Orange Lacquered Roast Chicken
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Yield: 6 to 8 servings
  • One 5 lb organic chicken
  • Orange Butter (recipe follows)
  • 2 sprigs parsley
  • 2 sprigs rosemary
  • 4 sprigs thyme
  • Cut up oranges (use the ones you squeezed for the orange lacquer, plenty of orange flavor left in them)
  • kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper
  • Orange Lacquer (recipe follows)
Orange Butter
  • 1 stick (4oz) unsalted, room temperature butter
  • 1 tablespoon grated orange zest
  • 1 clove garlic, minced finely
  • pinch of kosher salt
Orange Lacquer
  • 1 cup fresh squeezed orange juice (about 6 to 8 navel or navel sized oranges. Save the squeezed orange halves to stuff into cavity of chicken)
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
  • 1 scant tablespoon freshly grated ginger
  • 2 large cloves garlic, chopped very finely, almost to a paste
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil (regular sesame oil is fine)
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  1. Grate all the zest you will need in this recipe from your oranges, then split them in half and keep squeezing until you get 1 cup of juice. Save squeezed orange halves and set aside the zest and juice.
  2. In a medium bowl, stir together the butter, garlic,one tablespoon of orange zest, garlic, and kosher salt until creamy and uniform. Set aside.
  3. Remove giblets and neck from chicken, then rinse under cold water inside out. Dry thoroughly.
  4. Rub some of the orange butter all around the inside of the cavity, then salt and pepper it liberally. Stuff with all the herbs and as many orange halves as you can fit into the cavity. Truss the chicken. THIS is the method I use..quick and easy. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  5. Rub the rest of the orange compound butter all over the chicken, inside and out, lifting the skin where you can without tearing and sliding some in, then placing the skin back down and pushing it around on top of the skin until it covers most of the meat beneath. Throw any leftover compound butter into the cavity (the hole is still big enough to get it in, even though it's trussed). Liberally salt and pepper the outside of the chicken.
  6. Place the chicken on a rack in a roasting pan. Pour a little chicken stock or water on the bottom of the pan for easier clean up and gravy, if desired, although this chicken doesn't need it.
  7. Place roasting pan with chicken in the preheated oven. Roast for 1 hour. Check every 20 minutes to make sure it isn't burning in spots. If it is, cover those spots with foil.
  8. While chicken is roasting, make orange lacquer. Place all the ingredients in a medium saucepan, except the sesame oil. Cook over medium heat until the brown sugar is disssolved, then bring to a boil, stirring. Let it reduce to almost half of what it was. It won't be super thick when done, more syrupy. Stir in sesame oil.
  9. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F. Paint several coats of the lacquer all over the chicken, getting into every nook and cranny with the brush. Roast for 15 minutes. Do this every 10-15 minutes for a total of 35-40 minutes or until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh registers 165 degrees F. If desired, cook/boil down (reduce) any remaining orange lacquer for a sauce, making a slurry of cornstarch and water to thicken it more, if need be.
  10. Remove from oven and let rest for 15-20 minutes (this is when you should take photos if you're a food blogger! ). Carve and enjoy! I served this chicken with glazed carrots and smoked paprika roasted potatoes. I also serve them with simple browned butter peas with mint, on occasion. If you really LOVE orange, how about maple orange roasted carrots? Hop shoots were a treat with this one night; brought by a friend!
Recipe by parsley sage sweet at