Roast Chicken with Blood Orange and Olives

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Roast Chicken with Blood Orange and Olives ~ you’re going to roast chicken anyway, so why not make it special?  Peel a couple of blood oranges (substitute regular oranges or tangerines) and throw in some green olives to bake along with it, you’ll be so happy you did!

Next time you pick up a package of chicken, think about stopping by the olive bar and produce section for a couple of quick additions.  The briny green olives and sweet acidity of the oranges makes a wonderful sauce when you deglaze the pan with a little Marsala.  Red onions, a little garlic, and thyme are the only other players in this game.

I’ve got a long history with chicken and citrus here on the blog, my MEYER LEMON ROAST CHICKEN uses a little Limoncello in the sauce, the epic ROAST CHICKEN WITH CLEMENTINES is a Yotam Ottolenghi recipe, and LEMON CHICKEN BIRYANI is one of my faves.

The raspberry-citrus flavor and blush color of blood oranges is irresistible to me, but don’t despair if you can’t find them, any number of sliced citrus fruits would work here, you could try Meyer lemons or tangerines, for instance.

What are blood oranges?

Blood oranges are a Mediterranean variety of orange with a deep blush colored flesh that comes from pigments called anthocyanins ~ they’re the same antioxidant compounds that color blueberries and black rice.  Anthocyanins are also responsible for the red and purple colors in fall foliage.

Blood oranges have a distinctive berry like flavor and when you squeeze them the juice is an absolutely gorgeous color.  You can use the juice in dressings, sauces, and and drinks, both alcoholic and not.

There are a few different types of blood orange, Tarocco, Moro and Sanguinello. Slice open a blood orange and the flesh can be anything from rosy to almost black, depending on where they’re grown and the specific growing conditions.

From the outside, blood oranges look a lot like regular oranges, so read the signs and keep your eyes peeled for them in your produce section.

Are blood oranges worth the effort to find them?

Yes!  But not because they’re trendy or healthy (which they are) but because they’re such a pleasure for all your senses.  You’re only going to find them in season, in the middle of winter, so hunt some down soon!

TIP: Speak up and ask your produce manager for blood oranges…regular supermarkets have access to all kinds of stuff, they just need to know there’s a demand for it!

I’ve used blood oranges in all kinds of recipes here on tvfgi, but one of the simplest ways to get acquainted with their unique flavor and color is to make a BLOOD ORANGEADE.  It’s a healthy alternative to soda, and a great cocktail substitute if you’re trying to cut back on alcohol.


Ingredient spotlight: MARSALA WINE

Marsala wine is a must have pantry staple.  It’s an Italian fortified wine, (like Sherry, Port, and Madeira) meaning it has a higher alcohol content than regular wine.  Not only will you use it to make CHICKEN MARSALA, one of the easiest and most elegant meals out there, but it’s an ingredient in so many sauces, stews, and risottos. Don’t buy a Marsala that is made for cooking, look for it in the liquor section of your grocery store, with the other wines.  And bonus points if you can find one that is dry.  Store it in the liquor cabinet, it will last a long time.


*Recipe lightly adapted from A Bird in the Hand by Diana Henry

Roast Chicken with Blood Orange and Olives
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4.12 from 18 votes

Chicken with Blood Orange and Olives

Roast Chicken with Blood Orange and Olives ~ you're going to roast chicken anyway, so why not make it special?  Peel a couple of blood oranges (substitute regular oranges or tangerines) and throw in some green olives to bake along with it, you'll be so happy you did!
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mediterranean
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Yield 4 -6 servings
Author Sue Moran


  • one fryer chicken cut into 8 parts
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil plus more for brushing
  • salt and fresh cracked black pepper
  • 1 medium red onion peeled, halved, and cut into thin wedges
  • 3 cloves garlic peeled and minced
  • 1/2 cup Marsala
  • juice of 1 blood orange
  • 1 cup green olives
  • 2 blood oranges peeled and sliced


  • extra thyme sprigs


  • Set oven to 375F
  • Heat a heavy skillet that is big enough to fit all the chicken in a single layer on medium high and lightly coat the bottom with olive oil. Brush the chicken pieces with oil and season with salt and pepper on all sides. Brown the chicken on both sides, starting with the skin side down, and working in batches so you don't crowd the pan. Add more oil if necessary.
  • Remove the chicken to a plate and reduce the heat. Add the onions to the pan and saute for a few minutes, just to soften them a bit. Add the garlic and saute for a minute or two more.
  • Pour the Marsala into the pan and stir to get any browned bits off the bottom, then add the orange juice. Arrange the chicken pieces back into the pan, skin side up. Add several sprigs of thyme, bring to a boil, and then put the pan in the oven for 20 minutes.
  • Take the chicken out of the oven and add the olives and orange slices. Put back in the oven for a further 20 minutes, or until the chicken is done through. If you'd like more caramelization, slide the pan under the broiler for a few minutes, but watch it carefully.
  • Serve right away, garnished with fresh thyme leaves. Be sure to spoon all that good sauce over the chicken, too!
The nutritional information for recipes on this site is provided as a courtesy and although tries to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.

Make it your own ~

  • Use all chicken thighs if you like.
  • Any type of olive will work, I think the black wrinkly Kalamata olives would be great, too.
  • For Paleo and Whole 30, use chicken broth in place of the Marsala.


Don’t forget to pin this Roast Chicken with Blood Orange and Olives!

Roast Chicken with Blood Orange and Olives ~ you're going to roast chicken anyway, so why not make it special? Peel a couple of blood oranges (substitute regular oranges or tangerines) and throw in some green olives to bake along with it, you'll be so happy you did! #roastchicken #bloodoranges #dinner #Mediterranean #healthy #chickenthighs #onepotmeal #glutenfree #whole30 #paleo #skilletchicken #skilletdinner

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    Leave a Reply

    Please rate this recipe!

  • Reply
    January 15, 2021 at 1:11 pm

    5 stars
    Very colourful recipe! Thanks for sharing .
    I made it tonigh , this was highly appreciated by my family, very good flavours mix.
    Joelle from Belgium

  • Reply
    January 12, 2020 at 2:49 pm

    5 stars
    Made this for the second time today. We love it!

    • Reply
      January 14, 2020 at 8:29 am

      Yay! Thanks for letting me know Sharon 🙂

  • Reply
    January 7, 2020 at 5:22 pm

    5 stars
    Loved this recipe! Used chicken thighs and even found citrus rind stuffed green olives. My husband so greatly enjoyed this dish that he said … “Please tell Sue how much I liked how it!”

    • Reply
      January 7, 2020 at 7:56 pm

      Citrus rind stuffed olives? Now I have to track them down…and I’m so glad your husband approves!

  • Reply
    February 18, 2019 at 9:25 am

    I’m definitely going to make this, but unfortunately, probably with tangerines., since we never get anything like blood oranges on my little rock. My daughter is planning to make it. She loves blood oranges and I posted it on my facebook page. One of my friends commented on all the lovely colors and how she might like to make a painting feom this! It really is a pretty, colorful dish.

    • Reply
      January 14, 2020 at 8:30 am

      Haha, it really is almost too pretty to eat 😉

  • Reply
    Jack @ BBQ Recipez
    April 15, 2018 at 2:18 am

    This looks delicious! I am always looking for new chicken recipes. Definitely going to try this!

  • Reply
    January 30, 2018 at 5:13 am

    5 stars
    Dear Sue!
    What a wonderful recipe, thank you!
    I made it today and it’s delicious, there are so many great flavours in it.
    Best wishes
    Tina from Germany

    • Reply
      January 30, 2018 at 7:42 am

      Thanks so much Tina, I’m interested that you can get blood oranges in Germany!

      • Reply
        February 1, 2018 at 4:45 am

        That´s no Problem. You can get them on markets and we have a lot of turkish grocery stores wehere you can buy a lot of wonderful fruits and vegetables.

        • Reply
          February 1, 2018 at 10:15 am

          Good to know!

  • Reply
    January 21, 2018 at 5:22 pm

    Your recipe comes at the right time. My girlfriend gave me a bag of blood oranges. I’ll make some marmalade with them but I am also going to try your recipe.

    • Reply
      January 22, 2018 at 7:29 am

      I haven’t made blood orange marmalade yet, that’s on the bucket list, enjoy the chicken Gerlinde.

  • Reply
    Laura | Tutti Dolci
    January 20, 2018 at 10:39 pm

    Such a stunning dinner idea, I love the bright pop of citrus!

  • Reply
    Mary Ann | The Beach House Kitchen
    January 19, 2018 at 7:40 pm

    What a gorgeous dish Sue! I love blood orange season. This sounds so flavorful and so up my alley! Love all the ingredients on the list. Can’t wait to try!

  • Reply
    Chelsea @ Healthy Fabulous Life
    January 19, 2018 at 3:12 pm

    This dish is gorgeous!! Love all the bright flavors going on.

  • Reply
    Jennifer @ Seasons and Suppers
    January 19, 2018 at 8:12 am

    I am still on the hunt for blood oranges here, but when I find them, I’ll be making this one for sure. Love orange and chicken together!

    • Reply
      January 19, 2018 at 8:35 am

      I think tangerines or Mandarins would be really nice, too Jennifer.

  • Reply
    Chris Scheuer
    January 19, 2018 at 6:50 am

    This looks crazy delicious Sue – and so beautiful! I haven’t had breakfast yet but I’m craving chicken now!

    • Reply
      January 19, 2018 at 7:42 am

      I believe in starting the day with a shot of protein, Chris!

  • Reply
    Tricia @ Saving Room for Dessert
    January 19, 2018 at 5:47 am

    That color and flavor combination has me intrigued! You are a gifted kitchen magician and I wish you lived near me so I could be your taste tester. Another amazing recipe!

    • Reply
      January 19, 2018 at 10:51 am

      I’m always looking for new taste testers, Tricia!

  • Reply
    [email protected]'s Recipes
    January 19, 2018 at 3:32 am

    Had lots of blood oranges last days, but mostly in salads or as they are…yours paired with chicken looks so much more tempting and delicious, Sue.

    • Reply
      January 19, 2018 at 7:40 am

      Thanks Angie, I toyed with the idea of making a glaze out of the oranges and doing the chicken that way, I think maybe with thighs or wings that would be great, too.