29 October 2014

Thyme Oregano and Citrus Roasted Poussin - IHCC

There is such satisfaction in taking a beautifully roasted chicken from the oven! Maybe that's why it's the classic Sunday afternoon meal. Just a thought ...

This particular bird got its start toward the glistening finish with a marinade that was chock full of herb, citrus zest and juices, and garlic. The recipe for the marinade comes from Diana Henry's cookbook called Crazy Water Pickled Lemons. The recipes in this book are either directly from or influenced by the Middle Eastern, North African, and the Mediterranean countries. Once again, she manages to share recipes whose simple ingredients meld to make fantastic food experiences.

It may not be a Sunday, but this small chicken was a perfect dinner for us this evening. Basting with the juices from the marinade made the chicken's skin glossy and sweet. We carved bites of chicken and forked pieces of the roasted oranges onto the fork also to make a perfect bite of sunshine! There was a rice pilaf made with currants, onions, parsley, and butter - simple and a perfect soft foil to the chicken's juices. It was really heavenly!

This post is being shared at I Heart Cooking Club's weekly recipe share for their chosen chef/cook/foodwriter challenge. For the next six months, the work of Diana Henry is front and center. This week's recipes highlight chicken and/or eggs. Henry has plenty of recipes to inspire!

Hit the link above to see what others are sharing! And do think about joining the 
Club, as we share what inspires us about Henry and the other chefs that the members of the I Heart Cooking Club have honored in the past!  

Now, get out your olive oil and a zester and get busy on a chicken of your own!

Thyme Oregano and Citrus Roasted Poussins
a Diana Henry recipe

Serves 4 using game hens or 2 using a small roaster

Oven: 350° F for about one hour

Marinade Ingredients:

zested rind of one lime and one orange
juice of 4 oranges (about 1 ½ c.)
6 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
½ c. extra virgin olive oil
6 garlic cloves, crushed
leaves from 6 good-sized sprigs of fresh thyme
3 tbsp. dried Greek oregano

For the Roasting Pan:

4 washed and cleaned game hens or 1 small roasting chicken
Kosher salt and grated black pepper
4 oranges, skin on, cut into large wedges
olive oil for drizzling
flat leaf parsley and/or cilantro, coarsely chopped for dressing the platter when the chicken is roasted

Making the Bird:

  1. Place the marinade ingredients in a large plastic bag that you can seal.
  2. Add the cleaned bird(s) and turn to coat evenly with the marinade.
  3. Put the bag in a bowl and refrigerate for several hours (or overnight).
  4. Turn the birds now and then to let all the surfaces soak in the marinade.
  5. Preheat the oven and place the birds in a roasting pan.
  6. Scatter the orange wedges around them. Sprinkle with Kosher salt and black pepper.
  7. Drizzle a bit of olive oil over the orange wedges and roast the bird(s)for about one hour. Baste with the marinade ingredients several times during roasting.
  8. When they’re done, remove them to a platter with the orange wedges. Cover and let rest.
  9. Skim off the much of the fat from the pan juices. Return to the oven and let the juices reduce slightly to make a thin gravy.
  10. Serve the gravy on the side for drizzling over the cut up birds.

Note: I served this with onion and currant pilaf and a platter of green beans.


  1. Beautifully roasted chicken! Your family must be enjoying this dish very much. :)

  2. Hi Susan,
    Oh my! That is one gorgeous looking bird! Looks so delicious and mouth-watering! Love the golden colour and all the ingredients. Having this with rice pilaf sounds really, really good! Delicious choice!

  3. Such gorgeous colors--the veggies and the color on that bird. I love all of the flavors--citrus and oregano are such a great combination. ;-)

  4. Oh, that must be so very delicious!

    Ooo, that's my favorite olive oil (too?)!

  5. This is a wonderful looking bird. Unfortunately I am the only one in the familiy who really loves a whole bird on the table.

  6. Susan, this looks so beautiful and mouthwatering. Roast chook on a Sunday night is a regular event in our house, and I think this version will be making an appearance very soon. I am literally salivating over the idea of those chunks of roasted orange and herbs, and the pilaf sounds like the perfect accompaniment.

  7. Wow! What a beautiful dish! Roasted orange wedges sound fabulous with it.

  8. Oh yes, this chicken looks absolutely mouthwatering! Glorious perfection:) Roast chicken is definitely the quintessential family meal. This looks incredibly satisfying.


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