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Playing Italian Roast Chicken with Orange and Oregano


  • 8 pieces of bone-in, skin-on chicken, your choice of cuts
  • Salt
  • 4 heads of garlic
  • EVOO Extra Virgin Olive Oil, for liberal drizzling
  • Black pepper
  • 4 navel or blood oranges
  • 6 fresh bay leaves
  • 3 medium red onions, peeled, root-end in tact and cut into wedges
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, 1/3 palmful
  • 3 to 4 stems fresh oregano leaves, a couple of tablespoons, finely chopped
  • 1 cup dry white wine, just eyeball the amount
  • 1/4 cup good quality orange blossom honey
  • Crusty bread, to pass at table


Serves: 4


Wash and dry chicken and season with salt, then refrigerate for a few hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 425F.

Cut ends off the garlic heads and dress with a little EVOO, salt and pepper. Wrap in foil and place in oven, roast 45 minutes until golden and soft.

Meanwhile, in a roasting pan or large casserole, toss 2 sliced or wedge-cut oranges with red onions, bay leaves and a liberal drizzle of EVOO enough to thinly coat the oranges, bay leaves, and onions (a couple of tablespoons). Season with salt and pepper and scoot the oranges and onions off to the sides of the pan.

Arrange chicken in pan and rub with EVOO to coat the skin. Season chicken with black and red pepper then scatter the oregano over the chicken, onions and oranges. Add wine to the pan, along with the juice of 2 oranges. Drizzle honey around the pan and place in the oven. Toast 45 minutes or until juices run clear.

Serve chicken with oranges and onions, and with pan juices spooned over top and a whole head of roasted garlic along side. Pop cloves away from skins as you eat your chicken or spread on crusty bread.