It was three years ago when I first made this baked herbed two-citrus chicken. Speedy’s birthday and Father’s Day fell on the same day and our kitchen was busy as a beehive.
As a prelude, I’ve baked the perfect custard cake. I asked Speedy if there was anything special he wanted for his birthday weekend. He said chicken a la king, a dish that his mother used to cook for him on his birthday. My mother-in-law was in already her 80s then and didn’t do any cooking anymore so I made chicken a la king for birthday boy.
And then, there was this baked herbed two-citrus chicken. It’s a perfect party dish.
Assemble everything in a baking dish, stick in a pre-heated oven for an hour and serve. It is so delicious, the aroma is so wonderful and the chicken meat is tender and moist and full of citrusy and herby flavors.
See the transformation!
Based on a recipe from The Comfort of Cooking.
- 1 whole chicken about 1.5 kg.
- 1 tablespoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- 1 lemon
- 1 orange
- 1 onion
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
- ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
- ½ teaspoon fennel seeds
- 3 tablespoon olive oil
Preheat the oven to 350F.
Rinse the chicken and pat dry. Cut off the breast and reserve for another dish (I used mine for the chicken a la king). Chop the remaining parts into six to eight portions. Rub with salt, pepper and paprika. Arrange in a single layer in a baking dish.
Slice the lemon and orange. Insert the slices between the chicken pieces, distributing as evenly as you can.
Thinly slice the onion and scatter over the chicken and citruses.
Lightly pound the garlic (no need to peel) and add to the chicken.
Sprinkle in the rosemary, thyme and fennel seeds.
Drizzle in the olive oil.
Bake, uncovered, in a pre-heated 350F oven for an hour.
By the end of one hour, the juices of the lemon, orange and chicken would have become a sauce at the bottom of the pan. The chicken pieces soak up some of these juices during baking and that makes them really moist. Give and take, kind of. The chicken expels water but soaks up what the fruits render. Just wonderful.