Roast Chicken with Citrus & Thyme

Roast Chicken with Citrus & Thyme

2 Reviews
From: EatingWell Magazine, March/April 1995

The combination of citrus and thyme infuses both chicken and gravy with a fresh herb flavor.

Ingredients 6 servings

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  • 1 orange, cut in half
  • 1 lemon, cut in half
  • 1 7-to-8-pound roasting chicken, giblets and neck reserved
  • Salt & freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 8 cloves garlic, peeled and cut in half lengthwise, divided
  • 8 sprigs fresh thyme, divided
  • 2 onions, coarsely chopped
  • 2 carrots, coarsely chopped
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 1½ cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch dissolved in 2 tablespoons cold water


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  1. To roast the chicken: Place oven rack at the lowest position. Preheat oven to 425°F.
  2. Cut 1 orange half and 1 lemon half into wedges. Squeeze the juice from the remaining halves into a small bowl and set aside. Remove any excess fat from chicken. Rinse the chicken with cold water and pat dry. Season the cavity with salt and pepper and stuff it with the orange wedges, lemon wedges, 4 pieces of garlic and 2 thyme sprigs. Tie the legs together with butcher's twine and tuck the wing tips under the back.
  3. Working from the edge of the cavity, gently lift the skin covering the breast, taking care not to tear it, and place a thyme sprig between the flesh and the skin on either side of the breastbone.
  4. Scatter onions, carrots, the remaining garlic cloves and thyme sprigs in the bottom of a roasting pan. Chop giblets and add to the pan; place neck in pan as well.
  5. Set the chicken on the vegetable mixture in the roasting pan and season with salt and pepper. Roast the chicken for 20 minutes.
  6. Lower the oven temperature to 325 degrees and continue roasting, basting occasionally with the reserved citrus juice, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh registers 180°F, about 1½ hours longer. Tip the chicken and let the juices run into the roasting pan. Transfer the chicken to a platter and tent with foil to keep warm.
  7. To make the gravy: Place the roasting pan on the stove. Add wine and bring to a boil over high heat. Cook, stirring constantly, for 5 minutes, scraping up any brown bits clinging to the bottom of the pan. Add broth and simmer for 5 minutes more. Strain the mixture through a fine sieve into a bowl. Let stand for 5 minutes to allow the fat to rise to the surface. Using a bulb baster, transfer the juices to a saucepan (leaving the fat behind) and bring to a boil over medium heat. Add mustard and the dissolved cornstarch; whisk until thickened. Season with salt and pepper.
  8. Remove the twine from the chicken and carve, discarding the skin. Serve with the gravy.

Nutrition information

  • Per serving: 241 calories; 5 g fat(1 g sat); 1 g fiber; 5 g carbohydrates; 41 g protein; 14 mcg folate; 109 mg cholesterol; 2 g sugars; 0 g added sugars; 1,608 IU vitamin A; 7 mg vitamin C; 32 mg calcium; 2 mg iron; 195 mg sodium; 439 mg potassium
  • Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin A (32% daily value)
  • Carbohydrate Servings: ½
  • Exchanges: ½ vegetable, 6 lean meat

Reviews 2

January 05, 2014
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By: EatingWell User
Easy and delicious This is a simple recipe to follow and we make this once a month in our house. We don't add the giblets, nor do we make the gravy--fantastic without both. We do, when the chicken is roasted and cooled a bit, cut all the meat off the bones then toss the meat back in the pan to incorporate all the juices and flavors into the meat. The chicken stays very moist this way and extra flavorful. My kids always complain about dry chicken--but never with this added step! We then use leftover chicken for chicken tacos. Definitely a solid favorite in our house. Pros: Simple, easy to prepare, and makes more than one meal for a family of four Cons: Time to roast (but worth it)
April 04, 2012
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By: EatingWell User
Succulent Bird! I made this back in 1995 when it appeared in EW's first incarnation. It is now 2012, and this recipe has been in heavy rotation for casual, but special dinners ever since. As written above, the gravy is different. It is still very good, but in my opinion, you don't need it, because the bird tastes fantastic without it. Pros: Easy & delicious Cons: The gravy is different
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