James’ Roast Chicken with Honey and Vinegar Reduction

April 27, 2020

This recipe was submitted by James Diemert, Community Engagement Coordinator at The AIDS Network as a part of our A Taste at Home campaign.

This is my adaptation of a historically-inspired recipe I found online, based on an ancient Roman recipe!  The sweetness of the honey with the acidity of the vinegar comes together in a very warm and satisfying way. It’s a very simple and easy recipe that will have people thinking you are a master chef! I prefer to use this reduction sauce with a whole roast chicken, but have also had success pairing it with baked chicken thighs, legs, and breasts.


  • A whole chicken for roasting (about 6 pounds) or substitute chicken meat, and fixings for how you would normally prepare it


  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar


  • 2/3 cup honey


  • ½ cup dried fruit (my best results have been a mix of dried cherries, blueberries and cranberries. Currents, raisins, etc are also a great option)


  • 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter



Roast the chicken how you like to – I usually rub it down with melted butter and salt to get that delicious crispy skin, and fill the cavity with a whole lemon and whole onion (both sliced in half). You don’t need to use herbs and spices like you might otherwise use as the reduction sauce brings the dish a very strong flavour.

While you are cooking your chicken, combine the vinegar, honey, dried fruit and butter in a saucepan and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and let simmer. You’ll want to open a window and mind your face as boiling vinegar is really intense! Remove the sauce from heat once the volume has reduced by half and the dried fruit has plumped.

When your chicken is finished cooking, spread half the sauce over it and reserve half to be used as a gravy/condiment. And that’s it!



While we may not be able to come together for an evening of great food and supporting our cause, great food can still bring us together, and so we are sharing with you the favourite recipes of our team, volunteers and community partners! Over the next few weeks we will be adding to this virtual cookbook to help inspire you in your own kitchen, and we hope our A Taste at Home campaign bring you the comfort these recipes bring our contributors. While we may be physically distant, we can still come together in a spirit of sharing and giving.

If you are enjoying our recipes and you are able at this time, please consider making a donation to The AIDS Network. Fundraising is a crucial component in our ability to provide programs and services to our most vulnerable clients. Food security programs are especially necessary in this difficult time, and are wholly supported by fundraising dollars. You can make a donation through our Canada Helps page. To find out more about the campaign and to see other recipes, visit www.aidsnetwork.ca/a-taste-at-home