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Italian Roast Chicken with Orange and Oregano

Serves 4

Exotic blood oranges, lots of roasted garlic and red onions transform ordinary chicken into this sensational meal.


  • 8 bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts or thighs, your choice of cuts
  • Salt
  • 4 heads garlic
  • Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), for liberal drizzling
  • Black pepper
  • 4 navel or blood oranges, 2 sliced or cut into wedges, 2 juiced
  • 3 medium red onions, peeled, root-end left intact and cut into wedges
  • 6 fresh bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (1/3 palmful)
  • 3-4 stems fresh oregano leaves (a couple of tablespoons), finely chopped
  • 1 cup dry white wine or chicken stock (eyeball it)
  • 1/4 cup good quality orange blossom honey
  • Crusty bread, to pass at table


  1. Wash and dry the chicken and season with salt, then refrigerate for a few hours or overnight.
  2. Pre-heat the oven to 425˚F.
  3. Cut the ends off the garlic heads and dress with a little EVOO, salt and pepper. Wrap in foil and place in the oven. Roast for 45 minutes, until golden and soft.
  4. Meanwhile, in a roasting pan or large casserole dish, toss two sliced or wedge-cut oranges with the red onions, bay leaves and a liberal drizzle of EVOO – enough to thinly coat the oranges, bay leaves, and onions (a couple of tablespoons). Season with salt and pepper and scoot the oranges and onions off to the sides of the pan.
  5. Arrange the chicken in the pan and rub with EVOO to coat the skin. Season the chicken with black pepper and the red pepper flakes, then scatter the oregano over the chicken, onions and oranges. Add the wine or stock to the pan, along with the juice of the remaining two oranges. Drizzle honey around the pan and place in the oven. Roast for 45 minutes, or until the juices run clear.
  6. Serve the chicken with the oranges and onions, with the pan juices spooned over the top and a whole head of roasted garlic on each plate alongside. Pop the garlic cloves away from skins as you eat your chicken or spread the garlic on the crusty bread.

Cooking with alcohol enhances the flavors of certain dishes. Some of the alcohol burns off in the process of cooking. If you are concerned about using alcohol when you cook, you may use the appropriate substitute listed in the ingredients.