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The perfect main-course to make for a small holiday gathering, this Orange Cranberry Roasted Chicken is sweet, savory and so delicious. Made in partnership with my friends at Farmer Focus.
Whole Roasted Cranberry Orange Chicken
This year, the holiday season might be looking slightly different than it has in years past. Many will be looking to gather this holiday season in smaller-than-normal groups, which means you don’t need quite as much food as you usually do. But that doesn’t mean you can’t still celebrate around the table with something super delicious, and we think this Cranberry Orange Roasted Chicken should be a part of it! A roasted chicken is the perfect holiday centerpiece that serves anywhere from 4-6.
There is a lot going on with this chicken! It’s roasted up with savory and sweet flavors like fresh oranges, cranberry, rosemary, garlic, and ginger. As the chicken roasts, you bast the chicken with all of those flavors and the skin turns a beautiful golden brown color.
Serve it up with the amazing gravy that is made with the pan juices, and all your favorite sides. Of course, we’re sharing our favorite below!
Ingredients Needed for this Holiday Roast Chicken
- Farmer Focus Whole Chicken
- Garlic + Ginger
- Salt + Pepper
- Chicken Stock
- Tapioca Starch
Why a Quality Chicken is a Must
I am so happy to partner with my friends at Farmer Focus to bring you today’s Cranberry Orange Roasted Chicken recipe! Chicken is of course the star of this dish, so it is incredibly important to use the best quality!
Farmer Focus has been my trusted chicken for years because they pride themselves in producing the highest quality meat grown on family-owned farms. You can 100% taste the difference. I love knowing that when I pick up Farmer Focus chicken at the grocery store, it’s the best there is and I don’t have to question whether it was raised in a humane way.
Farmer Focus is building partnerships with farmers through their innovative Farmer Focus Business Model
What I love about Farmer Focus is that they are a company that supports their farmer partners and they are working hard to do things right and truly raise and produce the highest quality chicken! Every Farmer Focus product includes a 4-letter Farm ID that traces your chicken to the farm that raised it. Buying meat from Farmer Focus also gives me peace of mind that I am supporting hard-working family farmers.
Farmer Focus chickens are humanely raised and fed a diet free from animal byproducts, pesticides, and antibiotics. On their website you can see where all of the farms are located, so you know just where your chicken was raised! How awesome is that?!
You can also use their easy store locator to find where you can get this amazing quality chicken near you.
How to Defrost a Chicken Safely
The best, and safest way to defrost a frozen chicken is to do so slowly! Place your frozen chicken in the refrigerator at least 24 hours before you plan to do cook it. If the chicken has been in a deep freezer, you may want to give it 2-3 days to defrost.
Make sure to place your chicken in a bowl, to catch any potential drips as it defrosts. The best place to put it to defrost is on the lowest level of a refrigerator to ensure there is no cross-contamination from the raw meat to your other food.
How to Roast this Holiday Chicken
The first thing you want to make sure you do when you are roasting a chicken is to make sure it is fully defrosted and that it has been at room temperature for about an hour. This ensures the chicken cooks evenly and is more tender. Also, make sure to preheat your oven fully.
Next, you want to prepare the chicken and season it liberally all over with salt and pepper. This recipe calls for adding oranges, rosemary, and cranberries inside the cavity of the bird. This ensures the flavor infuses inside and out. Next, tie the legs together with kitchen string and tuck the wing tips under the body of the chicken. You don’t need to truss the bird traditionally, but simply tie the legs together to ensure the oranges stay inside.
Then place chicken in the middle of the roasting pan and add ¼ cup chicken stock to the bottom of the pan and the remaining ½ cup cranberries and oranges. Don’t use a rack to place underneath a chicken. Pour the orange honey mixture over the top of the bird.
Place the chicken in the oven. Every 20 minutes or so you’ll be spooning pan juices on top of the chicken and then rotating the pan. Watch carefully to make sure the skin doesn’t get too brown. You can loosely cover it with foil to prevent any super dark spots. Repeat the process of basting the bird until the chicken registers to 165ºF in the thickest part of the breast or until juices run clear, about 1 hour.
Of course, after you roast a chicken, make sure to let it fully rest for about 15 minutes before you carve into it.
How to Make the Gravy
It’s super simple to make this gravy!
The first thing you need to do is to strain out the drippings into a small pot. If your liquid has reduced too much, you can add in additional chicken stock to the pan drippings. You want to have at a minimum about 1 cup of liquid. The reason for this is because the gravy may be too salty if your pan drippings have reduced too much. You can figure this out by tasting it! If you have much more than a cup, you’ll want to reduce your liquid down a bit, so it has enough flavor.
Bring your pan drippings up to a boil. If it needs to be reduced, reduce it down until it has a balanced but strong flavor.
Then whisk together a slurry of tapioca starch and water in a separate bowl. Add in half of the slurry to the pot and let it thicken up. If you want it, thicker, add in the remaining slurry. This is an optional step, you don’t have to thicken in.
Taste and adjust the seasoning of the gravy. Because all chickens are different, and the strength of the flavor of each gravy will vary, tasting it and adjusting what you need is your best bet for a delicious gravy. You can also add in a splash of fresh orange juice to brighten it up.
Sides to Serve with this Cranberry Orange Roasted Chicken
This roasted chicken will go well with many side dishes. If serving in lieu of a traditional Thanksgiving turkey, be sure to pair it with your favorite side dishes. Here are some of our favorites:
- Dairy Free Mashed Potatoes
- Garlicky Blistered Green Beans
- Oven Roasted Vegetables
- Maple Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Bacon
- Harvest Salad with Maple Balsamic Dressing
- Healthy Sweet Potato Casserole
- Healthy Creamed Spinach (Made Without Cream!)
Watch the video:
If you like this holiday recipe, check out these others:
- Maple Glazed Ham
- Easy Roasted Turkey Breast with Pear Chutney
- How to Roast a Thanksgiving Turkey (with Herbs and Citrus)
- How to Make a Spatchcock Chicken
Orange Cranberry Roasted Chicken
- 3/4 cup fresh-squeezed orange juice from about 3 oranges
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 2 garlic cloves grated
- 1 ” piece fresh ginger grated
- 1-3-4 lb. Farmer Focus whole chicken at room temperature for 1 hour
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 oranges quartered
- Sprig of rosemary
- 1 cup cranberries fresh or frozen, divided
- 1/4 cup chicken stock more as needed
- 2 teaspoons tapioca starch
- 1 tablespoons water
- Pre-heat the oven to 400º F and place the rack in the lower part of the oven.
- Mix together orange juice, honey, grated ginger and garlic together in a bowl.
- To prepare the chicken: remove the giblets and remove any excess fat or feathers. Salt and pepper both the outside and the inside of the chicken. Add ½ the oranges, rosemary and 1/2 of the cranberries to the cavity. Tie the legs together with kitchen string and tuck the wing tips under the body of the chicken. Place chicken in the middle of the roasting pan and add ¼ cup chicken stock to the bottom of the pan along with the remaining cranberries and oranges. Pour the orange honey mixture over the top of the bird.
- Place in the pre-heated oven and roast for 20 minutes. Spoon pan juices on top of chicken, rotate the pan, and return to the oven to continue to bake for 20 more minutes. Repeat the process of basting the bird until the chicken registers to 165ºF in the thickest part of the breast or until juices run clear, about 1 hour. Cover the chicken if the top is browning too quickly
- Remove chicken from the pan and let it rest, loosely covered with foil for 15 minutes.
- Strain the liquid from the roasting pan into a small pot. If you have less than 1 cup of drippings, add in more chicken stock. Bring up to a boil. Taste and adjust the seasoning of the gravy, reducing if not flavorful enough, or adding in more stock if too salty. Whisk together tapioca and water, and add to the gravy.
- Serve the chicken with the gravy on the side.
I was wondering if you think that this recipe would work well for a turkey? I’m making 2 turkeys for the 18 people coming for Thanksgiving! One, I’m doing our traditional way for my husband, but wanted to try this with the smaller one.
Loved it! I get my five pound chickens from a farmer which are so good. Next time I make it I will make the gravy with extra orange juice and thicken it with corn starch as I did with this one. Was not to sure what orange gravy would be like but we loved it, so different and good with whipped potatoes. Made stuffing in and baked it the oven beside the chicken roaster. Steamed buttered carrots. What a great meal.
I even ate the left over cranberries and oranges on the side.
I will be making this recipe again
Wayne & Mona
Does the chicken sit directly on the pan in the juice, or is it on a small rack in the pan? Looks delicious! Can’t wait to make on Christmas.
It did sit directly in the juice, but if you wanted to roast it above the juice, you can use a rack.
just beautiful, a wonderful way to treat chicken, that is, make it actually taste, or is that I’m just a little but tired of my chicken recipes? Either way, love these orange cranberry flavors in a chicken, thank you!