Citrus and Rosemary Roast Chicken

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


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.