Citrus and Rosemary Roast Chicken

Main Dish, Poultry | 23 comments

I love being able to roast a whole chicken this time of year. I know, I can buy one already roasted at the store. But you know what? I don’t think they taste as good and it’s really not that hard to do it myself. And if you still need convincing, you can completely customize the flavors of your chicken when you cook it at home and guarantee that you eat it at it’s freshest. This Citrus and Rosemary Roast Chicken was so moist and flavorful. We enjoyed it last week for dinner along with some potatoes and Maple and Bacon Brussel Sprouts.

citrus rosemary roast chicken

Another thing I love when roasting a whole chicken is using the leftover meat for an entirely new meal the next day. I wasn’t able to take photos, but we used the leftover meat from this recipe for panini sandwiches the next day: whole wheat bread, chicken, bacon, provolone, caramelized red onion, and avocado. SO GOOD!

The Citrus Rosemary Chicken is adapted from a recipe for Lemon and Oregano Chicken I found on Simple Bites. I’ve also made that recipe – which we really loved as well. Again, no photos. dinner was late that day and we were too rushed to bother with that. I used the leftovers from the Lemon Oregano Chicken in a Mediterranean Pasta Recipe. I’m all for leftovers, but sometimes it’s really enjoyable to take the leftovers and turn them into something completely new. I think roast chicken is the perfect tool for that.

citrus roasted chicken

Citrus and Rosemary Roast Chicken

adapted from Simple Bites

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1 whole organic chicken, patted dry (about 5 lbs)
1/4 cup loosely packed fresh rosemary leaves
one orange, zested
one lemon, zested
juice of 1 lemon
juice of half and orange
4 garlic cloves, peeled
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon sea salt
1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper


In a small food processor, combine rosemary, lemon zest, lemon juice, orange zest, orange juice, and garlic. Pulse a few times until it looks like pesto. Add olive oil, salt and pepper and pulse to combine.

Using your hands, rub lemon-oregano marinade all over chicken. Using your fingers, gently lift the skin on either side of the neck and rub plenty of marinade directly onto the breast meat, under the skin. Don’t forget to get some inside the cavity (where the organs were).

Refrigerate for 2-8 hours to allow the marinade to infuse the meat. Remove from fridge about an hour before cooking.

Preheat oven to 450°F. Place chicken in roasting pan breast side up and place in oven. If desired, place small red potatoes all around the chicken and brush them with olive oil or melted butter. Roast for ten minutes. Reduce heat to 400°F and roast about 1 hour and 45 minutes, checking for doneness after 1 1/4 hours.

Remove from oven, cover loosely with aluminum foil and let stand 20 minutes before slicing.

Katie Goodman

About the Author:

Katie’s lifelong interest in cooking good food has shown her that part of the goodness in life is enjoying delicious food with friends and family. She is: Mom. Writer. Photographer. Recipe Developer. Website Founder. Lover of all things good in life. A mix of great recipes, family memories, and yummy photography is what Katie serves up each week at GoodLife Eats™. Katie and her family reside in Colorado.

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  • 1
    Kristen - November 12, 2010 @ 6:39 am

    I agree – a whole chicken is the perfect stretch it meal. Looks good!


  • 2
    Estela @ Weekly Bite - November 12, 2010 @ 6:41 am

    I love roast chicken!! I agree as well… we eat it all week when I cook it!


  • 3
    Liz @ Blog is the New Black - November 12, 2010 @ 6:46 am

    This looks amazing! It reminds me of Ina’s recipe.


  • 4
    Holly - November 12, 2010 @ 6:46 am

    I love roast chicken and now that the weather has cooled down I’ve been roasting one almost every weekend. Yum!


  • 5
    Aimee @ Simple Bites - November 12, 2010 @ 7:07 am

    Love this winter version, Katie. My oregano has died off in the cold, but I have brought my rosemary in the house to winter, so it is the fresh herb of choice for the next few months.


  • 6
    Lyndsey - November 12, 2010 @ 7:53 am

    I agree totally! I think the already roasted store bought chicken is fine when you are in a pinch for a meal, but there is nothing like home in your own oven roasted chicken. Funny I just posted one I my site, nothing out of the ordinary, but it sure tasted good! I love using rosemary in my chicken(I always have a rosemary bush in my yard to clip some fresh off from).
    Your potatoes look awesome too! Yum!


  • 7
    Laura - November 12, 2010 @ 8:44 am

    Been waiting for you to post this one so I could try it. YUM! Roasted chickens are the best.


  • 8
    Rachel - November 12, 2010 @ 3:55 pm

    That looks and sounds absolutely delicious! I’m always up for a new chicken recipe.


  • 9
    Melanie Flinn - November 12, 2010 @ 3:57 pm

    Funny, I was going to post a roast chicken recipe soon! A family recipe but my pics didn’t turn out as nice as yours! Love your blog….am new to blogging myself but so far I’m really enjoying it!


  • 10
    Amber | Bluebonnets & Brownies - November 12, 2010 @ 4:00 pm

    I love this. Whenever we roast a whole chicken, we can literally eat off of it for an entire week (there are only 2 of us). Mmmm rosemary and chicken.


  • 11
    Amy - November 12, 2010 @ 5:33 pm

    Great post! I’m looking to make some changes in my own eating habits and learning to cook, so I appreciate your insight a lot! Thank you. I recently stumbled upon this blog like I did yours and I thought your readers may appreciate it:

    I’ve started to look for blog help more regularly and I think I’m going to add your blog to my list as well. Thanks for the post!



  • 12
    Katrina (gluten free gidget) - November 13, 2010 @ 4:22 am

    There is nothing like roasting a whole chicken! It feels so domestic and home-y!


  • 13
    alta - November 13, 2010 @ 5:22 am

    I personally love to roast a chicken. It’s a great skill to master – and it’s honestly not that hard, like you say. It’s also so much better than those wrinkled ones in the store, especially if you want to just eat it, and not use the meat in something else. I always roast 2 so I have lots of leftover meat. (And I save the carcasses for stock!) They’re super-economical.


  • 14
    Jenn from Much to My Delight - November 13, 2010 @ 5:54 am

    That is one perfect looking dinner. I’d like to reserve my spot at your house for Thanksgiving now. Muchas gracias.


  • 15
    Cookin' Canuck - November 13, 2010 @ 9:52 am

    There is nothing better than a home-roasted chicken. And you’re right – it couldn’t be simpler. This recipe looks as though it turns out a moist, tender chicken. Lovely!


  • 16
    Shaina - November 13, 2010 @ 4:53 pm

    We love roasting chickens here. It’s such an easy meal, and it’s perfect for warming up the house on a cold day.


  • 17
    Wallache - November 14, 2010 @ 6:49 pm

    Awesome!!! Great pictures, and the text, and congrats on FP.


  • 18
    kenny - November 15, 2010 @ 4:48 am

    Excellent. Thank you very much for taking the time to share with those who are starting on the subject. Greetings.


  • 19
    Stephanie Meyer (Fresh Tart) - November 15, 2010 @ 7:35 am



  • 20
    Jehancancook - November 15, 2010 @ 7:43 am

    I love the simplicity of this dish. Just down home goodness!


  • 21
    Kathy - Panini Happy - November 15, 2010 @ 8:16 am

    What a lovely meal! I’ve got a chicken waiting to be roasted tomorrow night. I’ll roast some root vegetables along with it, but next time I’ll have to break out the brussels sprouts. :-)


  • 22
    M - November 15, 2010 @ 9:28 am

    I wish I had of seen your roast chicken recipe sooner, I did a chicken on the weekend and yours sure looks way better than what I made. Next time, thanks.


  • 23
    make my day - November 17, 2010 @ 12:06 am

    I totally agree that roasting a chook is great and perfect for using the leftover for the next day in a different meal. I usually roast 2 becuase 1 doesn’t quite make it around the table here but 2 leaves just enough for a rice dish or a sclad plumped up with chicken. What a lovely pesto/marinade! cheers kari


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