Roasted Chicken with Allspice and Citrus

Chicken with Allspice and Citrus

Roasted Chicken with Allspice and Citrus ~ this gorgeous sheet pan dinner is a fabulous way to celebrate fresh citrus! I brush the chicken with a delicious pomegranate allspice glaze and everything cooks together on one pan.

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

Chicken with Allspice and Citrus

Wake up roasted chicken with citrus fruit!

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

Roasted chicken on a sheet pan = convenience and less clean up

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

Is rinsing raw chicken necessary?

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 studies have found that rinsing can actually spread germs, rather than control them. And the heat of the oven will take care of any potential bacteria anyway. So skip the messy rinsing, your chicken will be the crispier for it.

Preparing Chicken with Allspice and Roasted Citrus

The pomegranate allspice glaze makes this chicken spectacular

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

Everything cooks together on the sheet pan

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

You’ll eat the roasted citrus slices, peel and all, just remove the bitter seeds

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

Almost too pretty to eat!

Roasted Chicken glazed with allspice and pomegranate

Click here to see all my chicken recipes!

3.56 from 103 votes

Roasted Chicken with Allspice and Citrus

Roasted Chicken with Allspice and Citrus ~ this gorgeous sheet pan dinner is a fabulous way to celebrate fresh citrus! I brush the chicken with a delicious pomegranate allspice glaze and everything cooks together on one pan.
Course Dinner Recipes
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Yield 4 servings
Author Sue Moran


  • 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


  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp pomegranate molasses
  • 1 tsp ground allspice
  • a dash of salt and a few grinds of pepper


  • Set oven to 475F
  • Cut the chicken breasts in half crosswise.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Shower everything with a little bit of sea salt and some fresh cracked black pepper.
  • Roast for about 35 minutes. I baste the chicken a couple of times with more sauce.
  • Serve with more fresh thyme.

Cook's notes


  • Use bone-in, skin-on chicken...the meat will stay moister and you will get a great crispy brown result.
  • 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.
  • 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.
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.

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  • Reply
    Jenny Dearborn
    February 16, 2016 at 7:41 pm

    What a beautiful dish and perfect for the winter weather, I love the citrus and thyme with this!

    • Reply
      February 16, 2016 at 7:52 pm

      Thanks Jenny, I’m heading over to your blog now…

  • Reply
    January 14, 2015 at 11:29 am

    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.

  • Reply
    January 13, 2015 at 6:41 pm

    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?

    • Reply
      January 13, 2015 at 9:08 pm

      Good question, pomegranate molasses is pretty unique…how about a little fruity vinegar and/or some of the citrus juice. You can make your own pomegranate molasses very easily by putting some pomegranate juice (pure pomegranate juice) in a saucepan and boiling it down until it is reduced to a syrup. I have a recipe here:

      • Reply
        January 15, 2015 at 8:34 pm


        Just place a 1/2 cup of pomegranate juice in a pan over medium heat and reduce it by half… I like to use a 10″ nonstick frying pan for reductions as the expanse of surface area makes to process go quickly.
        Just don’t let the reduction burn!

        • Reply
          January 15, 2015 at 8:39 pm

          Sue Already said this…

          So I gotta! get New Glasses…?:^)

  • Reply
    January 12, 2015 at 7:59 am


    • Reply
      January 13, 2015 at 8:59 pm

      Thanks Betsy!

  • Reply
    Clever Girl Reviews
    January 10, 2015 at 12:59 pm

    This looks and sounds amazing!

  • Reply
    January 9, 2015 at 4:00 pm

    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!

    • Reply
      January 9, 2015 at 6:31 pm

      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!

  • Reply
    Carolyn Selheim-Miller
    January 9, 2015 at 8:16 am

    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!

    • Reply
      January 9, 2015 at 6:35 pm

      Thanks so much Carolyn, and thanks for the link. I also have a recipe for it on the blog, it’s incredibly easy!

  • Reply
    [email protected]
    January 4, 2015 at 9:46 am

    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.

  • Reply
    [email protected]'s+Recipes
    January 4, 2015 at 2:26 am

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

  • Reply
    January 3, 2015 at 4:35 pm

    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! : )

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