Something for the weekend – Baked Citrus Chicken

This is a super way of cooking chicken and a perfect winter warmer or family meal, that is low enough in calories to have on a Fast Day! All you need to add is some steamed green beans and carrots and some wilted spinach. This has become a firm favourite since I first cooked it last February and is now my preferred way of cooking a whole chicken. The citrus-flavoured gravy is delicious.

This is one of the recipes that I have included in 5:2 Healthy Eating for Life which is now available in print and kindle editions from Amazon.

Baked Citrus Chicken with Pumpkin, Parsnips and Peppers

Baked Citrus Chicken

The idea here is to have the enjoyment of a roast chicken, but by using citrus juice instead of fat, the whole meal is lighter and healthier. When there are just the 2 of us for lunch, I can get several meals from an average sized bird, and then there is the carcass to make stock with for a tasty soup and leftovers to have with salad. A great alternative to a traditional Sunday Roast!

Serves 4

  • 1 whole chicken (1.5kg) 917 kcals
  • 2 oranges 40 kcals
  • 1 lime 20 kcals
  • 500g pumpkin or butternut squash 170 kcals
  • 1 med-large (200g) parsnip 150 kcals
  • 1 red bell pepper 37 kcals
  • 1 red onion 44 kcals
  • 1 red chilli 6 kcals
  • 1 tbsp jerk seasoning
  • 1 tsp Bisto gravy powder (optional) 5 kcals
  • 300 ml vegetable stock or water

Heat the oven to 180C (fan).

Remove any visible fat from the chicken.

Peel the pumpkin or squash, the parsnip and the red onion. Trim the pepper and chilli and remove the seeds and pith. Cut all the veggies into wedges and put into a roasting tray.

Make slivers from some of the orange and lime peel (no pith) and reserve.

Lightly grate the remainder over the veggies.

Squeeze the juice of the fruits and pour half over the veggies.

Put the chicken on top and brush the remainder of the juice over, then rub in the jerk seasoning.

Bake for 1 to 1.5 hours, until the chicken is cooked through, basting regularly with the juice.

Put the chicken to rest on a warm serving plate and keep the veggies warm while you make the gravy.

If there is any visible fat in the pan juices, strain it off.

Add stock or water to the pan together with the orange and lime rind.

I like to use a little Bisto mixed with water to make the gravy a little thicker, but it will have a good colour anyway from the jerk spices.

Bring to the boil and simmer for few minutes whilst steaming other veggies to serve with it.

Serve slices or portions of meat without skin, the wonderful coloured vegetables alongside and gravy with some of the peel to bring the whole dish together.

You could use sweet potato or beetroot instead of parsnip.

Based on a recipe in an old Good Housekeeping cookery club book “Healthy Eating”, 1995.

Per serving: 349 kcals
Carbs 30g Fat 9g Protein 38g

Serve with steamed vegetables such as julienne carrots, broccoli spears and peas.

a great alternative to a Sunday Roast - Baked Orange Chicken with Pumpkin, Parsnip and Peppers

Baked Citrus Chicken with Pumpkin, Parsnip and Peppers

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