Citrus Thyme Chicken

1   Orange, cut in half
1   Lemon, cut in half
7 Lb Roasting chicken, remove stuff from inside
8 Cloves Garlic, peeled and cut in half
8 Sprigs Fresh thyme
2   Onions, cut in wedges
1 Lb Carrots, cut in 1 inch segments
½ Cup Dry white wine
1.5 Cup Vegetable or low fat chicken broth
1 t Dijon
1 T Cornstarch, mixed with 2 T water


1.       Preheat oven to 425

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.

3.       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 twine, tuck wing tips under the back.

4.       Gently work thyme springs under the skins on both breasts.  Scatter remaining vegetables on the bottom of a roasting pan, seasoning with a little salt and pepper. Place chicken on top.  Extra veggies will be around the chicken

5.       Roast the chicken for 20 minutes.

6.       Lower the oven temperature to 325° and continue roasting, basting occasionally with the reserved citrus juice about another 1.5 hours, until juices run clear when chicken is pierced. 

7.       Tip chicken to allow juices to run into pan and transfer chicken to a platter to keep warm.

8.       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.

(last time my husband did this recipe, he forgot to strain out the veggies and do the remaining items.  So we had a bowl with the veggies and broth (no mustard or cornstarch) and it was fine we just scooped out the veggies onto our plates and they were moist from the broth and didn’t really use it as gravy.  I figure we ended up about even on the fat content.

Adapted from an Eating Well magazine recipe I copied many years ago.

Makes 6 servings.  243 calories per serving ; 5 g fat,  41 g protein

So, why?                                   

  •         Moist flavorful, lean protein
  •         Side veggies get made with the recipe


  • This is really 4 servings per side of the chicken for us.  Normally, if I buy a roasted chicken at the store, we eat half and then I chop up the remaining to use in some recipe that takes already cooked chicken like this week’s chicken chimichitos.  But not this chicken, its so moist and yummy my family insists on having it as a left over dinner later in the week.




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