I simply adore citrus fruits, the sweet tanginess and the smell of the peels when cut or grated.  I also love lazy Sundays with a roast in the oven and the sweet promise of dessert and an afternoon nap on a cool winter’s afternoon.  If all of the above also appeals to you, you might want to consider trying this orange, honey and garlic chicken with sweet perfumed baby fennel bulbs.  There is just something very festive about placing a roast on a set table and carving it after saying grace.  I almost feel like doing it every day of the week.  The ingredients all cook down to a sweet fragrant sauce, and the fennel bulbs soak in all the citrus flavour that complement their soft anise flavours.

I served this roast chicken with fluffy white Basmati rice garnished with fresh parsley, and a lightly sauteed greens and roasted baby beetroot salad.




Serves: 4   Takes: About 15 min to prepare and 1 1/2 hour to cook.  Easy


  • One large chicken (about 1.5kg)
  • 1/2 orange
  • 3 large hands full of mixed fresh herbs (parsley, thyme, sage, rosemary)
  • 1/4 cup olive  oil
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 4 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1/8 cup honey
  • 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • juice of half a lemon
  • 2 heaped teaspoons chicken rub
  • 3 whole oranges (cut into quarters)
  • 1 teaspoon pink himalayan salt
  • cracked black pepper
  • 8 baby fennel bulbs (greens cut off)
  • 2 large leeks (chopped into slices)


  1. Pre-heat your oven to 200°C
  2. Prepare the chicken by patting dry with a paper towel and removing excess fat.
  3. Place the 1/2 orange and the fresh herbs in the empty cavity and tie the legs together with string.
  4. Combine the olive oil, orange juice, garlic, honey, balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, salt and chicken rub in a container and whisk well.
  5. Place the chicken, fennel bulbs, orange quarters and leeks in a large dutch oven.
  6. Pour the prepared olive oil-mixture over the chicken and season with salt and pepper.
  7. Cover the dutch oven with it’s lid and roast for about one hour.
  8. After one hour remove the lid and further roast uncovered for another 30 minutes making sure all the juices run clear when a knife is inserted inbetween the leg and body before removing from the oven.
  9. Once removed from the oven, rest for another half an hour to let the juices redistribute before carving and serving with the fennel bulbs and leeks.



If you enjoyed this you might also like Vanilla and Rosemary Chicken

Chicken, Pear and Cranberry Salad  Rustic One Pan Chicken Roast