I hit the jackpot the other day at my local grocery store when I found organic whole chickens at half price. That’s quite a bargain, because usually those little girls are around $17 each! Needless to say, I loaded up my shopping cart with every one of them to toss into the freezer.
I’m always looking for new ways to prepare chicken, and while perusing my favorite magazine “Fine Cooking“, I came across this recipe that was a perfect way to use a couple of my chickens and also some of my Meyer Lemons from my tree. Since the chicken needs to marinate 6-12 hours (better if overnight), it’s not something to whip up on a weeknight. But for a leisurely Sunday dinner, it’s perfect. My guys said it was one of the best chicken dishes they’ve ever had. The citrus flavored sauce it creates is absolutely delicious!
Citrus-Marinated Roasted Chicken
Fine Cooking Magazine, Serves 6Printable Recipe
Ingredients:1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 4-lb. whole chickens, each cut into 6 pieces (4 breasts with rib bones, 4 leg-thigh pieces, 4 wings)
4 large lemons
2 large oranges
8 medium cloves garlic, chopped
3 Tbs. chopped fresh oregano (or 1 Tbs. dried, crumbled)
3 Tbs. soy sauce
1 Tbs. honey
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preparation:Pour olive oil into large enough “non-reactive” roasting pan to hold all the chicken in one layer. Arrange the breasts in the center with the legs and wings around the edge.Zest one of the lemons to yield about a teaspoon of zest and transfer it to a bowl. Cut 1 of the lemons into 6 wedges, and squeeze the remaining lemons to yield 2/3 cup juice. Cut 1 of the oranges into 8 wedges and zest the remaining orange to yield about 1 teaspoon, then squeeze the orange to yield about 1/2 cup juice. Add to the bowl. Scatter the lemon and orange wedges around the chicken pieces taking care not to put them on top of the chicken so they don’t interfere with browning.Stir the garlic, oregano, soy sauce, honey, and pepper flakes into the bowl with the citrus juice. Pour the marinade evenly over the chicken. Cover with plastic and refrigerate, turning the chicken pieces occasionally, for at least 6 hours and up to 12 hours.Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 425°F.Turn the chicken so all the pieces are skin side up. Sprinkle with 1 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. pepper. Roast for 20 minutes, and then reduce the heat to 375°F and continue to roast until the chicken is golden-brown and cooked through, about 30 minutes.
Transfer the chicken with the lemon and orange wedges to a platter. Pour the pan juice into a fat separator and let sit until the fat rises to the top. Discard the excess fat and pour the juice into a 10-inch skillet. Boil over medium-high heat until reduced to 1-1/2 cups, about 10 minutes.
Serve the chicken with the citrus wedges, passing the reduced pan juice at the table.