Roasted Orange And Nutmeg Chicken Recipe

If you're looking for a hearty protein dinner to satiate your hunger, roast chicken is often the way to go. While you can pick up a rotisserie chicken from the supermarket, its flavor only goes so far. If the thought of cooking and seasoning a whole chicken feels intimidating, we promise that this roasted orange and nutmeg chicken recipe will ease any insecurities about the process.

Courtesy of Tasting Table recipe developer Julianne De Witt, this roasted chicken recipe is packed with flavor and versatile enough to pair with a wide range of side dishes. She says, "Chicken and oranges pair together wonderfully, and the addition of nutmeg makes this recipe a nice change from the usual Sunday roast chicken dinner." Just a few simple ingredients transform this basic protein into something worthy of a weeknight meal or dinner party. Serve it with roast potatoes to keep it classic or go for a less familiar root vegetable, such as parsnip or rutabaga. 

Gather the ingredients for this roasted orange and nutmeg chicken recipe

For this recipe, get a whole roasting chicken, kosher salt, fresh cracked pepper, a yellow onion, large oranges, freshly grated nutmeg, butter, honey, and garlic powder. If desired, De Witt suggests adding minced fresh tarragon for garnish.

She offers a few tips regarding her choice of ingredients, and starts by saying, "Chicken pieces could be used instead of a whole chicken." If you're cooking for one or don't want to handle a chicken carcass, this is a suitable option, too. As for the fruit, De Witt says, "I used Cara Cara oranges in this recipe because I love the bright, yellow-orange flesh and sweet tartness of the fruit. Navel oranges can be used, as well, although they are slightly more acidic than Cara Caras."

If you have a jar of ground nutmeg sitting around, you might be tempted to skip the fresh stuff. Although De Witt says that you can make the trade, she notes, "I recommend trying fresh grated nutmeg. Fresh grated nutmeg is more potent than ground nutmeg, so a little more may need to be added if you substitute." Just be careful not to overdo it, as De Witt remarks (factually), "Apparently nutmeg intake should be limited since it can cause hallucinations in higher doses."

Step 1: Preheat the oven

Preheat the oven to 400 F.

Step 2: Pat the chicken dry

Blot chicken with a paper towel to remove extra moisture.

Step 3: Season the chicken

Season chicken with salt and pepper.

Step 4: Prep the onion

Peel the onion, cut it in half, and slice into strips.

Step 5: Prep oranges

Cut two oranges into rounds.

Step 6: Juice an orange

Juice the remaining orange and reserve the rinds.

Step 7: Arrange onions

Place onions along the bottom of a baking dish or roasting pan.

Step 8: Arrange oranges

Lay orange rounds on top of the onions.

Step 9: Add chicken

Place the chicken on top of the oranges.

Step 10: Stuff chicken

Insert the orange rinds into the cavity of the chicken.

Step 11: Melt butter

Prepare the marinade by melting the butter over medium heat in a saucepan.

Step 12: Whisk the marinade

Add the honey, orange juice, and nutmeg and whisk together.

Step 13: Boil the marinade

Boil lightly until marinade has thickened slightly, approximately 2 minutes.

Step 14: Brush chicken with marinade

Allow the marinade to cool for a couple of minutes, then pour it over the chicken. Use a brush to spread the marinade evenly.

Step 15: Roast the meat

Roast the chicken for 15 minutes at 400 F.

Step 16: Season and baste

Remove chicken from the oven. Sprinkle over garlic powder and baste the chicken with the cooking liquid. If parts of the chicken are darkening more quickly, cover with foil to ensure even browning.

Step 17: Decrease oven temperature

Turn the oven temperature down to 350 F.

Step 18: Keep roasting

Return the chicken to the oven. Continue roasting for approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes, basting a couple more times, until the internal temperature reads 165 F.

Step 19: Rest the meat and serve

Allow chicken to rest for 15 minutes before carving and serving. Garnish with minced fresh tarragon, if desired.

What are some tips for making roasted orange and nutmeg chicken?

To be fair, there isn't too much to complicate here, as De Witt says that "This recipe is very easy." However, if you aren't used to handling a whole chicken and ensuring that it cooks properly, she offers some advice. "I would normally truss the chicken legs together and tuck the wings underneath, but the chicken I used was so chubby that I just kept an eye on the color and covered the wings and legs with foil when they reached the desired brownness." She also says, "Roasting at a higher temperature to begin with adds a nice color to the bird," though she decreases the temperature later to prevent the meat from drying out. 

Cooking chicken sufficiently is certainly a preoccupation, and there's a fine line between what's safe to eat and what's overcooked and dry. To remedy this issue, De Witt says to "use a meat thermometer to take the guesswork out." Further, the chicken is done when the legs can be easily removed and the juices run clear when pierced.

How can you serve roasted orange and nutmeg chicken?

There are plenty of ways to pair this roasted orange and nutmeg chicken recipe, whether you want to stick to traditional side dishes or try something novel. De Witt says, "I like to serve this with roasted fingerling potatoes and carrots or green beans." Mix it up with mashed potatoes, roasted sweet potatoes, parsnips, or even a rice pilaf with dried fruits and nuts. Other green vegetables, such as broccoli or even a simple spinach salad, make a great match, too.

While a whole chicken makes an impressive statement, you may want to consider prepping the meat before you bring it to the table. "For serving and presentation purposes, the chicken can be carved and placed on a platter with the cooked onions and orange slices," De Witt says. This way, you can easily serve a mix of meat and cooked onions without having to deal with the chicken carcass in the center of the table. 

Roasted Orange And Nutmeg Chicken Recipe
5 from 27 ratings
This roasted orange and nutmeg chicken will fill your home with delightful, wintry smells as the bird slowly cooks to crispy, citrusy perfection.
Prep Time
5
minutes
Cook Time
1.53
hours
Servings
5
servings
roast chicken with orange on gray plate
Total time: 1 hour, 37 minutes
Ingredients
  • 1 (3 ½–4 pound) whole roasting chicken
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, or more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon fresh cracked pepper, or more to taste
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 3 large oranges
  • 3 teaspoons fresh grated nutmeg
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
Optional Ingredients
  • Minced fresh tarragon, for garnish
Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 F.
  2. Blot chicken with a paper towel to remove extra moisture.
  3. Season chicken with salt and pepper.
  4. Peel the onion, cut it in half, and slice into strips.
  5. Cut two oranges into rounds.
  6. Juice the remaining orange and reserve the rinds.
  7. Place onions along the bottom of a baking dish or roasting pan.
  8. Lay orange rounds on top of the onions.
  9. Place the chicken on top of the oranges.
  10. Insert the orange rinds into the cavity of the chicken.
  11. Prepare the marinade by melting the butter over medium heat in a saucepan.
  12. Add the honey, orange juice, and nutmeg and whisk together.
  13. Boil lightly until marinade has thickened slightly, approximately 2 minutes.
  14. Allow the marinade to cool for a couple of minutes, then pour it over the chicken. Use a brush to spread the marinade evenly.
  15. Roast the chicken for 15 minutes at 400 F.
  16. Remove chicken from the oven. Sprinkle over garlic powder and baste the chicken with the cooking liquid. If parts of the chicken are darkening more quickly, cover with foil to ensure even browning.
  17. Turn the oven temperature down to 350 F.
  18. Return the chicken to the oven. Continue roasting for approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes, basting a couple more times, until the internal temperature reads 165 F.
  19. Allow chicken to rest for 15 minutes before carving and serving. Garnish with minced fresh tarragon, if desired.
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 708
Total Fat 48.4 g
Saturated Fat 17.1 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 238.0 mg
Total Carbohydrates 24.0 g
Dietary Fiber 3.6 g
Total Sugars 18.3 g
Sodium 928.0 mg
Protein 44.1 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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