Chef's Recipes

Epocha's roast chicken, braised Savoy cabbage, prune and butter sauce

This roast chicken recipe is sourced from Epocha restaurant in Carlton, Victoria.

  • 45 mins preparation
  • 1 hr 30 mins cooking plus cooling, brining, drying, resting
  • Print
"I'd love to make the roast chicken from Epocha in Carlton. Could you get the recipe?" - Alec Spiros, St Kilda, Vic
Begin this recipe two days ahead to brine the chicken.
To request a recipe, email send us a message via Facebook. Please include the restaurant's name and address, as well as your name and address. Please note that because of the volume of requests we receive, we can only publish a selection in the magazine.


  • 1.4 kg chicken
  • 125 ml olive oil (½ cup)
  • 1 small Savoy cabbage (1kg), outer leaves discarded, quartered lengthways
  • 270 gm chilled butter, coarsely chopped
  • 6 fresh bay leaves, bruised
  • 750 ml dry white wine
  • 1 litre apple juice
  • 325 gm pitted prunes, chopped
  • 100 ml Cognac
  • 1 bunch thyme sprigs, plus 1 tsp finely chopped
  • 3 sprigs wild fennel or dill, chopped
  • 2 tsp lemon juice, or to taste
  • 1 tsp finely grated fresh horseradish
  • Parsnip purée or mashed potato, to serve
  • 200 gm salt
  • 1 bunch flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 bunch lemon thyme
  • 1 bunch tarragon
  • 4 fresh bay leaves
  • 8 garlic cloves
  • 2 Spanish onions, coarsely chopped
  • 3 lemons, juiced
  • 1 tbsp black peppercorns
  • 1 kg ice (optional)


  • 1
    For brine, heat 1 litre water and salt over high heat, stirring until salt has dissolved (2-3 minutes). Add remaining ingredients and ice, and stir until most of the ice has melted (or chill in the fridge). Transfer chicken to a deep container just wide enough to hold it. Add brine, weigh down bird with a plate and refrigerate for about 16 hours. Remove chicken from brine, pat dry, truss, sit on a rack and refrigerate for 8 hours to dry out skin. Remove from refrigerator 2 hours before cooking.
  • 2
    Heat a large heavy-based saucepan over high heat until smoking, add 100ml oil and cabbage cut-side down, reduce to medium-high and fry until dark brown on all cut sides (3-4 minutes each side). Add 250gm butter and bay leaves, and stir until butter turns golden. Add wine, reduce by a third (10-15 minutes), then add juice, 300gm prunes, Cognac, thyme sprigs and black pepper to taste. Cover and simmer gently until cabbage is very tender (40-50 minutes). Strain, reserving 375ml liquid and cabbage separately, discarding solids from sauce.
  • 3
    Meanwhile, preheat oven to 150C, heat a large heavy-based ovenproof frying pan over medium-high heat, add remaining olive oil and chicken and brown all over (8-10 minutes). Transfer to oven and roast until juices run clear when thickest part of thigh is pierced (about 1 hour). Cover loosely with foil and rest for 15-20 minutes.
  • 4
    Bring reserved braising liquid, extra thyme and fennel or dill to the boil in a saucepan and reduce by half (5-7 minutes). Remove from heat, whisk in lemon juice and horseradish. Finely chop remaining prunes and add to sauce with remaining butter, season to taste and serve with roast chicken, braised cabbage, and parsnip or potato purée.