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As soon as I saw this recipe for a citrus marinade over on Chew Nibble Nosh (which is a gorgeous blog) I was excited to try it. I plotted to make the marinade while the girls napped, to avoid a mess and any reluctance to eat something doused in soy sauce. Then I would proudly present the beautiful roasted end product.

That never happened.

About 22 seconds after I pulled out the ingredients, Grace came into the kitchen. She didn’t want to nap (you know, she’s five, she’s too big for that) she wanted to help. Sigh. This was now going to take four times as long and be much more messy. I started slicing the lemons and .  . . they were rotten inside (thanks commissary!). I had to substitute with limes, which meant less for my vodka tonic and who knew how it would taste? Then Grace dumped about a tablespoon of red pepper flakes in the marinade. She tasted the finished product and declared “Ew, that tastes like a plastic bag.”

So far, so good!

I went to pull out four smaller chicken breasts (bought specifically so they would cook faster) and instead I had two of the most enormous chicken breasts I’ve ever seen. I seriously wondered if they were turkey breasts. Thanks butcher guy for telling me there were two small breasts in each package!

So that was that. I put the mutant chicken in a Tupperware, covered it with the messed up marinade and put it in the oven to roast 5 hours later. Fingers crossed, but I’ll admit I checked to make sure we had chicken nuggets as a backup.

Please don’t let my misadventure put you off. This marinade is really very good, and I promise it will be quick (if you don’t let your kiddo help). The lime juice tasted just fine, but I am looking forward to using lemons next time.

Citrus Marinated Roasted Chicken

  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 4 lbs chicken parts (bone in)
  • 2 large lemons
  • 1 large orange
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp. dried oregano
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 2 teasp. honey
  • 1/4 teasp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • salt and pepper
  1. Trim any excess fat off your chicken. Leave the skin on. Place chicken into your roasting pan or Tupperware.
  2. Slice one lemon into 6 wedges, place around chicken. Zest and juice the other lemon into a bowl. Cut orange in half. Slice one half into wedges, place around chicken. Zest and juice the other half into the same bowl.
  3. Mix the rest of the marinade ingredients into lemon and orange juice. Pour over chicken and turn to coat. Refrigerate for 6-12 hours.
  4. Arrange chicken and marinade in roasting pan. Make sure lemons and oranges are down in between the chicken. Roast at 425 for 20 minutes and then reduce heat to 375 and roast for 30 more minutes or until your chicken is cooked.
  5. Place chicken and citrus onto a platter, cover. Pour pan juices into pyrex measuring cup or bowl, let sit until the fat separates, then skim off. Reduce juices in a saucepan over medium high heat, salt and pepper to taste and serve with chicken.

No Brazilian oranges here!

Honey. Not only does it make everything yummy, it helps give the chicken a lovely color when you roast it.

Hey Grace, thanks for helping make this mess, no that's ok, I'd love to clean it up myself. At least it smelled like oranges. . . .

This picture doesn't do the chicken justice. It was so much tastier than it looks.