I love a good roast chicken. There’s just something homey and warm about a good, old-fashioned chicken dinner. I have made countless roasted chicken recipes over the years. I’ve fed my family some wonderfully flavorful, delicious chickens and some other chickens that we’d prefer not to remember. I’m always on the lookout for another good roast chicken recipe and I was thrilled when I ran across this one in Fine Cooking magazine last week.
I’ve always enjoyed chicken roasted with lemon and rosemary. It’s one of my favorite combinations. This recipe upped the ante a bit, adding a rich, citrus marinade to the mix as well as some fresh citrus in the pan with the chicken. Plus, it was a great recipe for a weeknight. I prepped the chicken in the morning and let it marinate all day. I just had to pop it in the oven about an hour before we wanted to have dinner.
I started by trimming up four, bone in chicken breasts and setting them in a roasting pan with a little bit of olive oil. I tailored down the recipe in the magazine a bit to suit our family. In the magazine, the recipe makes two whole chickens. That’s a lot of chicken and too much for my little family to eat in one week. I knew that four (huge) chicken breasts would be enough for us for dinner and for leftovers to use later on in the week. You could mix and match the chicken parts, though. Just shoot for around four pounds of chicken. If you’re feeding a small army, grab a bigger roasting pan and double the recipe!
Once the chicken was settled in, I sliced, juiced and zested a couple of oranges and lemons. The citrus slices would hang out with the chicken in the pan. The juice and zest would become part of the marinade.
To the citrus juice and zest, I added some soy sauce, honey, roughly chopped garlic, dried oregano and a little bit of crushed red pepper. The marinade smelled deliciously fresh and I knew it was about to make the chicken very happy!
I nestled those orange and lemon slices around the chicken pieces and then poured the marinade over the top. Then, I covered the pan and put it in the fridge. I let mine marinate about 8 hours, but anywhere from 6-12 hours would be fine.
After about 3 hours in the fridge, I did flip the chicken breasts over so the marinade could be evenly distributed. Before baking, I turned the chicken right side up again.
The chicken roasted at 425* for 20 minutes and then I lowered the temperature to 375* for the last 30 minutes. The higher temperature browned the skin perfectly and then the lower temperature gently finished things off.
Once the chicken was done, I removed it, the oranges, and lemons from the pan and let them all sit for about ten minutes to settle up. While the juices were settling, I poured the now baked marinade into a measuring cup. I let the fat rise to the surface, skimmed it off the top, and then reduced the marinade in a pan on the stove top for just a few minutes. The chicken alone was delicious, but with a little of the sauce poured over it, it took it to a whole new level!
After a busy day, we were able to enjoy our cozy, roast chicken dinner together. The girls even loved slurping up the roasted oranges and lemons! As expected, we had two whole chicken breasts left over for another day. I think I hear chicken salad calling my name for lunch!
CITRUS-MARINATED ROASTED CHICKEN
Adapted from Fine Cooking
- 3 Tbsp. olive oil
- 4 lbs. chicken parts (breasts with rib bones, leg-thigh pieces)
- 2 large lemons
- 1 large orange
- 4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
- 1 Tbsp. dried oregano
- 1½ Tbsp. soy sauce
- 2 tsp. honey
- ¼ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
- kosher salt and black pepper
- Pour the olive oil into a heavy roasting pan that is large enough to accommodate the chicken parts in one layer. Arrange the chicken in the pan (if using mixed parts, breasts in the middle and legs/wings around the edge).
- Cut one lemon into six wedges. Juice and zest the other lemon into a small bowl. Cut the orange in half. Slice one half into wedges. Zest and juice the other half and add this to the lemon juice/zest. Scatter the lemon and orange wedges around the chicken in the pan. Do not place them on top of the chicken, but nestle them down in, so that they don't interfere with the browning when you bake it up.
- Stir the oregano, garlic, honey, soy sauce, and pepper flakes into the lemon/orange juice mixture. Pour the marinade evenly over the chicken. Cover and refrigerate, turning the chicken occasionally, for at least 6 hours and up to 12.
- Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 425*.
- Turn the chicken pieces in the pan so they are all skin side up. Sprinkle with kosher salt and pepper. Roast the chicken for 20 minutes, and then reduce the heat to 375*. Continue to roast until chicken is golden brown and cooked through, about 30 minutes.
- Transfer the chicken and citrus to a platter. Pour the pan juices into a measuring cup and let it set for a minute until the fat rises to the surface. Skim the fat from the sauce and pour the juices into a 10-inch skillet. Bring to a boil and simmer over medium high heat until reduced just a bit, about 5 minutes.
- Serve the chicken with the citrus wedges and pan juices.