This Citrus Herb Roast Chicken has bright citrus flavors and fragrant herbs. It's a delicious, classic dish with a vibrant twist!
Roast chicken is truly a classic meal that will likely never go out of style.
It's relatively easy to make, can be enjoyed with a variety of different flavors, and usually makes enough for leftovers!
What you need to make this roast chicken
- whole chicken
- citrus: orange, lemon and their juices
- herbs: rosemary, sage, parsley
- olive oil
- chicken broth
- salt and pepper
How to make citrus herb roast chicken
Combine the butter with the herbs and spices. Generously coat all sides of the chicken with the butter mixture.
Stuff the cavity with the quartered onions, orange, lemon, and garlic. Tie the legs together with kitchen twine.
Then roast the chicken and make the gravy.
You'll find exact measurements and detailed cooking instructions in the recipe card below.
First time roasting a chicken?
If you are brand new to roasting a whole chicken, the New York Times Cooking section has an awesome How to Roast a Chicken guide that I recommend. It's a quick and helpful read before trying any roast chicken recipe.
Tips for making the best roast chicken
- Tie the legs with kitchen twine to help the chicken keep its shape while roasting.
- Use a meat thermometer to check the doneness of the chicken. It should read 165°F when it's done.
- Allow the chicken to rest at room temperature for at least 10 minutes before slicing. This allows the juices time to redistribute more evenly throughout the meat, making it juicy and tender. You also won't get as much of the juice running out when you allow the meat to rest.
Side dishes to serve with roast chicken
The citrus in this roast chicken recipe makes it a great pairing for so many lighter side dishes.
- Creamy Confetti Corn
- Quinoa Caprese Salad with Summer Corn
- Fiesta Potato Smashers
- Perfect BBQ Side Dish Recipe: Corn with Basil Lime Butter
- Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Apples
- BLT Pasta Salad
What to do with leftover chicken
This is a fantastic Make Once, Eat Twice meal. Leftover roast chicken is perfect to use in so many new dishes!
- shred the chicken and serve with mac & cheese
- chop up the chicken and add to salads
Or consider using leftover chicken in any of these chicken recipes:
Wine that pairs with citrus herb chicken
Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are classic wine pairings when it comes to roast chicken.
The 2018 Archery Summit Dundee Hills Chardonnay ($65) has beautiful stone fruit and citrus on the palate, helping to highlight the citrus in this particular chicken recipe. The 2018 Archery Summit Dundee Hills Pinot Noir ($65) has elegant tannins, rich red fruit, and a savory finish, which can complement the herbs in this chicken dish.
Because of the citrus and fragrant herbs in this recipe, it is also a great dish to go beyond the classic pairings. Try serving with a White Burgundy or a lush Gamay for something a little different.
Air Fryer instructions
You can make this citrus herb-roasted chicken in an air fryer if you prefer.
Prep and season the chicken following the instructions. Coat the inside of your air fryer basket with olive oil spray and place chicken in breast side down. Air fry at 400°F for 30 minutes. Open the basket and turn the chicken over, basting with citrus olive oil blend, then air fry at 380°F for another 25 minutes or until a meat thermometer inserted into the chicken thigh reads 165°F.
Citrus Herb Chicken
- 1 whole chicken (3-5 pounds)
- 4 tablespoons butter, softened to room temperature
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced + 1-3 additional whole garlic cloves
- 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped (or ½ tablespoon dried rosemary)
- 1 tablespoon fresh sage leaves, chopped (or ½ tablespoon dried ground sage)
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped (or ½ tablespoon dried parsley)
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 large orange, quartered
- 1 lemon, quartered
- 1 small yellow onion, peeled and quartered
- 1 can (14 ounces) chicken broth
- ¼ cup orange juice
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- ¼ cup olive oil (see notes)
Prep and roast the chicken
- Position rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 400°F.
- In a large bowl, mix together softened butter, 2 minced garlic cloves, chopped rosemary, sage, parsley, kosher salt and pepper.
- Pat the chicken dry, remove giblets (if there are any), and sprinkle the cavity with salt and pepper. Gently rub the inside the skin of the chicken breast with half of the butter herb mixture. Then rub the outside of the entire chicken with the remaining half of the butter herb mixture.
- Stuff the cavity with the quartered orange, lemon, onion, and 1-3 whole cloves of peeled garlic. Tie the chicken legs together with kitchen string. Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper.
- Pour ½ cup of the chicken broth into the bottom of a large roasting pan; set aside the rest of the chicken broth for later. Place a rack in the pan, then place the chicken, breast side up, on top of the rack.
- Roast at 400°F for one hour. Baste with chicken broth if necessary. During this time, whisk together the orange juice, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Set aside half of this citrus juice oil blend in a separate bowl.
- At one hour, turn the heat down to 375°F, and baste the chicken using some of the citrus juice/oil blend. Continue basting as needed and roast for about 35-45 more minutes, or until the chicken is fully cooked, when a meat thermometer registers 165°F.
- Remove from the oven, cover and tent with aluminum foil, and allow to rest at room temperature for 10 minutes before slicing.
Make the pan sauce
- set the roasting pan over two burners and add the remaining half of the citrus oil blend you had set aside. If you want thicker sauce, whisk in flour or cornstarch. Strain into a separate bowl or gravy boat and serve alongside the chicken.