Roast citrus chicken

roast citrus chicken

Whole chickens are still better value than chicken fillets. However we can’t always afford the more flavoursome organic and/or corn fed free range chickens.

Don’t despair as nutritionally there is very little difference between them (tip – check source, making sure to buy as local as possible), flavours can be bland in cheaper chickens.

Much can be done to improve flavours however, my favourite including lemon, limes and oranges. These fruits give the chicken and gravy a delicious sharp citrus taste which compliments roast winter vegetables.

Approx price: £6.05 or £1.51 per portion

Serves: 6

Total time: 130 minutes


  • 2.5 kg chicken
  • 2 onions
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 orange
  • 1 lime
  • 1 thyme
  • 50 g butter or Flora Green
  • 2 tablespoon plain flour
  • 500 mls vegetable water or chicken stock


  • Oven Temperature: 325ºF – 160ºC – Gas Mark 3 – Moderate
  • Without peeling the onions, cut each in half
  • Place two halves of the onion and half the lemon, lime, orange and thyme on a roasting tin
  • Place the chicken on top
  • Insert the rest of the onion, lemon, lime, orange and thyme into the cavity of the chicken along with the rest of the onion and thyme
  • Spread the butter over the surface of the chicken. Shake the cracked pepper over the butter
  • Cover in foil and place in the oven for 40 minutes per kg. Remove the foil 30 minutes before end of the cooking time to create a rich golden brown surface
  • Remove the onions, thyme and fruit from chicken cavity and roasting tin. Remove the chicken from the tin
  • To make the gravy, remove as much fat as possible from the sediments in the roasting tin. Use a slotted spoon or kitchen paper
  • Place 2 tablespoon of plain flour into the roasting tin with the sediments. Stir carefully, add 500 mls water the vegetables were cooked in, alternatively add chicken stock
  • Making sure that the liquid is well stirred into the thickened sediments, place the roasting tin on the hob. Stirring continuously, stir until the gravy thickens. Taste, season as required
  • Strain the gravy, serve with the sliced chicken, roast winter vegetables and a green vegetable of your choice