon). Then I added a few drops of Balsalmic vinegar. All to substitute for the Brussels sprouts, which I also did not have.

    I have never made a gravy unless I was roasting a whole turkey for Christmas, to go with the stuffing, but I made the gravy too. It is delicious. Just a wonderful recipe I will send out to people.

    I think it's one of the best chicken recipes I've ever cooked.

    Thanks so much.


  14. Just to add I do not ever waster the chicken or turkey drippings even though I seldom make gravy. They go right into the soup with the carcass.

  15. One dish that is a favorite in my family and always requested when we visit Oma is Chicken and Dumplings. My mother would make the anise chicken and then in a dutch oven layer potatoes and yeast dumplings. Gravy from the drippings and oh wow what a great tasting meal.


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