Sour-Orange Yucatán Chickens


Plus: F&W's Chicken Cooking Guide Roast Chicken Recipes

Sour-Orange Yucatán Chickens
Photo: © Con Poulos
Active Time:
40 mins
Total Time:
3 hrs


  • 20 garlic cloves, halved

  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil

  • 1 1/3 cups fresh orange juice

  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice

  • 1/4 cup pure ancho chile powder

  • 2 tablespoons hot paprika

  • 4 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more for seasoning

  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin

  • Two 3 1/2-pound chickens

  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon honey


  1. In a food processor, mince the garlic with the vegetable oil. Add the orange and lemon juices, chile powder, paprika, salt and cumin and blend well.

  2. Loosen the skin on the chicken breasts and around the legs. Put each chicken in a bowl and cover with the marinade. Rub the marinade under the skin and in the cavity. Turn the chickens breast side up and refrigerate overnight.

  3. Preheat the oven to 350°. Set the chickens breast side up in a large roasting pan and season with salt. Add the marinade to the pan, along with 1 cup of water. Bake for 1 hour. Spoon 1/4 cup of the pan juices into a small bowl and stir in 3 tablespoons of the honey; pour over the chickens and bake for about 1 hour and 15 minutes, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the inner thighs registers 160°.

  4. Drain the cavity juices into the roasting pan. Transfer the chickens to a carving board to rest for 10 minutes. Pour the pan juices into a saucepan. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of honey, bring to a boil and season with salt. Carve the chickens and serve with the sauce.

Suggested Pairing

Serve with a zesty California Sauvignon Blanc.

Related Articles