The Venetian Pantry’s Roast Chicken

Orange spiced roast chicken glazed in brown butter and maple syrup 

We’re welcoming backMartina fromThe Venetian Pantry, to shareanother seasonal recipe, perfect for Christmas day..Martina shares content of both her beautiful Victorian home in London and her tastyItalian recipeson herInstagram, where we are always looking for inspiration.We are delighted that she is sharing her delicious tried-and-tested recipes with us throughout the year. 

This is not your usual Sunday roast. It is a dish full of drama that screams Christmas, and looks as good on the table as it tastes in the mouth. Spiced with cinnamon, clove, star anise and orange, and garnished with fresh springs of rosemary and lemon thyme, this roast chicken is the perfect show-stopper to place in the middle of your festive table and impress your guests with. The best bit? Those hidden pockets of aromatic butter will keep the meat super juicy, whilst also making the skin extra crispy at the same time.

This recipe is truly the gift that keeps on giving: follow the steps and use the cooking juices to make a silky gravy, and once the feasting is all done, chuck all the leftovers in a casserole with cold water, simmer for a few hours and you'll end up with a deliciously aromatic home-made stock. Waste nothing, and enjoy every morsel!

Serves 4 
Prep time: 15 mins  
Cooking time: 1 hr 20 mins 


1.7 kg Whole Chicken 
3 Oranges 
1 Garlic head 
2 Onions  
1 Cinnamon Stick 
1 tsp Cloves 
4 Star Anise 
300 gr Butter 
1 tbsp Maple Syrup 
1 bunch  Fresh rosemary  
1 bunch Lemon Thyme 
1 tbsp Flour 

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C.
  2. Make sure the chicken is at room temperature. Pat the skin dry using kitchen paper: this will make the skin go extra crispy.
  3. Finely chop half of your fresh herbs.
  4. On a shallow plate, rub together the zest of one orange with a generous pinch of salt and the finely chopped herbs, to release all their essential oils.
  5. Cut two slices of 100gr of cold butter and coat them with the zesty-herby mixture on both sides.
  6. Using your fingers, gently separate the skin of the breasts from the flesh, creating two pockets on either side.
  7. Insert the two slices of butter in each pocket. Rub the remaining mixture all over the chicken.
  8. Prick the zested orange with the cloves and insert it in the main cavity of the chicken together with the cinnamon stick and one star anise.
  9. Cut the remaining two oranges into thick slices, at least 0.5 cm thick.
  10. Arrange the orange slices around the chicken, using kitchen twine to hold them together. Add the remaining star anises and fresh herbs springs for decoration in between the orange slices.
  11. Peel and quarter the onions and add lay them on a baking tray together with the whole garlic head. Lay the chicken on top.
  12. Cover in tin foil and roast for 1 hour.
  13. To make the glaze, melt 100gr of the butter in a pan. When it starts to brown, add the maple syrup, and let it cook for another minute.
  14. Remove the foil and brush the glaze all over the chicken. Let it cook for another 20 mins, or until the juices run clear.
  15. Leave the chicken to rest for 15 mins before serving. 
  16. Whilst the chicken rests, you can make gravy by collecting the cooking juices and onions in the same pan you used for the glaze. Slightly mash them together and add the flour. Let it cook for a few minutes, stirring regularly until thickened. Sieve and serve with the chicken.


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