Main Course, Poultry

Garlic-Butter Rubbed Chicken with Roasted Oranges and Red Onions

2 Comments 01 February 2012

Hey, foodie peoples! It’s chicken roasting time. Just when you thought you’d roasted a chicken every which way, we bring you yet another way to turn that little hen into something magically delicious. Well, not us, good ‘ole Martha Stewart to be exact. We just, you know, took the time to test the recipe out so we could decide to rec it or not. We decided that we wholeheartedly DO rec this recipe. It’s actually amazing that it made it to the Final Picture Stage and you should all be amazed at our restraint. Oh wait, I forgot sis blogging partner did break off a wing, but who’s really counting wings, right? Right.

Garlic Butter-Rubbed Roast Chicken with Oranges & Red Onions 19

Roast chicken is, generally, not a hard dish to make. Most recipes have the bird cooked in just over an hour, and prep usually isn’t too time involved. Guess what, kids? We totes think you can make this on a work week night! And the crowd goes wild…

Oh, but hey, look at that plastic-wrapped chicken. Doesn’t it look like some kind of alien..thing? No? Huh, must just be me then.

Garlic Butter-Rubbed Roast Chicken with Oranges & Red Onions 18

The first step is to make a paste from some minced garlic and salt. Now, I’m not exactly sure how one is supposed to make a paste from these two things, but we tried it with my mortar and pestle thingy. I ground and ground and ground until I felt like I needed wrist replacement surgery. It never did turn into a paste, but the oils from the garlic did get released. A lot. This, for us, will do just fine. We were positive at this point no one would be able to miss the garlic-y goodness wafting from that bowl.

Garlic Butter-Rubbed Roast Chicken with Oranges & Red Onions 20

To the garlic and salt, add some minced fresh thyme and orange zest. All the wonderful flavors in the short ingredient list get used to full advantage here.

Garlic Butter-Rubbed Roast Chicken with Oranges & Red Onions 15

Now, don’t feel like a dirty lecher, but loosen the skin on the breast side of the bird and insert and rub a little of the butter underneath it. This will give it all that wonderful flavor you love so much in a roasted chicken. Sometimes you just gotta perform dirty-looking deeds in cooking, what can we say.

Garlic Butter-Rubbed Roast Chicken with Oranges & Red Onions 14

Nestle your little chickens down in a roasting pan along with several wedges of the oranges and red onions. Your little birdies are almost ready to roast! Sniffle.

Garlic Butter-Rubbed Roast Chicken with Oranges & Red Onions 13

After 30 minutes of roasting, go on and give the cuties a buttery bath with the leftover compound butter you made earlier. At this point, as you lick your lips in anticipation, sure, go ahead and feel like a dirty lecher if you want. No one would blame you. They’re all doing the same thing.

Garlic Butter-Rubbed Roast Chicken with Oranges & Red Onions 11

Our birdies roasted for about a total of one hour and thirty minutes to reach the minimum internal temp needed of 165 degrees at the thigh area. My, what pretty roasted skins you have, little birdies!

Garlic Butter-Rubbed Roast Chicken with Oranges & Red Onions 9

Roast chicken is such a great dinner option. There’s so much you can do with it if you have leftovers. By itself it doesn’t have to be bland and boring – there are tons of ways to kick it up a little or make it different. We loved this one so much and I’ll be adding it to my growing list of dinner options for my family. Hope you give it a try and enjoy it, too!

Garlic-Butter Rubbed Chicken with Roasted Oranges and Red Onions

Slightly adapted from Martha Stewart Living, January 2011

Prep Time: 15 minutes    Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes    Level: easy    Serves: 4 to 6

special equipment: cooking twine or string

  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • Coarse salt (we used coarse sea salt)
  • fresh-ground pepper
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 navel oranges, 1 zested, both cut into 2-inch wedges
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh thyme, plus a few sprigs
  • 1 whole chicken (4 to 4 1/2 pounds)
  • 2 red onions, peeled and cut into 1 1/2-inch wedges

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Mash garlic and 1 teaspoon salt into a paste. (We used a mortar and pestle, but you can also use the flat of a large knife to press the garlic and salt into a paste.)

Combine garlic paste, butter, zest, and chopped thyme. Gently separate skin from breast of chicken, and rub half of the butter mixture under the skin on each side. Season with salt and pepper.

Fill chicken cavity with 2 orange wedges, 1 onion wedge, and thyme sprigs. Place chicken, breast side up, on a rimmed baking sheet or in a roasting pan, and tuck wings under. Tie legs together with kitchen twine. Scatter remaining oranges and onions around chicken. Dot oranges and onions with 1 tablespoon butter mixture.

Roast for 30 minutes. Brush chicken with remaining butter mixture. Flip oranges and onions. Rotate sheet, and roast for 15 minutes more. Remove oranges and onions if caramelized. Roast chicken until juices run clear and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of a thigh reaches 165 degrees, 10 to 15 minutes more. Let rest for 10 minutes before serving.


You’ll have noticed that we roasted two chickens in the pictures above. The good thing abut the ingredients list above, which is for one chicken, is you don’t need to double all of it to roast two chickens instead. If you DO want to roast two, double everything for the butter rub. Have some extra thyme on hand. That’s it! You won’t need more oranges or red onions if you bought especially large ones, which I did.

If your chicken temp has not reached 165 degrees when the recipe calls for checking it, simply roast the chicken for ten to fifteen minutes more and test it again. If the skin is getting to be too brown, tent a piece of foil over it to prevent further browning.

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- who has written 347 posts on Full Fork Ahead.

Wife, mom, indulgent reader and Day Job Do-er, who occasionally likes to think she can cook. Sometimes she's right, sometimes she's wrong.

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