Colorful & comforting seasonal recipes for savory dishes, sweets and cocktails. 

Blood Orange & Thyme Roasted Chicken with Pan Sauce and Roasted Blood Oranges

Blood Orange & Thyme Roasted Chicken with Pan Sauce and Roasted Blood Oranges

This recipe comes with great urgency because 1) blood oranges are back in season 2) the world doesn't have enough roast chicken recipes, but perhaps more likely 3) you might be hungry right now or considering dinner plans. Here we have a dry brined roasted chicken, the resulting pan sauce, and a sidekick of roasted blood oranges. Serve with wild rice, farrow, or salad greens. 

I'm all about brining chicken these days and this dry brine recipe using salt, garlic, blood orange zest, thyme and black pepper is too enthralling not to share. You can begin brining the chicken up to 3 days before roasting, but even a few hours will do wonders for crisping up the skin, packing flavor into the bird and sealing in the juices. 

A roasted chicken inevitably means delicious browned bits stuck to the bottom of the pan. Deglaze them into a quick white wine and shallot pan sauce to serve with the chicken. Be sure to slice up a few extra blood oranges for roasting as well. Give them a sprinkle of salt and drizzle of olive oil, roast, then garnish with fresh thyme to accompany the chicken and pan sauce. 

Blood Orange & Thyme Roast Chicken
Serves 4
4-5 pound whole chicken
3 teaspoons salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoon blood orange zest (reserve the blood orange for roasting) 
2 tablespoons thyme leaves
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 blood orange, quartered (use the one reserved from zesting) 

Stir together in a small bowl salt, black pepper, blood orange zest, thyme leaves, and chopped garlic. Spread the mixture onto a cutting board and use a knife to chop and further blend the brine together until it takes on a sand-like texture. Alternatively, pulse the ingredients together in a food processor. 

Rinse the chicken, remove any innards and pat dry. Season the chicken liberally with the brine. Place the chicken in a shallow roasting pan, cover loosely with plastic wrap and let brine in the refrigerator for at least an hour, but up to 3 days. 

When ready to roast the chicken, preheat the oven to 475 degrees Fahrenheit and remove the chicken from the refrigerator. Transfer the chicken to an oven proof skillet or shallow roasting pan just larger than the chicken. Stuff the cavity of the chicken with the unsalted butter and quarters of blood orange.  

Roast the chicken until a thermometer inserted into the inner thigh reads 175 degrees, about 1 hour. Remove the chicken and set on a cutting board to rest before carving. Carefully remove the blood oranges from the chicken to use in the pan sauce. While the chicken is resting, make the roasted blood oranges w/ thyme and the pan sauce. 

Roasted Blood Oranges w/ Thyme
Serves 4
2 blood oranges, quartered
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 sprigs of thyme

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Place quartered blood oranges on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Give them a sprinkle or sea salt and drizzle of oil oil. Roast for 15 minutes. Serve hot, garnished with thyme. 

White Wine, Shallot & Thyme Pan Sauce
Makes about 1/2 cup
pan drippings from roast chicken
1/4 cup chopped shallots
1/4 cup white wine
1/2 cup chicken stock
blood orange juice (about 1 ounce to 1 1/2 ounces; use blood oranges from roast chicken)
1 tablespoon thyme leaves

Once you've roasted the chicken, transferred it to a separate dish and are left with the delicious browned bits in the skillet or pan, pour out the clear fat except about 2 tablespoons, making sure to leave the drippings in the skillet. Bring to medium heat on the stovetop, add shallots and saute, stirring often, about 3-4 minutes or until translucent. Deglaze with the white wine, using a wooden spoon to scrape up browned bits stuck to the skillet. Stir in the chicken stock, blood orange juice and thyme. Cook and stir frequently until reduced by half, about 5 minutes. Season as needed.  
 

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