As my children were growing up I’d ask what do you want for supper this week? many times they’d say Orange chicken. This orange rosemary roast chicken recipe turns out a juicy, tender chicken every time and is an all-time favorite of the family.
Originally, my roast chickens were dry and dry chickens don’t taste that great. After looking in some cookbooks I found several recipes included putting a cut up lemon in the chicken cavity. I tried this, and it worked, my chickens weren’t as dry. One day, uh oh, no lemons in the house, but I did have mandarin oranges. Eureka! “Orange chicken” was born.
Why make Orange Rosemary Roast Chicken
Roast chicken sounds hard to make, but this orange rosemary roast chicken recipe is easy. It’s also a great stock dish to put into your menu planning rotation.
Save the bones from the chicken and freeze them for later use when making chicken bone broth. If you have a large family roast two chickens at the same time. The first chicken for dinner and the second for a quick meal later in the week.
Roasting a whole chicken is much cheaper than buying only breasts, only chicken legs or quarters for a meal. It also only takes a few minutes to throw together.
Getting the roast chicken prepared the night before work and having it ready to go in the oven is a great idea. Leave a note in the kitchen for the times the oven needs to be preheated and the chicken needs to be put in the oven. My oldest son would do the honors and we could even have roast chicken during the week.
Benefit of an Herb Garden
Having a small herb garden has wonderful benefits, anytime you need fresh herbs just go outside and cut what you need. Growing rosemary thyme, oregano, parsley and basil isn’t that hard. This is coming from someone who kills cactus. If you don’t have room, try growing your herbs in pots.
How to make Orange Rosemary Roast Chicken
Take the innards out of the chicken, rinse and pat dry. Bake the innards with the roast chicken and give to your pets. No need to waste any of the chicken.
Rub 1 -2 tablespoons of olive oil onto the chicken. In a small bowl mix the salt and pepper together. Sprinkle the salt mixture into the chicken cavity and then all over.
Slice the mandarin orange into 4 pieces and insert the orange and the fresh rosemary into the cavity of the chicken. Roast in a preheated oven for 1 ¼ hours.
When I first started making this type of roast chicken I would roast for 1 ½ hours. I’d take out the orange and rosemary and red blood would be sitting inside the cavity – yuck.
Now I take the chicken out of the oven after roasting for 1 ¼ hours and remove the orange and rosemary tilt the chicken so all those bloody juices fall into the pan. Put the chicken back into the oven and roast an additional 15 minutes.
Remove the chicken from the oven, loosely tent a large piece of foil over it and let it rest for 15 minutes. Voila! Amazing, juicy orange rosemary roast chicken!
ORANGE ROSEMARY ROAST CHICKEN
- 1 3-3 1/2 lb chicken free-range
- 2 -3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp salt or more to taste
- 1/2 tsp pepper or more to taste
- 1 mandarin orange sliced
- 1-2 sprigs rosemary fresh
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees2. Rinse and dry the free-range chicken. Rub the olive oil over chicken3. Mix the salt and pepper together in a small bowl. Sprinkle inside the cavity and over the chicken. 4. Insert the rosemary sprig and sliced mandarin orange into cavity.5. Roast the chicken in the preheated oven for 1 1/4 hours6. Remove chicken from the oven and remove the orange slices and rosemary, Throw away. Tilt the chicken to drain out the bloody juices in the cavity. Put back in the oven for an additional 15 minutes. When the juices run clear at the thigh the chicken is done. Chicken should never be pink.7. Tent foil over the chicken to let the juices redistribute. Rest 15 minutes8. Carve