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A piece of Fragrant Baked Orange Rosemary Chicken, ready to eat. | Mother Would Know

Fragrant Baked Orange Rosemary Chicken

This herb and citrus-infused orange dish is as beautiful as it is delicious. 

Course Main Course
Cuisine French
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 35 minutes
Servings 4 people
Author Laura

Ingredients

  • 4 pounds bone-in chicken pieces, cut and with excess skin and fat pockets removed
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1 lemon juiced and zested
  • 6 sprigs fresh rosemary (3-inches each), divided
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt, preferably kosher or sea
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil, divided, for frying
  • 1/4 cup chicken stock
  • 1/2 small orange, juiced
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon grated orange zest
  • 1 small orange, sliced paper thin

Instructions

Marinating the chicken

  1. Place the chicken, orange juice, juice from the whole lemon, and minced leaves from two of the sprigs of rosemary, in a glass bowl. Reserve the zest from the lemon. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight (or for 6-8 hours), turning occasionally. 

    Marinating the chicken for Fragrant Baked Orange Rosemary Chicken.

Cooking the chicken

  1. Drain the liquid. Put the flour, salt, pepper, and paprika in a clean bowl or plastic bag. Mix them thoroughly. Working in batches, lightly coat one or two pieces of chicken at a time. Set the chicken aside on a clean, dry plate.

  2. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees F. 

  3. Heat half the oil (two tablespoons) in a large skillet or Dutch oven. Once the oil is quite hot, fry the chicken pieces, a few at a time so as not to overcrowd them, on all sides, until well-browned. 

  4. Arrange the browned chicken in a single layer in a large, shallow baking dish. Pour the stock around the pieces, not filling the dish more than halfway up the sides of the chicken, then add the juice of the 1/2 orange and 1/2 lemon into the stock. Sprinkle the chicken evenly with the brown sugar and orange and lemon zests. Place the remaining sprigs of rosemary into the liquid around the chicken and set a thin slice of orange on each piece of chicken. Bake for about 45 minutes or until cooked through to the bone and tender. 

    A casserole of Fragrant Baked Orange Rosemary Chicken ready to bake.

Recipe Notes

Jamie suggests rinsing the chicken. I don't do that, on the advice of the USDA and the FDA. Therefore, I have eliminated that direction in the recipe. 

The recipe simply calls for oranges, without specifying the type. When I asked her what type to buy, Jamie suggested juice oranges. While I did eventually find them, they are not common in my area (Washington, DC) and they did not provide as much zest as I wanted. (I supplemented with zest from a navel orange.) in the introduction, Jamie says that navel and juice oranges can be used interchangeably and in the future, I'll opt for navel oranges for this recipe.

I decided to speed up the frying process by using two pans. The result is the same and the important point, not overcrowding the pieces as they cook, applies either way. 

I used a bit more stock (maybe 1/3 cup instead of 1/4) because we like a lot of sauce. It worked fine and the orange and rosemary flavors still came through well.