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Ugly Rosemary Orange Roasted Chicken

Ugly Rosemary Orange Roasted Chicken

Ugly Rosemary Orange Roasted Chicken |

How can you not rush out and cook a recipe with a name like: “Mom, the House Smells Great” Roasted Chicken? That’s the title of this original recipe; it appears on the pages one of my favorite cookbooks, The Moms’ Guide to Meal Makeovers by two dietitian friends, Janice Bissex and Liz Weiss. This cookbook contains 122 recipes (I counted!) and I’ve prepared at least 100 of them. My kids have loved every single recipe. Now, after that glowing endorsement, I have only one issue with the cookbook: No pictures.

But that’s probably a very good thing.

Because if the cookbook photo had looked like the one above, would you have made it?? Seriously! This is not food photography to appear in glossy magazines. And it probably won’t get much Pinterest traffic – except on the fabulous new board by Cooking Light magazine about cooking mishaps called Cooking Mistakes, Solved!.

Ugly Rosemary Orange Roasted Chicken |

But, dear readers, this chicken tastes out-of-this-world! It will make your house smell beyond amazing! AND it’s so simple, I can call it fool-proof. It is also flexible: The original calls for extra virgin olive oil – I’ve used plain canola oil. The original lists fresh rosemary and basil – I’ve only every used dried rosemary and oregano. No fresh garlic or lemon? Use garlic from a jar and an orange. Can’t find a 4-5 pound free-range chicken, use a plain supermarket 2-3 pound whole chicken. (A 5-pound chicken serves about six, buy two smaller chickens if serving a crowd.)

Worried your dinner guests will turn up their noses at a roast chicken that’s not browned to perfect golden perfections and has floppy drumsticks? Don’t! When they enter your home steeped in aromas of garlic, orange and rosemary wafting to their noses, they will look forward to every succulent, juicy bite of Rosemary Orange Roasted Chicken.

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Ugly Rosemary Orange Roasted Chicken |

Rosemary Orange Roasted Chicken

  • Author: by Serena Ball, RD


Fool-proof roasted chicken recipe with the flavors of rosemary, orange and garlic to make your house smell amazing!


  • 1 tablespoon canola oil (or extra virgin olive oil)
  • Grated orange peel from 1 medium orange
  • 1 teaspoon ground rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • One 3-pound whole chicken


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a small bowl, combine oil, orange peel, rosemary, oregano, salt and garlic; mix well.
  3. Remove giblets (innards) from chicken cavity and place chicken on cutting board. Gently loosen the skin from the chicken breast and drumsticks by inserting your fingers and pushing between the skin and the meat. (Really, this is SO easy, do not be afraid! Even if you poke a hole in the skin – which is hard to do – a little extra flavoring will bubble out, but it’s no big deal!)
  4. Rub the oregano seasoning mix under the loosened chicken skin.
  5. Place the chicken, breast side up on a broiler or roasting sheet in the center of the oven.
  6. Bake until the chicken turns some-what golden brown and a meat thermometer inserted in the thickest portion of breast meat registers 165 degrees F.

Do you make roasted chicken? Do you have a good “ugly but delicious” recipe/cooking story to share? We love hearing from you!

Rosemary Orange Roasted Chicken – Get Off The Couch and Cook

Monday 16th of February 2015

[…] on flavor.  I had a lot of fun perusing their recipes but ultimately ended up choosing the Ugly Rosemary Orange Roasted Chicken.  The picture really was of a homely hen on a platter which made me giggle.  Proof that food […]


Wednesday 8th of May 2013

Giggling at this post, and after your glowing review, I am definitely gonna' pin this one, wrinkly chicken skin and all!!!


Sunday 12th of May 2013

Thanks for the pin EA! I guess the wrinkly skin makes it more real? (:


Tuesday 7th of May 2013

I was taught to never judge a book by its cover, so I'm extending that rule to chickens too. I'm sure it tastes even better than it looks, especially with all of those amazing seasonings you added underneath the skin!


Wednesday 8th of May 2013

Thanks Amy! No chicken-judging is a good idea. (:

Meal Makeover Mom Janice

Tuesday 7th of May 2013

Serena, you are too funny. One might think that a cookbook author might be offended if someone called their recipe ugly but since I know how great this chicken tastes I'll let it go! Plus, I wouldn't dare criticize anyone who has made over 100 recipes from our cookbook! My question is, when are you going to get to the remaining 22 recipes? Slacker... :)


Wednesday 8th of May 2013

Janice, Your recipes are simply the BEST. Fool-proof and delicious...honestly that's what matters. Your food photography of your current recipes is beautiful too! Thanks for still being my friend too! (:

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