I love making a whole roast chicken. Lemon and rosemary is always a favorite flavour combo, as is a really garlicy pesto and roasting a chicken stuffed with homemade preserved lemons is to die for. But you want to know the secret to a juicy, moist and flavourful chicken? Buy free-run organic. That’s it. Ever since I saw the documentary, The Corporation, I decided that I could make some small life choices and buying organic free-run chicken would be one such ethical choice. I’ve been happy ever since! It may cost a few dollars more, but it’s worth every penny.
So now that you’ve got your plump and juicy free-range chicken, you need to boost that goodness with some flavour. My local grocer had blood oranges dirt cheap, so I bought a whole bag full and decided to use some of that flavour to enhance my chicken. The results were stunning and the gravy I made from the pan juices were incredible.
blood orange & rosemary roast chicken with roast vegetables
1 free-run organic roast chicken
1 T kosher salt
1 T dried rosemary
1 blood orange, zested & quartered
4 cloves garlic
1 small onion, quartered
2 T olive oil
3 large carrots, cut into large 2 inch chunks
4 potatoes, cut into quarters
dried rosemary, salt & pepper
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Rinse and pat dry chicken. Rub chicken inside and out with the orange quarters. Set aside orange husks.
2. In a small bowl, combine salt, pepper and orange zest. Rub the salt mixture under the skin, inside the cavity, and over the skin. Stuff the chicken with the orange husks, garlic and onion.
3. Add half the olive oil to the bottom of a roasting pan or a rectangular baking dish. Swirl about the carrots and potatoes in the olive oil and sprinkle with some salt, pepper, and rosemary. Move the vegetables to the perimeter of the pan. Add the chicken breast side up in the middle and drizzle the leftover olive oil over top. Roast chicken in oven for 1 hr or until juices run clear. Serve.