Citrus-Marinated Roasted Chicken

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


Ready to Marinate in the Fridge

Citrus-Marinated Roasted Chicken

Citrus-Marinated Roasted Chicken

Citrus-Marinated Roasted Chicken

Fine Cooking Magazine, Serves 6

 Printable Recipe


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


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.

 Liz’s Tidbits:

1.  If your chicken is not sufficiently browned, place under the broiler (watching carefully so as not to burn) until golden.

2 Responses

  1. Hello Liz – love your recipes and this looks fantastic aswell! – I just wondered about that metal dish which you have your marinading chicken in? – I was always led to believe that the acidity in marinade ingredients would bring out a metallic taste if you use a metal container for the marinade process ? – Whether it be citrus or vinegar it has an effect on the metal and therefore the flavour might cross over to the food – in this case, the chicken ? I always thought one had to use either a plastic or glass or china container? – I wonder about that and would love your comments? Carole

    • Hi Carole,
      Thanks so much for the comment! You are absolutely correct in that you should use a “non-reactive” metal roasting pan, and I’m going to amend my “preparation” instructions to specify that! Since I happen to use an “All-Clad” roasting pan, I know that it is coated with stainless steel (a non-reactive metal), but if you don’t have a non-reactive metal pan or don’t know if the one you have is actually non-reactive, then I would suggest using a large baking dish. Here are some links to help you know if your pan is actually non-reactive.

      Again, thank you for bringing that to my attention. Since not everyone uses All-Clad or other non-reactive cookware, it’s good to specify “Non-Reactive”. 🙂

      Happy Cooking!

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