Orange Roasted Chicken with Sweet Potatoes
- 4 lb chicken (3 - 4 pounds)
- 1/2 orange (to juice)
- 28 g butter (softened, for skin)
- 14 g butter (melted, for basting)
- ground black pepper
- Chicken Stuffing:
- 1 onion (small, quarted)
- 2 cloves crushed garlic
- 1/2 orange (cut in two)
- In the Roasting Pan:
- 1 sliced sweet potato
- 1 chopped onion
- 1 carrot (peeled and sliced)
Preheat the oven to 425. Have a bowl of salt and pepper ready, as well as some room temperature butter and a clean work area for the raw chicken (I use a large plastic cutting board that I can immediately put into the dishwasher). Organization is the difference between this being easy vs. a major pain.
You’re going to need a lot of salt and pepper, so don’t worry about using fresh ground pepper. I like using coarse ground for this purpose. Wash the chicken thoroughly and pat it dry with paper towels. If the chicken goes into the oven dry, the skin will be brown and crispy later.
Juice half the orange and set aside. Season the inside cavity with salt and pepper and stuff with the onion, garlic and orange. Truss the chicken with butcher’s twine. Next, gently massage the skin with butter, making sure to cover the entire surface area, and then season generously with salt and pepper. Place the chicken, breast side up, in a roasting pan and put into the preheated oven for 15 minutes at 425.
After 15 minutes, remove from the oven and baste the chicken with a mixture of melted butter and the orange juice. Add the rest of the chopped vegetables to the roasting pan, reduce the heat to 350, and return to the oven. Baste the chicken and vegetables every 10-15 minutes, using the fat in the roasting pan after the butter and juice have been used up. Baste rapidly to avoid changing the oven temperature.
Continue roasting until the juices run clear, for a total of 45 minutes plus an additional 7 minutes for each pound. (In other words, a 3 1/2 pound chicken would take 45 minutes plus an additional 25 minutes, for a total 70 minutes).
Let the chicken rest for at least 15 minutes before carving. You’ll burn yourself if you carve too soon, but more importantly, you’ll let all of those beautiful juices run free. Give them time to resettle! I can’t give you tips on carving; I’m terrible. I highly recommend getting a decent cutting board with a well to catch the juices. Hopefully cooking school will give me some carving skills.
Serve with the vegetables from the roasting pan and a touch of the drippings. Discard the vegetables inside the chicken.