An indescribably wonderful dish - you'll never go back to plain roast chicken again!

Chicken with Allspice and Citrus

We all know that an extra hot oven does wonderful things to chicken, but did you also know that it has the same transformative effect on citrus?  And isn’t it also wonderful that sunny citrus fruit comes into season right smack in the middle of winter, just when we need a little brightening.  This dish not only cheers me, but actually helped to warm a very nippy kitchen today.  I’d say it’s the perfect dinner to lead the charge into January.

Chicken Roasted with Allspice and Citrus

Like the vast majority of dishes I share here, this one is super quick and easy, in fact the hardest part by far is cleaning the baking sheet afterwards.  Be sure to line it with parchment or foil because the natural sweetness of the citrus glaze will caramelize right onto the pan.  In other words, what makes it especially delicious also makes it a holy terror to clean up.  I love this beautiful chicken, I could eat it every night for the entire month.  It’s not quite a 30-minute meal, but it’s darn close.  It’s also a one pan wonder, the chicken gets nice and crispy golden without any pre-browning.

Roasted Chicken with an allspice and citrus glaze

I don’t bother to rinse the chicken beforehand, I like it to be as dry as possible because that helps the sauce cling to the meat, and it helps everything get nice and crispy in the oven.  The practice of rinsing raw chicken is outmoded and isn’t necessary.  In fact rinsing can actually spread any potential germs, which the heat of the oven will take care of anyway.  So skip the messy rinsing, your chicken will be the better for it.

Preparing Chicken with Allspice and Roasted Citrus

Whisk together the simple sauce, or glaze, made from olive oil, pomegranate molasses, allspice, salt and pepper, and brush it on the chicken.  If you absolutely can’t find pomegranate molasses, which is pomegranate juice that has been reduced down to a thick syrup, I suppose you could substitute some lemon juice and honey, but I really recommend the molasses.  The flavor is unique and really special.  It will be in the International section of your grocery store, and  Amazon always has it, in a pinch.  The allspice adds a warm spicy clove type flavor that makes this dish so special.  The sauce is inspired by the dressing on this Tomato, Onion and Roasted Lemon Salad.

Chicken with allspice and citrus

You’ll thinly slice your citrus and arrange them around and underneath the chicken.  Finish with a good sprinkle of sea salt, fresh cracked black pepper and some fresh thyme.  The hot oven does the rest in about 35 minutes.  I baste the chicken with the remaining sauce once or twice, and garnish with more thyme.

Roasted chicken with allspice and citrus

The citrus is sliced so thinly that it will caramelize in the oven, and it becomes soft and delicious enough to eat whole.  Because you will be eating the whole fruit, be sure to wash it well before slicing, and remove any seeds first.  I sliced the fruit between 1/4 and 1/8 inch…any thicker and they will not cook through as well, any thinner and the slices will basically just disintegrate.  I use an inexpensive mandoline slicer to do the job quickly and easily.  I sliced up Meyer lemon, blood orange, Cara Cara orange (a pinkish sweet orange) and a Satsuma tangerine.  Skip the grapefruit and lime, they’d be too bitter for this.

Roasted Chicken with Allspice and Citrus

Yield: serves 4

Roasted Chicken with Allspice and Citrus

What You Will Need

  • about 6 legs and 2 bone-in skin on breasts (or you can use a whole chicken cut in pieces, or use your favorite parts, thighs would work) Allow 2 pieces per person.
  • 1 blood orange
  • 1 Meyer lemon
  • 1 satsuma tangerine
  • 1 small Cara Cara orange
  • sauce
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp pomegranate molasses
  • 1 tsp ground allspice
  • a dash of salt and a few grinds of pepper


  1. Set oven to 475F
  2. Cut the chicken breasts in half crosswise.
  3. Wash and dry the citrus fruit. Using a mandoline slicer, slice them between 1/4 and 1/8 inch thick. Remove any seeds. Note: I used all the lemon, but only about half of the other fruits.
  4. Line a baking sheet (the kind with sides) with parchment paper or foil. Set down a few slices of the fruit, and then lay out your chicken pieces, making sure not to crowd the pan. if you are making extra, use another pan rather than crowd the chicken.
  5. Whisk together the sauce ingredients and brush it onto each piece of chicken. Arrange slices of citrus around the chicken. You may not need all the slices.
  6. Shower everything with a little bit of sea salt and some fresh cracked black pepper.
  7. Roast for about 35 minutes. I baste the chicken a couple of times with more sauce.
  8. Serve with more fresh thyme.


You could, if you have the time, marinate the chicken in the sauce. This isn't necessary, but it's an option if you are thinking ahead.

Roasted Chicken with Allspice and Citrus

Tips for success:

  • Use bone-in, skin-on chicken…the meat will stay moister and you will get a great crispy brown result.
  • Wash your fruit well with soap and water since you will be eating the rind.  Organic is always a good choice.
  • Slice the citrus fruit with a mandoline slicer to get very thin, even slices.  I slice them between 1/4 and 1/8 thick.  Be sure to remove the seeds after you’ve sliced the fruit (they don’t taste good!)
  • This dish requires high heat…make sure your oven temperature is accurate.  I use an inexpensive oven thermometer (my grocery store sells them in the kitchen section) to check.  475F sounds high, but it’s the right temp for this dish.
  • Line your pan with parchment or foil, otherwise the food will stick.  And make sure you use a baking sheet with sides!
  • I like to cut the breasts in half so the pieces of chicken are relatively the same size and will cook evenly.
  • You can finish the dish under the broiler if for any reason you didn’t get quite enough charring on your fruit.

Roasted Chicken glazed with allspice and pomegranate

Almost too pretty to eat!

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36 Responses to Roasted Chicken with Allspice and Citrus

  1. What a beautiful dish and perfect for the winter weather, I love the citrus and thyme with this! I am sharing your recipe on my recipe blog Easy 30-Minute Paleo Meals & Snacks Recipes ..

  2. […] *This recipe is adapted from Sue at* […]

  3. […] ROASTED CHICKEN WITH ALLSPICE AND CITRUS – The View From Great Island […]

  4. […] Roasted Chicken with All Spice and Citrus A 30-minute meal everyone will love. Recipe here // via The View from Great […]

  5. […] a pumelo this year. I’m intrigued by the idea of roasting thin slices, rind and all, in this roasted chicken and citrus recipe. I’m also planning to make this citrus water pitcher this weekend. It’s just so […]

  6. Nancy says:

    Used boneless skinless thighs and they came out GREAT. Pomegranate Molasses was found at Whole Foods so that made this super easy. The meat was moist and the caramelized fruit was wonderful to eat with it. I used a sharp serrated knife to cut the fruit as the mandolin did not like cutting fruit.

  7. Lisa says:

    I am looking forward to making this tomorrow evening for supper, however I could not find pomegranate molasses for the life of me. What would be a reasonable swap or an alternate sauce that would pair well with the citrus and chicken?

  8. This looks and sounds amazing!

  9. Jane says:

    Any suggestions for substitutions of the citrus if it cannot be found? I so want to make this dish this weekend, and was able to find the molasses in Denver, just not sure I will be able to find the citrus. Just love your blog and check it every day. Thanks for sharing all these great recipes, which I in turn share with my neighbors!

    • Sue says:

      You can use regular lemons and regular tangerines or another small orange, like clementines, Jane. If you can find Meyer lemons, that would be great. The key is to get whatever fruit you use thinly sliced. So glad you were able to find the molasses, you’ll love it! And thanks for the kind words!

  10. Really beautiful photos and recipe! I’ve been on a mission the last few weeks to use up the beautiful citrus of the season in any way possible. This is such a fantastic idea. Also, for anyone who can’t find pomegranate molasses – Alton Brown has a great recipe to make your own using pomegranate juice which you should be able to find:

    Nicely done, Sue!

  11. Just look at those colours! Wow, Sue! I can only imagine how crispy and flavourful that chicken skin! Adding it to my “make it soon” list.

  12. Gorgeous colour and flavour! I love the use of allspice.

  13. Monica says:

    Happy New Year! This looks delicious and beautiful…just the kind of meal I need when we’re all home and we are constantly hungry! : )

  14. These photos are unbelievably gorgeous!!! i want to jump into the screen! Thanks for share, just beautiful!

  15. I don’t even eat meat and this is some gorgeous chicken! The colors are just stunning, Sue! Pinned!

  16. What a beautiful dish and perfect for the winter weather. I haven’t used pomegranate molasses in quite sometime but will pick some up. I’m assuming you used bone-in pieces. I over looked it if you said that. Really nice recipe. Thank you for sharing.

    • Sue says:

      Definitely bone in pieces for this dish, at least I meant to, I mistakenly picked up boneless breasts, but that was a mistake. The bone in keeps the chicken moister. Thanks Vicki!

      • I agree the bones keep the meat more moist however if you used boneless chicken breasts with the skin on and it tasted great I’m all for it. My family prefers it that way, plus the cooking time is less. I think it’s a beautiful dish and look forward to trying this very soon.

  17. Amanda says:

    WOW!!! This is GORGEOUS!!!

  18. Roasted chicken has never looked so good, I love the citrus and thyme with this!

  19. Kathleen says:

    Oh my this looks and sounds amazing! The photos are totally gorgeous!

  20. Karishma says:

    Looooove this. Oh my gosh, this chicken looks amazing!! I am super obsessed with citrus right now, so I am definitely going to have to make this.

  21. You just made me change my grocery order to include all the ingredients for this recipe. What a gorgeous roasted chicken!

    • Sue says:

      Oh wow, that’s my goal! I hope you can find the beautiful citrus, it’s in all the strores out here in CA. Thanks for visiting Pamela!

  22. clare says:

    This looks amazing! So bright and healthy. Definitely going to try this soon!

  23. Wow! What a beautiful dish to start out 2015! Love citrus this time of year.

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