Prep 25 mins
Cooking 1 hr
Serves 4-6

When it comes to our tastebuds - there is sweet, salty, sour and bitter… and then there is our favourite, the fifth taste, umami. The existence of this taste was pretty controversial and disputed until as recently as 2002. Nowadays of course, we all recognise that it exists and we can’t get enough of it. Umami means "pleasant savoury taste" in Japanese. It is that indescribable savoury yumminess that one finds in everything from rich beef stock broths, to aged parmesan cheese, soy sauce to tomatoes. When we developed our new Cape Herb & Spice Tastebud Seasoning range, it was a no-brainer that we had to capture the essence of umami in an easy-to-use spice blend. It’s our new kitchen go-to and can be used to enhance the flavour of pretty much anything savoury, including this self-saucing roast chicken. Your oven does all the work, and that’s just the way we like it.


  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • Dusting of TASTEBUD UMAMI
  • 1 free range chicken
  • 4 lrg leeks
  • 1 garlic bulk
  • 3 lrg carrots
  • Olive oil
  • 1 cup good quality chicken stock


Mix the butter with two teaspoons of Cape Herb & Spice Tastebud Umami Seasoning. Use your fingers to gently separate the skin on the chicken breast from the flesh and push the spiced butter under the skin. Spread it out evenly so the entire breast is covered in butter. This is not essential, but is a clever trick to keep the breast – the driest part of a chicken – nicely moist. Peel and quarter the carrots. Slice the garlic bulb in half, widthwise. Remove the green parts of the leeks, slice them in half lengthways and rinse them well under runner water to remove any hidden grit. Toss the leeks, garlic and carrots together in a roasting tray.

Place the chicken on top of the vegetables and lightly drizzle the bird with olive oil and dusting of Cape Herb & Spice Tastebud Umami Seasoning. Pour the chicken stock in the roasting tray and place uncovered in a preheated oven at 200 ºC. Roast until the chicken is cooked through but still moist. The time it takes depends on the size of the chicken. Test it after an hour by stabbing the fold of the thigh with a sharp knife. If the juices that run out are clear, the chicken is ready. If the juices are slightly pink, give it another bit of oven love. Pour off the cooking jus that formed in the roasting tray and serve with the chicken, fluffy mash and a green salad for a seriously no-work, umami-yummy dinner.

Recipe concept & photography by Lizet Hartley.

Lizet Hartley is a freelance stills and reel food stylist, food photographer and recipe developer. In her spare time she – rather predictably – cooks. Get more of her recipes on her blog at