Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Roast Chicken with Jam and Berbere Spice #recipe by @Leslie Karst

I love roasting a chicken for a dinner party, as it’s easy to make, and nothing beats the sight, smell, and taste of a whole roast chicken, crispy outside and tender and juicy inside. So for a recent get-together of some friends, that’s what I decided to make. After perusing the door of my refrigerator—the repository of about fifteen different kinds of jams and jellies I’ve been gifted by various folks—I settled on some persimmon jam as the basis for the glaze for my chicken.

And when I looked in my spice drawer for inspiration, my eyes were drawn to a jar of berbere: a traditional Ethiopian blend of chiles, garlic, fenugreek, and other spices such as coriander, cumin, allspice, and cinnamon. With the addition of some butter and fresh herbs, it seemed like the perfect combination for my bird.

(Feel free to substitute peach or apricot jam for the persimmon, and if you can’t find berbere spice, paprika would work well, instead.)

Roast Chicken with Jam and Berbere Spice


2 tablespoons butter

3 tablespoons persimmon jam

1 teaspoon berbere spice

1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon (or 1 teaspoon dried)

salt and black pepper

1 tablespoon neutral oil, such as canola

1 roasting chicken


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Combine the butter, jam, and berbere spice, then stir in the chopped tarragon.

Pour the oil in a large Dutch oven, and use a paper towel to spread it over the bottom and sides (to keep the chicken from sticking as it cooks).

Smear the butter/jam mixture all over the chicken and place it in the pot, then season with salt and pepper.

Roast, covered, for about an hour, basting every twenty minutes or so. (I roasted two birds for my dinner party, doubling the ingredients above.)

When the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F (insert an insta-read thermometer into the thigh, making sure it doesn’t touch the bone), take the lid off to allow the bird to brown for five or ten minutes more.

Once it’s cooked, set the chicken on a cutting board, covered with foil, to let it rest for about ten minutes.

Carve the chicken as you desire, then drizzle with the juices remaining in the pan. (You can also pour these juices into a pitcher to set on the table for folks to drizzle on themselves.) Yum!

🐓 🌿 🍑

The daughter of a law professor and a potter, Leslie Karst learned early, during family dinner conversations, the value of both careful analysis and the arts—ideal ingredients for a mystery story. Putting this early education to good use, she now writes the Lefty Award-nominated Sally Solari Mysteries, a culinary series set in Santa Cruz, California. 
An ex-lawyer like her sleuth, Leslie also has degrees in English literature and the culinary arts. She and her wife and their Jack Russell mix split their time between Santa Cruz and Hilo, Hawai‘i.

Leslie’s website
Leslie also blogs with Chicks on the Case
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Praise for Leslie's most recent Sally Solari mystery, the Lefty Award-nominated MURDER FROM SCRATCH:

“Karst seasons her writing with an accurate insider’s view of restaurant operation, as well as a tenderness in the way she treats family, death and Sally’s reactions to Evelyn’s blindness.”

Ellery Queen Magazine (featured pick)

All four Sally Solari Mysteries are available through AmazonBarnes and Noble, and Bookshop.


Dying for a TasteA Measure of Murder, and Murder from Scratch are also available as AUDIOBOOKS from Audible!


  1. This sounds delicious, Leslie! I've never heard of roasting with a lid on. Will check it out when the weather cools down.

    1. It keeps the bird moist (and gives you lots of pan juices!), so it's a great method. You just have to take the lid off and let it brown more near the end.

    2. Living in south Florida where it's hot most of the year, I rely on my A/C to allow oven projects year 'round.

  2. Sounds delicious! I can see me making this is a future for sure.
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

  3. This sounds like a winner. I don't have persimmon jam, but I do have apricot. That should go well with paprika and garlic!

    1. Yes, the recipe can certainly be tweaked: whatever jam, spice, and herb you have around!

  4. I love this whole approach, Leslie. Very tasty and flexible. I often use a Dutch oven for chicken, lid on, until the last fifteen minutes.