The bonus here is my homemade chicken rub recipe that you can make and store for future use! It's preservative free and absolutely fantastic. I use it by itself or as a base for BBQ, and in this case to season a chicken before I covered it with delicious fresh Florida citrus.
You know I'm always looking for new orange recipes to try when we get our lake oranges every year around Christmas. Plus a good friend has the most amazing lemon tree that just produces and produces, so we always look forward to her lemons around the same time! This chicken dish looks fancy and tastes like you put in a lot of effort, without taking too much time. I prepped it ahead and refrigerated until I was ready to bake it. It doesn't need to marinate, but at least 30 min in the fridge allows a little time for the flavors to really enhance. It can be prepped the night before or moments before baking. Topping it with dried herbs adds great flavor, but if you have fresh herbs on hand (hint, hint Tower Garden) WOWZA! You really can't go wrong!
2T olive oil
6 cloves garlic
2 lemons, one juiced, one sliced in rounds
2 oranges, one juiced, one sliced in rounds
1 1/2 T Chicken rub, recipe below
One onion, sliced in rings
1T dried or fresh rosemary, chopped
1t dried or fresh thyme, chopped
1T fresh chopped parsley or 1t dried, reserved
1T sugar or honey, OPTIONAL (I didn't use because we like a tart sauce)
1T corn or tapioca starch and 1/2c broth if you plan on turning the drippings into gravy. The chicken tastes great without it, but who doesn't love gravy if you have an extra minute?!
Preheat oven to 425. Using a handheld stick blender or bullet, blend together the olive oil, garlic and juice. Spread your citrus rounds and onion slices along the bottom of a large glass baking dish and lay the butterflied chicken on top, skin side up. Pour the marinade you just mixed over the entire chicken, then sprinkle the chicken rub over the top. Make sure you cover all the chicken parts. Sprinkle the fresh or dried rosemary and thyme over the top. Mmm, smells so good.
Roast the dish uncovered in the oven for 45 min to an hour, until juice run clear. I use a meat thermometer between the thigh and drum to check temperature and remove from the oven when it hits 160. If you're making the gravy, drain the juice into a sauce pan first, then immediately cover the chicken to rest for 10-15 min before slicing and serving. While it's resting, bring your juice in the sauce pan to bubbling over medium heat. Dissolve your corn starch in the cold broth, then pour while whisking into the bubbling broth. Give it a minute or two to thicken, then pour over chicken, sprinkle with parsley and serve.
FREEZER MEAL TIP: I would use cut up pieces of bone-in chicken instead of a butterflied whole chicken, just for storage space reasons. Leave the citrus and onion slices out and cut fresh the day of cooking. I would also blend the herbs right into your marinade mix instead of sprinkling on. Thaw before baking.
Chicken Rub Recipe
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon ground thyme
2 teaspoons dried sage
1 1/2 teaspoons ground black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons dried rosemary
Blend all ingredients in a coffee or spice grinder until well blended. Store in an airtight container. I prefer glass. Note: homemade seasonings can cake together because there's no anti-binding agents or preservatives. Tapping the jar or container on my hand or counter usually loosens it right up to use again. This recipe can be doubled or tripled to store more if you use it often.