Just a heads up, this is not your orange chicken Chinese carryout that comprises battered and fried chicken chunks drenched in a gloppy, cloying sauce. No shade here, we love our carryout boo, but this is the sort of orange chicken that’s an easy and aromatic riff on roast chicken. Ham has it's honey baked and Della has her Honey Orange Glazed Roasted Chicken. And here's a secret from my lips to your heart: A roast chicken is always an impressive meal. It fills your home with heady smells, looks great on the table, and pleases all ages. This chicken is the most flavorful and juiciest chicken evaaaa! Get ready to prepare it over and over again.
Makes 6 servings
1 (5–6-pound) roasting chicken
2 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 orange, preferably organic, quartered
1 lemon, preferably organic, quartered
3 fresh thyme sprigs, plus 1 teaspoon of chopped fresh thyme leaves
2 fresh rosemary sprigs
1 garlic head, unpeeled, halved and broken into cloves
4 cups (32 ounces) homemade chicken stock or canned chicken broth
4 tablespoons of (2 ounces) unsalted butter
3 tablespoons of honey
3 tablespoons of brown sugar
1-3 teaspoons of all purpose flour, or as needed
1. Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).
2. Pat the chicken dry inside and out. Slice half of butter and 3 cloves of garlic and place underneath skin. Season the inside with 2 teaspoons salt and the pepper. Place as many of the orange and lemon quarters, garlic cloves, and herb sprigs in the cavity as will fit. Cross the legs one over the other or tie them together with kitchen string to hold the contents inside. Tuck the wings underneath the chicken as if it was putting its arms behind its head. Squeeze an orange quarter over the the chicken and rub the juice into the skin, then rub with remaining butter, honey and sprinkle and pat the chicken with the brown sugar.
3. Place the chicken, breast side up, in a roasting pan. Toss any remaining orange and lemon quarters, garlic, and herb sprigs in the pan. Roast until the chicken’s juices run clear when a thigh is pierced with a fork or an instant-read thermometer registers 160°F (71°C) when inserted into the thickest part of a thigh, 1 1/2 to 2 hours, depending on the size. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board, cover loosely with aluminum foil, and let rest for 10 minutes.
4. While the chicken rests, pour 1 cup stock into the roasting pan and stir to scrape up any browned bits from the bottom. Strain the pan juices through a fine-mesh sieve into a saucepan and place over low heat. Add the butter and the remaining 3 cups stock and swirl the pan gently until the butter melts. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of the flour over the liquid and whisk until it dissolves and the juices have thickened a little, 3 to 5 minutes. If a thicker sauce is desired, sprinkle the remaining 2 tablespoons flour, or more as needed, and whisk again.
5. Squeeze the juice from the orange and lemon quarters into the pan and cook, stirring, until the juices have thickened a little more and are glossy, about 5 minutes. The pan sauce should be thinner than a gravy and just lightly coat the back of a spoon. Stir in the chopped thyme. Taste and adjust the seasoning. (You’ll have ample pan sauce, but it’s lovely spooned over rice or potatoes or virtually anything else you can think to put on the same plate as this citrus roast chicken.)
6. Carve the roast chicken and arrange on a platter. Serve with the warm juices on the side.