We’re loving this simple and elegant Cara Cara Orange Chicken for spring. This classic recipe by Nick Evans of Macheesmo will have you on your way to becoming a confident home cook in no time!
Making a roasted chicken is one of the best skills you can learn as a home cook. This Cara Cara Orange Spatchcock version is a great alternative to the classic roasted chicken. This one-pan dinner is simple enough for a weeknight dinner, but impressive enough to serve for weekend hosting. And those Cara Cara Oranges add a pop of beautiful red color!
Spatchcocking, or butterflying, the chicken means it cooks faster and more evenly and it’s easier to carve for serving. During the last half of roasting, this chicken also gets a few coats of honey orange glaze which gives it a caramelized, beautiful skin and also some bright citrus and sweetness. It’s a must-try during citrus season! If you’re looking for more delicious citrus dinners, try this simple Spiced Salmon with Citrus Slaw.
Roasted Cara Cara Orange Chicken
- 1 whole chicken (approximately 4 lb., butterflied)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil (divided)
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt (divided)
- 1 teaspoon black pepper (divided)
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme (divided)
- 2 parsnips (peeled and chopped)
- 2 medium carrots (peeled and chopped)
- 5-6 new potatoes (quartered)
- 2 Cara Cara Oranges (sliced)
- 1 Cara Cara Orange (juiced)
- ¼ cup honey
- Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F. and place a rack on the lower middle position.
- Preparing the Chicken: Using kitchen shears, cut up the back of a whole chicken (remove giblets) on both sides of the backbone, removing it completely. That will allow the chicken to be butterflied so both breasts face up.
- Add a few slices of red oranges to the bottom of a large high-walled baking dish. Place the chicken on the orange slices in the center of the dish (breast side up). Rub chicken well with 1 tablespoon olive oil and season with a pinch of salt, pepper, and thyme (1/2 teaspoon each approximately).
- Peel and chop all the vegetables into 1 ½-inch pieces. Quarter the new potatoes. Toss all the vegetables with remaining olive oil and spices. Spread around chicken in the baking dish. Add orange slices to dish as well.
- Bake the chicken at 425 degrees F. for 20-25 minutes until the skin starts to brown nicely. Then turn heat down to 375 degrees F. and roast chicken until it reaches 165 degrees F. in the thickest part of the breast, about another 30-35 minutes although you should use a meat thermometer to make sure it’s cooked through.
- Once you turn the temperature down on the chicken, brush the chicken with orange honey glaze twice while baking.
- Making the Orange Honey Glaze: While the chicken bakes at the higher temperature, combine the juice of one red orange and ¼ cup of honey in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer and simmer until the mixture reduces by half, about 8 minutes. Then let cool. Brush the glaze on the chicken liberally during the final baking time.