This delicious Roasted Citrus Chicken is flavored with zesty ingredients like lemons and oranges, among other aromatics like fresh rosemary sprigs and parsley. It’s wonderfully easy to make, extra juicy and so tender!
Roasted Citrus Chicken
We totally get it – cooking a whole bird can be intimidating! The first time you roast a chicken, it can be daunting because it seems like so much can go wrong. However, we’ve simplified the steps for you in this tried and true recipe. Every time we roast a citrus chicken, it turns out absolutely perfect because of these simple steps!
The minimal effort here is SO worth the delicious results. The chicken meat is tender, juicy and never dried out, while also being so unbelievably full of flavor from all the citrus and herbs. And the seasoned, roasted chicken skin on the outside? Swoon.
Roasting a whole chicken is a great weeknight dinner for the family if you plan ahead on time. It requires little work up front by you, the rest is done by the oven. There’s enough for everyone, and we all get to pick our favorite parts of the bird!
While someone at the table might like drumsticks, another may want the wings, and there’s enough sliced breast meat to go around. It’s a similar experience to eating turkey on Thanksgiving, albeit there are much fewer leftovers!
However, if you do have leftover roasted chicken meat, be sure to use it in a sandwich or something else tasty. We have a lot of great recipes that use already cooked chicken that would make a great easy dinner the next night.
Here are a few of our favorite easy dinner ideas using already cooked chicken:
- Chicken, Spinach and Artichoke Baked Tortellini
- Chicken Skillet Enchiladas
- Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta
- Cajun Chicken Casserole
- White Chicken Lasagna Rollups
You only need a handful of ingredients and most of them are probably already in your kitchen:
- Chicken – Buy a 5-6 pound whole chicken with the giblets removed. Unless you’d like to remove the giblets yourself, of course – more power to you!
- Olive Oil – While extra virgin olive oil is preferred, avocado oil can be used in a pinch.
- Orange – Sliced into wedges.
- Lemon – Also sliced into wedges.
- Rosemary – Use fresh rosemary sprigs, not dried rosemary! The sprigs will provide the best flavor and aromatic experience.
- Parsley – Just like the rosemary, your parsley should be fresh.
- Salt and Pepper
- Garlic Powder – Toss a little extra in there if you want a more prominent garlicky flavor.
- Lemon Pepper – This seasoning is what makes the skin of the chicken so mouthwatering.
How to Roast a Chicken
Prepare your kitchen: Preheat your oven to 350°F. Then, grease a large cast iron skillet or shallow roasting pan with olive oil and set it aside. You can also use a 9×13 (or similar sized) casserole dish.
Prepare the chicken: Rinse the chicken and wash the inside cavity. Trim away any excess skin. Use paper towels to pat the chicken dry. Place chicken breast side up in the prepared roasting pan.
Make it flavorful: Coat chicken skin and the inside of the bird with olive oil. Cover with spices inside and out. Squeeze the juice from 1/2 of the lemon and 1/2 of the orange over the breasts of the chicken. Place citrus rinds in the pan with chicken.
Stuff it: Insert the remaining lemon slices, orange slices, parsley and rosemary into the cavity of the chicken. These are the aromatics that will help flavor your chicken. If you have extra space in side your bird, a roughly chopped onion or garlic cloves are always great added aromatics as well.
Roast: Roast uncovered for about 1 hour and 20 minutes, until chicken is cooked through and reaches an internal temperature of 165°F. You can estimate about 20 minutes of baking time per pound of chicken.
JUICY TIP: Want to keep your chicken juicy? Use a meat thermometer! It’s the only way to guarantee you have baked your chicken to the exact temperature needed. You will never have a dry chicken again, if you use a meat thermometer while cooking it.
How to use a meat thermometer: Insert your meat thermometer deep into the chicken breast, but making sure not to touch bone, and cook chicken until it reaches 165°F.
Tips for Roasted Citrus Chicken
- Temperature: ALWAYS use a thermometer to watch the temperature of chicken as you roast it, especially if it’s a whole chicken like this. The meat needs to reach 165°F before it’s safe to serve, any higher than that and you will wind up with dried out chicken.
- Gravy: The juice/gravy that gathers at the bottom of the baking dish is absolutely mouthwatering. We like to pour it onto the chicken right before serving for some added flavor! You can also thicken it with flour to create a homemade chicken gravy.
- Oil: Don’t be shy with the olive oil when coating your chicken.
- Better than a candle: Your kitchen is going to smell like an herbaceous, citrusy heaven as you bake this chicken, so enjoy it! That’s it, that’s the tip. Enjoy the smells!
Can I Prep The Chicken Ahead Of Time?
Yes! Absolutely, you can prep the chicken, including seasonings and stuffing with aromatics up to 24 hours ahead. Wrap it tightly with Saran Wrap and refrigerate it.
Before you are ready to roast the chicken, remove it from the fridge and let it rest on the counter for 30 minutes to warm up. Then bake as directed in the recipe!
Roasted Citrus Chicken
- 5-6 pound whole chicken, giblets removed
- 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 orange, sliced into wedges
- 1 lemon, sliced into wedges
- 3 fresh rosemary sprigs
- Fresh parsley
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon lemon pepper
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a large cast iron skillet or shallow roasting pan with olive oil, set aside.
- Rinse chicken and wash cavity. Trim away excess skin. Use paper towels to pat chicken dry. Place chicken breast side up in a prepared roasting pan.
- Coat chicken skin and the inside of the bird with olive oil. Cover with spices inside and out. Squeeze the juice from 1/2 of the lemon and 1/2 of the orange over the breasts of the chicken. Place citrus rinds in the pan with chicken.
- Insert the remaining lemon slices, orange slices, parsley and rosemary into the cavity of the chicken.
- Roast uncovered for about 1 hour and 20 minutes, until chicken is cooked through.
- Use a meat thermometer inserted deep into the breast, but making sure not to touch bone, and cook chicken until it reaches 165°F. You can estimate about 20 minutes of baking time per pound of chicken.
- Remove chicken and oven and let rest for 5 minutes, then slice and serve as desired.
Be a winner, and make more delicious easy chicken dinners!
Here are a few reader favorite chicken recipes you don’t want to miss: