Perfect roast chicken with orange and rosemary

Cooking your chicken this way – stuffing orange and herbs under the breast skin and bread stuffing in the cavity – gives you lovely moist meat.

By Nici Wickes
  • 15 mins preparation
  • 1 hr 30 mins cooking
  • Serves 6
  • Print


Perfect roast chicken with orange and rosemary
  • 1 free-range chicken
  • a decent pinch of salt
  • 1 fresh orange, skin removed
  • 8 sprigs rosemary (not the woody parts)
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, peeled and quartered
  • 1/2 cup water (or white wine)
  • 1 bunch baby carrots
  • 4 medium potatoes, par-cooked and chopped
  • salad or boiled peas, to serve
  • 1 cup fresh breadcrumbs
  • 1 red onion, grated
  • 1 tablespoon rosemary
  • juice and zest of 1 orange
  • salt and pepper


Perfect roast chicken with orange and rosemary
  • 1
    Preheat oven to 180°C. Rinse the cavity of the chicken and pat dry with paper towels. Season the cavity with a decent pinch of salt.
  • 2
    Slice the orange into 4 slices and remove the pips. Carefully ease 2 slices of orange and 4 sprigs of rosemary under the skin of each breast.
  • 3
    For the stuffing, mix all the ingredients together and fill the cavity of the chicken with it.
  • 4
    Rub the skin with olive oil, then season well with salt.
  • 5
    Place the chicken on top of the quartered onion, breast side up, in a roasting dish. Pour the water around the chicken.
  • 6
    Cover with foil and cook for 1 hour, then uncover, scatter carrots and cut potatoes around the chicken. Cook for a further ½ hour or until the chicken is golden brown and cooked through.
  • 7
    Remove the chicken and rest under foil for 10-15 minutes before carving. Keep cooking the vegetables if they need more time to roast.
  • 8
    Serve with a simple green salad or boiled peas.


Grating the onion for the stuffing saves sautéing it first. Tying the legs of the chicken together ensures even cooking without “dangly limbs” drying out. Sitting the chicken on a trivet of onions or other vegetables ensures the bottom doesn’t “stew”. The browned onions are also a great base to use for gravy.

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