A christmas spiced roast chicken with the essential christmas cinnamon, cloves, star anise and orange zest
Roast chicken is the best. To be fair, even though I do cook with chicken breast, I find that it doesn’t have the same flavour as whole roasted chicken. There is something with cooking meat on the bone. It gives the meat more flavour, it has a better texture somehow and it stays even juicier.
And this christmas spiced roast chicken is no exception. I’m going all in for christmas at the moment, so you can expect all the recipes published in December leading up to Christmas being centered around Christmas. Actually, I’m planning to post one recipe every day during December! So if you’re into Christmas food that tastes great and is good for you, subscribe to my blog and never miss a post!
As I’m from Sweden, and the Chef’s from the UK, you’ll find recipes during this month that reflects that. I have to say that the christmas food is quite different between Sweden and the UK, but there are a few similarities. For example, the spices are similar, dried fruit is common in both countries and brussels sprouts are big for christmas. But whereas in the UK they have a roast dinner, in Sweden we have a smorgasbord (aka julbord) with LOADS of foods. And even though I’m extremely fond of the Swedish julbord, I do love a Christmas roast! But as either of us is willing to give up on our traditions, we celebrate Christmas both the Swedish way and British way! Luckily in Sweden we celebrate Christmas on the 24th and in the UK on the 25th, so it’s not really a problem!
So the chef and I were talking about christmas foods the other day and we got this idea of making a christmas spiced roast chicken! Imagine chicken roasted in butter, orange zest, cloves, cinnamon and star anise! YUM! A perfect flavour combination and perfect for the holidays!
To keep the chicken juicy, we have a few tricks up our sleeves. First, we spread a thin layer of the spiced butter all around the chicken. Then we roasted the chicken with the breast side DOWN for 20 minutes. After that we turned it back breast side up, added the rest of the butter spice mix and roasted it until cooked. This is a great way to roast the chicken, as more of the meat juices will stay in the chicken as you’re turning it around, instead of all the juices leaving the chicken.
As I’m writing this recipe, I’m actually cooking this recipe tonight. Instead of serving it with all the trimmings, we’re having it with roasted beets, carrots and potatoes. And perhaps some sautéed sprouts! Doesn’t get better than that!
This christmas spiced roast chicken is great if you’re having a smaller Christmas dinner and don’t want to go all in with the turkey, or for a Sunday Roast!
Check out how juicy the chicken is!
- 1,1 kg / 2 lbs whole chicken
- 25 g butter
- Zest from one orange
- Orange juice from ¼ orange (use the zested one)
- Half an orange, cut in two (use the zested one)
- ¼ tsp of ground cinnamon,
- ¼ tsp ground cloves
- ¼ tsp ground star anise
- 1.5 tbsp maple syrup
- 0.5 tbsp salt
- Pinch of pepper
- Turn the oven to 200°
- Melt the butter in a pan.
- Add the spices, salt, orange zest, orange juice and maple syrup and stir until combined.
- Place the chicken in a oven proof dish and place the 2 orange halves in the chicken cavity.
- Lightly brush the chicken with the melted spiced butter the turn it over so the breast is facing down and brush the back with a little more.
- Bake in the oven for 20 minutes with a lid on, or cover with foil.
- Remove from oven, turn over so the breast if facing up and brush with the rest of your spiced butter mix. Place it into the oven again and bake for another 40 minutes (or until cooked, check that the meat is no longer pink and that the juices run clear)
- Leave to rest with foil over to keep it warm for 15 - 20 minutes before serving.
- (if you are not planning to show off this stunning chicken to friends and family then you can flip it over again breast side down whilst you are resting it to make it unbelievably juicy! but this can flatten out the curvature of the breasts.)
This Christmas Spiced Roast Chicken is
- Gluten free
- Excellent source of vitamin B3
- Good source of vitamin B6 and B12
- Good source of selenium and zinc
- Rich in muscle building protein