Aromatic Citrus Roast Chicken

By Margi Lenga Kahn

(Recipe may be doubled. Use two baking pans or dishes.)


  • Spice Mixture
  • 1 tbsp. coriander seeds
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp. black peppercorns


  • 1 c. lightly packed fresh cilantro leaves and tender stems
  • 1 c. lightly packed fresh parsley leaves
  • 4 whole garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • 2 large shallots, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 1 tsp. ground turmeric
  • 1⁄3 c. freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 3 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • Spice mixture from above


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  • 8 skin-on chicken pieces, any combination (larger chicken breasts may be cut in half)
  • 1 large bunch scallions, ends trimmed and onions cut at an angle in 2-inch pieces, for garnish
  • 2 small limes, each quartered, for garnish
  • Coarsely chopped parsley or cilantro leaves, for garnish


To make the spice mixture, toast coriander seeds, cumin seeds and black peppercorns in a small dry skillet over medium heat for about three minutes or until fragrant but not burned. Remove pan from heat and let spices cool.

Crush cooled spices in a mortar with pestle, or in a coffee grinder. (Alternatively, you can place in a small bag, place the bag on a cutting board and use a meat malate or small hammer to finely crush them.)

Make marinade by combining all listed ingredients, including spice blend, in bowl of food processor. Process until smooth; reserve.

Pat chicken pieces dry with paper towels and transfer them to a large bowl. Pour the reserved marinade over chicken and use a large spoon or tongs to make sure that all of the chicken pieces are evenly coated.  Cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. 

Remove chicken from refrigerator and let sit at room temperature for 15 minutes. Position racks in upper and lower third positions in oven and heat oven to 425 degrees. 

In a baking pan or oven-safe baking dish large enough to accommodate all of the chicken in a single layer, place chicken pieces skin-side down. (If using a mix of white and dark meat, place the white pieces in center of dish and the dark pieces along the rim.) Set pan onto lower oven rack and bake for 25 minutes. Turn chicken skin-side up, move pan onto upper rack and bake for five more minutes. 

Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees and continue baking chicken on upper rack 10-15 minutes more, or until it is fully cooked.

Transfer chicken pieces to a platter and carefully pour pan juices through a gravy separator. Place defatted juices into a small pan and cook over medium heat until slightly thickened, about five minutes. Drizzle juices over chicken and garnish with scallions, lime wedges and parsley or cilantro.                                

Note: Chicken may be prepared a day in advance. Store it, ungarnished and well covered (an oven-safe dish works best because it can be refrigerated, reheated and served in the same dish) in the refrigerator. To reheat, heat oven to 350 degrees on a rack positioned in the center. Heat chicken dish until very warm, about 15 minutes. Turn out onto a platter and garnish before serving.

Makes 6-8 servings.