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Oktoberfest Roast Chicken: A Celebration of Bavarian Tradition


When we think of Oktoberfest, it's often giant beer steins, lively music, and bustling beer tents that first come to mind. But this iconic German festival is also a celebration of traditional Bavarian cuisine, and one of the most beloved dishes is the Oktoberfest Roast Chicken, or "Wiesn-Hendl" in German.

Let's explore the cultural significance of Oktoberfest and the traditional roast chicken that has become synonymous with this festive event.

Oktoberfest Roast Chicken Recipe

Oktoberfest – A Brief History

Oktoberfest, held in Munich, Germany, is the world's largest Volksfest (beer festival and traveling funfair). It's a 16-18 day celebration rns from late September to the first Sunday in October. The festival has been celebrated since 1810, marking the marriage of Prince Ludwig of Bavaria to Princess Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen.

While beer is the festival's star attraction, the food plays a crucial supporting role, providing hearty fare to complement the strong Bavarian brews.

Want to learn more about Munich and Oktoberfest? Check out our full travel guide to Munich and our account of our trip to Oktoberfest.

Wiesn-Hendl – The Classic Oktoberfest Roast Chicken

Roasted to golden-brown perfection and seasoned with traditional German herbs and spices, Wiesn-Hendl is an integral part of the Oktoberfest culinary experience. The crispy skin, tender meat, and rich flavor make it a satisfying companion to a cold glass of beer.

The way the chicken is prepared, roasted on a spit, and served half or quartered, can be traced back to old Bavarian traditions. The simplicity and heartiness of the dish embody the spirit of community and celebration that defines Oktoberfest.

Recipe for Oktoberfest Roast Chicken

Get a taste of Oktoberfest in your kitchen with this authentic Wiesn-Hendl recipe.


- 1 whole chicken (3-4 lbs)

- 2 tablespoons of butter, melted

- 2 teaspoons of paprika

- 2 teaspoons of salt

- 1 teaspoon of dried thyme

- 1 teaspoon of dried rosemary

- 1 teaspoon of garlic powder

- 1 lemon, quartered

- Freshly ground black pepper to taste


1. Preheat the Oven: Preheat your oven to 425°F (220°C).

2. Prepare the Chicken: Remove any giblets from the chicken and rinse it inside and out. Pat dry with paper towels.

3. Season the Chicken: In a small bowl, mix together the paprika, salt, thyme, rosemary, garlic powder, and black pepper. Rub the entire chicken with the melted butter and then the spice mixture, ensuring it's evenly coated.

4. Stuff the Chicken: Place the lemon quarters inside the chicken cavity.

5. Roast the Chicken: Place the chicken, breast side up, in a roasting pan. Roast for about 1 hour and 30 minutes or until the chicken is golden brown and the internal temperature reaches 165°F (75°C).

6. Let it Rest: Remove the chicken from the oven and let it rest for 10-15 minutes before carving.

7. Serve: Carve the chicken into halves or quarters and serve with traditional German side dishes like potato salad, sauerkraut, or soft pretzels.


Oktoberfest Roast Chicken captures the essence of Bavarian culture and the convivial spirit of Oktoberfest. Whether you're hosting an Oktoberfest-themed party or simply want to enjoy a taste of traditional German cuisine, this roast chicken recipe promises a flavorful and satisfying meal.

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