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Chicken roasted in orange juice

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Summer is a great time for feeding friends and giving them something special. But it can get both pricey and predictable, especially with lots of guests.

This is a goody. A great way of taking cheap chicken portions and cooking them in a fun, fresh way. Dig through the supermarket and see what offers they have on chicken legs and thighs. Don't go for breasts as they are not as tasty and more expensive. Daft, eh?

You can use ordinary cartons of orange juice here, but avoid the very cheap varieties - they are nothing more than orange squash and are waste of time. 

Ingredients

Thinly slice the onions and garlic and fry gently in lots of butter at a medium heat until soft. Don't burn the butter.

Slice the oranges thickly and lay across the bottom of a roasting tray with a little butter.

Skin the chicken legs and then score them deeply. Lay them over the oranges. You can jam them in tightly so you should get quite a few in a big turkey-sized tin.

Roughly chop the herbs and throw them over the chicken. Season with salt flakes and coarsely ground black pepper.

Squeeze lemon juice over and pour in the orange juice – the juice should not quite cover the chicken.

Pour the fried onions and garlic over the top, complete with their butter.

Cover the roasting tin with tinfoil and seal down well – this chicken is going to be almost poached at this first stage.

Put in a medium oven.  Cooking can take anything from 45 minutes to 90 minutes depending on how much chicken is in there – so check it from time to time with a thermometer. 

Once the chicken is almost cooked, remove the pieces and put them on a large baking tray, making sure they are still juicy with orange juice – put them back in the oven to brown a little, but don’t dry them out. You can even finish them over charcoal if you want, but I am trying to keep this simple.

Make a sauce in the big roasting tin.  Reserve the juice and orange slices and add a little oil to the pan.  Fry off a couple of tablespoons of plain flour and then stir in 500ml of the orange juice and 500ml of chicken stock.

Pile the chicken up on a big platter with more fresh herbs and decorate with fresh slices of oranges. Serve the sauce in a jug.

Serve this with rice, chips, whatever. It will go with anything. 

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