With grey and white as its chief colors and the forbiddingly cold North as its stronghold, House Stark is one family that lives up to its last name. While the Lannisters are busy plotting and “playing doctor” (sometimes with each other), and with the Dothraki horde mounting their horses (and other living things besides) towards King’s Landing, the Starks have their hands full cleaning up after everyone else (and losing their heads in the process).
Winterfell is steeped in tradition, so these direwolves would rather die than give up their customs. Theirs is a legacy that goes back eight thousand years, one that involves worshipping trees with faces, and serving as both judge and executioner to those they have to condemn. Then again, it’s difficult (foolish, even) not to be as austere as your name when your family motto is an ominous “Winter is Coming.” The flimsy silks of King’s Landing won’t do here, and dressing like Margaery Tyrell will make you sick in no time.
“There was still half a honeyed chicken in the center of the table. Jon reached out to tear a leg….then let the carcass slide to the floor… Ghost ripped into it in savage silence.” (Game of Thrones, pp. 51-52)
Thus, it’s no surprise that their food is as robust and fuss-free as the House that serves it. Their banquets don’t feature grilled Dornish snakes with dragon peppers, or any of the 77 courses from Joffrey and Margaery’s wedding. Instead, they feast on chicken, which isn’t exactly the most exotic Westerosi fare. And our take on this festive dish from the North is as familiar as it gets, with the cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves in its glaze being the most exciting components.
But there is an undeniable comfort in making a feast out of readily-available ingredients (plus, I really don’t think you can buy a Dothraki firepod at the supermarket). And comfort is something these tender chunks of sticky sweetness can give you, especially whenever George RR Martin maims or kills off a Stark that you’ve come to love (yet again).
Winterfell Honeyed Chicken
Total Time: 90 minutes / Yield: 6 servings; one whole chicken
- 1 whole chicken (about 1.7kg)
- 2 tbsp sea salt
- 2 lemons
- 1/3 cup maple syrup (or honey)
- 2 tbsp cane vinegar
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp cloves
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Clean chicken very well and pat dry.
- Rub cavity and chicken all over with sea salt, and put whole lemons inside the cavity and tie the legs together.
- Prepare glaze by mixing all ingredients in a bowl.
- Brush this over the chicken.
- Roast chicken for 15 minutes. Brush again with the glaze.
- Roast chicken for 50 minutes or until done.
- Make sure to baste the chicken with the glaze every 10 minutes.
- Remove from oven, and let cool.
- Carve and serve.
- The easiest way to check if your chicken is cooked completely is to insert a knife in the thickest part of the chicken, usually in the leg/thigh area.
- When the juices running out of the chicken are clear, it means that your chicken is already fully cooked and ready to serve.