Whole Roasted Orange Chicken

Hearty chicken recipe with a delicious orange glaze

Orange glaze on a chicken..mmmm...​ :)

It is early morning, really early, 5.16AM and this is not a very typical time for me to be awake. I am sitting at a very cold airport waiting for my check-in to open at 5.55AM. This time of the year, before the holidays I always try to travel to Finland to see my family and this year is no exception. So while I am sitting here waiting, I thought I would use my time well and write this post on my delicious whole roasted chicken with orange glaze.


I really like whole roasted chicken as it gives you so many options on how you can make it, which stuffing you can use and what kind of glaze. Also as a result you get a delicious chicken with many parts to choose from. Whether you are a fan of the wings, thighs or the breast, you have it all. Usually when I make whole roasted chicken I just use a whole orange that I stuff into the chicken and then I rub the chicken with some spices. It is a really simple way to prepare roasted chicken, but it tastes great. However, since the holidays are coming and I wanted a small family friendly option, I decided to level up my usual recipe and make something more special. That's how the idea for this whole roasted chicken with orange glaze got started.

When you use a whole orange to stuff the chicken for the time you roast it, it rarely releases a lot of juices. Mostly the taste comes from the orange skin in this case. I wanted to get more out of the orange and so I decided to slice the orange before adding it into the chicken. This also gave me the opportunity to add the cranberries and the thyme inside the chicken along with the orange. I loved how this combination of sweet and sour flavours infused the chicken and how the orange released juices which I then thickened into a second glaze after the chicken was roasted. 

I must say that that orange glaze gave the chicken such a beautiful shine and colour and it would be a true eye catcher at any holiday dinner table. 

Step away from the traditions and try this delicious whole roasted chicken with orange glaze this holiday season and I promise you won't regret it :)

Happy Holidays Lovelies!

Step by Step Video


Whole Roasted Orange Chicken

Hearty chicken recipe with a delicious orange glaze


  • 50g or 3.5tbsp butter

  • 20g or about 2tbsp brown sugar

  • about 100ml orange/mandarin juice (from two medium fruits)

  • 2 organic oranges

  • about 1kg whole chicken without giblets

  • fresh thyme

  • fresh rosemary

  • about 50g or about ¼ to ½ cup dried cranberries


  1. Start by preparing the glaze for the chicken. In a small saucepan melt the butter. Once melted add the brown sugar and allow to dissolve completely. Once the brown sugar has dissolved add the orange juice. I prefer to use juice from fruit and strain it before I add it to remove the seeds and the pulp. Leave to simmer on low to medium heat until the glaze has thickened slightly.

  2. In the meantime prepare the chicken. Slice one orange and cut the second one into segments leaving the skin on on both. Please make sure you use organic oranges as only with organic oranges it is safe to use the skin.

  3. Prepare an oven proof casserole dish for the chicken, I used 20cm x 20cm (about 8x8 inches) dish. Cover the bottom of the dish with orange slices and the stalks of fresh rosemary. Rub the chicken from all sides generously with salt. Add the cranberries inside the chicken along with some orange segments, make sure not to stuff the inside really full but allow some room for airflow. Then also add the fresh thyme inside the chicken. Place the chicken into the casserole dish on top of the orange slices and lay the rest of the orange segments around the chicken. Add some fresh thyme also on the skin. Season the top side of the chicken again with some salt.

  4. Cook the chicken in a preheated oven in 150°C (300°F) at the middle shelf of the oven for one hour.

  5. After the first hour you want to cook the chicken for another 45 minutes to 1 hour and glaze the chicken with the prepared glaze every 15 minutes or until you have used up all of the glaze.

  6. The internal temperature that you are looking for is 75°C (165°F) from the thickets part of the thigh (not touching the bone). However, if you don't have a thermometer you can pierce the same part with a knife and if the juices run clear it is cooked, if the juices have a pink or reddish colour you need to give it some more time.

  7. Remove the chicken from the oven into a serving plate and decorate the serving plate with the oranges. Transfer the juices at the bottom of your cooking dish into a small saucepan and reduce until they thicken slightly and then glaze the chicken with that.

  8. Allow the chicken to rest for 10-15 minutes before serving.

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