Honey, Orange and Rosemary Butterflied Chicken with Pumpkin, Carrot and Onion Bake

Honey, Orange and Rosemary Butterflied Chicken with Pumpkin, Carrot and Onion Bake

As it is orange season here on the farm, I thought it would be good to share a very simple and extremely scrumptious baked chicken dish, you might like to try as a substitute to the traditional Sunday roast. It harnesses the season and is sure to lift one’s spirits during the dark, cold days of winter.

honey orange and rosemary chicken

Serves 6


1 whole chicken – (butterflied, see below)
500 grams pumpkin – (peeled and cut into 2-3 cm chunks)
3 or 4 large carrots – (peeled and cut into 2-3 cm chunks)
1 or 2 red onions – cut into chunks or wedges
2 oranges – (zest and juice)
4 or 5 sprigs of rosemary – (destalked and finely chopped)
3 cloves of garlic – (minced)
3 heaped tablespoons of honey
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil + extra
salt and pepper

optional extras
1 thumb ginger – (finely chopped)
½ chilli flakes or paprika
1 tablespoon soy sauce


1. Butterflying a whole chicken is a relatively simple procedure, all you need is a pair of cooking scissors or a good sharp knife. Place the whole chicken, breast side down and simply cut down each side of the backbone of the chicken and remove. Next, turn the chicken over and press firmly on the breast area so the area flattens (you may hear the cracking of some small bones, namely the wishbone and ribcage). The chicken is then butterflied for use.

Alternatively, get your friendly butcher to do it for you.

2. Next prepare the marinade by mixing the orange zest and juice, rosemary, garlic, honey, oil and the optional extras (if used) in a mixing bowl.
3. Salt and pepper the chicken well and then rub some of the marinade into its surface (back and front). Place a few glugs of oil into the base of a roasting tray and place the chicken (breast side up) into the tray. Put into a pre-heat oven at 200ᵒ C and bake for 20 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, prepare the vegetables – place in a bowl, add salt, pepper and 2 tablespoons of the marinade liquid and toss together well.
5. Take the chicken out of the oven spread some of the marinate over the breast before turning it over and then spreading more marinade on the upward facing underside and return to oven for a further 20 minutes. At the same time, line a flat baking tray with some baking paper, spread some olive oil over the surface and pour the vegetables and marinade onto the surface and arrange into a single layer. Place the vegetable on their tray into the oven to cook along with the chicken.
6. After the further 20 minutes of cooking, remove the chicken once more, place some marinade onto the upward facing surface before turning it over again so the breast is upward. Pour the remaining marinade (minus 2 tablespoons) over the breast and front surface and add ¼ cup of water to the base of the baking tray. Return to oven for a final 20 minutes of baking.
7. At this point the chicken should be cooked, beautiful and brown with some charring and the vegetables should be almost done. Remove the chicken from the tray and allow to rest.

You can reserve the liquid on the bottom of the tray to spoon over the finished dish before serving if you wish.

8. Remove the vegetables from the oven, pour the reserved 2 tablespoons of marinade over their surface and place back in the oven for a further 5 minutes of baking.
9. To cut the chicken, place it on a chopping board and using a heavy knife or cleaver, cut into sections. Firstly, remove the thigh/leg portions (the Maryland section) – cut each section into two pieces at the joint. Next, cut the breast in half (on either side of the breastplate) – each breast-half should be cut into 3 pieces.
10. Place one or two pieces of chicken on a plate with a serving of the vegetable and a drizzle of the chicken baking tray juices.

You can make a simplified version of this dish, using only one baking tray and pre-cut chicken pieces or merely thighs or drumsticks. If doing the short-cut version, only use one orange in the marinade.

In the simplified version place baking paper at the bottom of the tray and cook chicken and vegetables for approximately 40 minutes. DON’T place all the marinade into the tray at once, use it more as a basting liquid for both the chicken and vegetables.

If you like this recipe you may also be interested in the following Sticky Asian Chicken Wings or Texan Style Barbequed Pork Spare Ribs

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