Roast chicken with citrus and herbs? It has my name written all over it! As far back as I can remember, Sunday supper with Mom’s Orange Juice Chicken was a meal I looked forward to all week—and I was one picky eater back then.
Crisp, tangy, and succulent citrus rosemary chicken, seasoned Mediterranean-style with garlic, rosemary, and oregano, and covered in a bold wine and orange marinade. I mean, what’s not to like? This simple twist on roast chicken makes a dish with the perfect balance of savory, tangy, and warm flavors! Delicious and impressive with little work involved. Who’s not with me now?
The citrus marinade in this recipe is made of a combination of wine, orange juice, lime juice, olive oil, tomato paste for color and umami, and fresh garlic, onions, rosemary, and other Mediterranean spices.
According to chef Suzy Karadsheh of The Mediterranean Dish food blog, “The key to great flavor here is to allow the chicken a good 1 to 2 hours in the marinade (refrigerated), and make sure to lift up the chicken skin to spoon some of the garlicky, citrus marinade underneath. If you only have a few minutes, leave the chicken to marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes or so.”
Now you can use a whole chicken and cut it up saving the neck, back and wingtips for homemade stock—which is our typical rodeo—however, this time we purchased precut bone-in, skin-on breasts and thighs. They were well-salted inside and outside the skin, left uncovered in the refrigerator overnight, and marinated for 2 hours prior to cooking.
Once the chicken is out of the oven, allow it 10 minutes to rest before slicing and serving. Then get ready to be amazed! This dish definitely evokes warm, childhood memories, but at a more advanced level, and with more depth of flavor.
Citrus Rosemary Chicken
- 1 whole chicken, split in half through the backbone; or pre-cut parts (about 3 ½ pounds)
- Kosher salt
- 1 cup Pinot Noir
- 1 orange zested and juiced plus 1 sliced orange
- 1 lime juiced, plus 1 sliced lime
- Extra virgin olive oil
- 3 Tbsp. tomato paste
- 1 ½ tsp. dried oregano
- 1 tsp. dried rosemary
- 1 tsp. sweet paprika
- 1 tsp. Aleppo pepper
- 7 to 8 garlic cloves minced
- 1 yellow onion halved and sliced
- 1 Tbsp. honey
- Season the chicken with kosher salt on all sides, making sure to season underneath the skin as well. (You can do this one night ahead of time and keep the chicken in the fridge to air-chill uncovered.)
- Prepare the citrus marinade. In a large bowl, add the wine, orange juice and zest, lime juice, 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, tomato paste, spices, and a good dash of kosher salt. Add the garlic and onion. Whisk to combine.
- Add the chicken and toss to coat, making sure to lift the skin up and spoon some of the marinade underneath (this will give you more flavor). Set aside at room temperature for 30 minutes. Alternatively, cover and refrigerate for an hour or two. (For best results, take it out of the fridge and leave the chicken at room temperature for 30 to 45 minutes before cooking.)
- Preheat the oven to 425°F and adjust a rack in the middle.
- Transfer the chicken and the marinade to a braising pan. Roast uncovered for 30 minutes, then carefully turn the pan 180 degrees and roast for another 15 minutes or until the chicken is fully cooked and tender (juices should run clear).
- In a small bowl, mix together the honey with 1 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil. Carefully remove the chicken from the oven and brush the top with the honey and olive oil mixture.
- Switch the oven to the broil function. Return the chicken back to the oven about 6 inches away from the broiler and cook briefly for 3 to 4 minutes, watching for the skin to turn a nice golden brown.
- Remove from the heat and finish with lime juice. Add slices of fresh orange and wedges of lime.
Recipe from The Mediterranean Dish