My friend Jessica and I have a birthday tradition. Every year for our birthdays we make each other dinner. Given that Jessica and I are both foodies these aren’t your average dinners. Last year Jessica made me homemade ravioli and she always has the best wine. This year I made her a Citrus Chicken and a Crouton Salad with Roasted Brussels Sprouts. It was the perfect summer meal to enjoy on my balcony.



Course Main Course
Servings 4


  • 1 whole organic chicken
  • ¼ cup olive oil 
  • 2 shallots minced 
  • 2 oranges zested and sliced 
  • 2 lemons zested and sliced 
  • 3 tbsp fresh mint leaves chopped
  • 2 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 tbsp fresh rosemary chopped, plus 1 sprig
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 cup organic chicken stock 
  • 2 tsp all-purpose flour 
  • 2 tbsp butter

Wine Brine

  • 1 bottle white wine use a cheap one
  • 3 cups water
  • ¼ cup salt
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 bay leaf


  • The night before. Place chicken in a pot or large plastic container with a lid (must be big enough for the chicken to be covered in brine). Pour 1 bottle of white wine over the chicken, add water to cover the chicken, about 3 cups, but may vary depending on how big your pot is. Add salt, sugar, and 1 bay leaf. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  • Preheat the oven to 450ºF.
  • Remove chicken from the brine and pat dry with paper towels. In a small bowl, mix together the olive oil, shallots, orange zest, lemon zest, thyme, mint, rosemary, salt and pepper.
  • In a baking dish. Slice zested lemons and oranges and place them in the dish as a bed for the chicken to rest on. Place chicken on top of the lemons and oranges and rub mixture all over the chicken.
  • Using kitchen twine, truss the legs together. Note: make sure it's twine for trussing or it could melt on the chicken in the oven.
  • Add the chicken stock and sprig of rosemary.
  • Roast for 40 to 50 minutes, or until the leg juices run clear.
  • Remove the chicken from the baking dish and tent with tin foil, set aside.
  • To make the gravy, put the flour and butter in a small saucepan. Mix together with a whisk until butter is melted and flour is cooked, it will make a paste called a roux.
  • Strain pan juices and whisk in with the butter and flour. Bring the gravy to a boil over medium heat.
  • Reduce the heat and simmer for 8 to 10 minutes until slightly thickened.
  • Season with salt & pepper to taste. 
  • Serve with the roast chicken.


Whenever I make a whole chicken, I use my Wine Brine. It started with me getting a bottle of white wine as a gift, and I didn’t like the taste of it but didn’t want to waste it. I was making a chicken and decided to add the wine to the brine mixture and the result was a moist, tender, juicy chicken. It doesn’t have to be an expensive bottle, in fact I suggest the cheaper wines. You can also use a red wine, but I prefer a white.