Citrus Roasted Chicken

This was a hard week. My father-in-law continues to struggle with his health, as his family (and I) struggle to do what we can—whatever that is. However, one of the many amazingly wonderful things about being a Smith, is that this family seeks laughter and light whenever possible. I am reminded of a favorite quote from the resplendently magical Harry Potter: “Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, when one only remembers to turn on the light.” I learn this lesson from the Smiths often, and I never miss a chance to relish in the many light sources that surround us.

I always find happiness in the food that I make, as it nourishes my body and soul. This dish in particular is sprinkled with citrus and fresh herbs, and served with plenty of love.

Citrus Roasted Chicken

2 packages organic chicken legs (about 4 lbs)

1 and 1/2 Naval oranges

2 and 1 half lemons

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoon Italian seasoning

½ teaspoon paprika

¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 tablespoon dried thyme, or fresh chopped

1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped

Kosher salt or sea salt to taste and freshly cracked black pepper to taste

**1 yellow onion, sliced

**4-5 cloves of garlic, minced

Optional garnishes: chopped fresh herbs (rosemary, thyme, parsley)

**If you have IBS or a sensitive stomach, leave these out! I did not add them, and the chicken was still delicious and full of flavor!


Preheat your oven to 400F.

Take one orange and zest half of it. Cut it in half and juice the half that was zested. Slice the other half and reserve. Slice half of the whole other orange and reserve.

Zest half a lemon and juice the whole thing. Slice the whole other lemon and another half a lemon and reserve.

In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, sugar, garlic (if using—see note above!), lemon juice, orange juice, zest from both, Italian seasoning, paprika, red pepper flakes, and salt and pepper to taste (I did 1 teaspoon of kosher salt and 10 cracks of pepper).

Put your chicken pieces on a 13×9 rimmed baking sheet or a rimmed cookie sheet. Pour oil mixture all over chicken and turn to coat all sides. Arrange your lemon and orange slices (and onion too, if using) around and under the chicken pieces. Spread the thyme and rosemary over the chicken and sprinkle generously with more salt and pepper.

Bake uncovered for around 35-40 minutes. Pierce skin near the bone to make sure juices run clear.

Serve with any side dish you prefer! This recipe is great with roasted veggies, mashed potatoes, quinoa, or wild rice! Drizzle the drippings over the whole dish and enjoy.

Inspired by:

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