Creamsickle Orange Chicken is based on an orange and milk marinade. These same ingredients found in a Creamsicle® that make it so tasty, also work well to make a fabulous whole baked chicken. The marinade not only tenderizes the chicken, but also adds moisture. Fresh tarragon (emphasis on the fresh!) adds just the faintest, almost indetectable, hint of licorice flavor.
Plan ahead to marinate 4 hours or overnight. Yum yum!
Creamsickle Orange Chicken Recipe
1 4- to 6-pound whole chicken
1 cup milk (whole, 2%, or skim, but I prefer whole milk)
1 cup orange juice (about 3 to 4 medium oranges if you want to use fresh juice)
1 ounce fresh tarragon sprigs, divided use
1 Tablespoon mayonnaise or olive oil
1 Tablespoon brown sugar
1 Tablespoon sweet Hungarian paprika
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 navel oranges, divided use
Combine milk and orange juice in a large zip-top freezer bag. Add the chicken to the bag. Take half of the tarragon sprigs and place them all around the outside of the chicken and also in the cavity. Squeeze out all the air and seal bag. Refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight.
Preheat oven to 375 F. Line a baking pan with foil and insert a v-rack for roasting the chicken.
Remove the chicken from the milk/orange juice marinade, discarding the liquid and tarragon. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels. Smear the mayonnaise or olive oil over the exterior skin of the chicken.
Whisk together the brown sugar, paprika, kosher salt, and black pepper until evenly combined. Sprinkle half of the spice mix over the backside of the chicken. Place the chicken in the v-rack breast-side up. Sprinkle remaining spice mix over the top. Using a microplane, grate the zest of one orange over the top of the chicken. Then cut that remaining zested orange into quarters and stuff into the cavity of the chicken.
Set aside a few sprigs of the tarragon for garnishing later. Layer the rest of the tarragon on top of the chicken and press into the cavity with the orange pieces.
Roast the chicken for 1 hour. Remove from the oven and tent with foil to avoid over-browning. Return to the oven and bake for an additional 30 to 45 minutes. Since oven temperatures vary, use an instant-read meat thermometer to test for doneness. It should register 165 F. when inserted into the thickest part of the thigh, not touching bone. Timing will vary due to the size of the chicken and your particular oven. If it is not quite done, return to the oven for an additional 15 to 20 minutes. Do not overcook or the white meat will become dry.
Let chicken rest for 15 minutes to re-absorb its juices before cutting to serve. Garnish with remaining tarragon and orange wedges.
Yield: 4 to 6 servings
• You may use whole milk, low-fat milk, or skim milk for the marinade.
• This recipe may be doubled to use for a turkey. The cooking time will need to be extended accordingly. Be sure to use the instant-read thermometer to gauge doneness.
Creamsickle Orange Chicken Recipe Photo ©2020 Peggy Filippone