Citrus Roasted Chicken with Cinnamon and Red Chili Peppers


This roasted chicken recipe is one of my favorites! I love making this during fall and winter.  It’s true that in South Florida it’s always summer, but in my mind…it’s fall and then it’s winter!  The cinnamon gives the marinade a warm color, and the chili pepper gives it nice flavor; nice spiciness and very savory.  It’s easy to prepare and makes a wonderful dinner any day of the week.  I also love combining different types of citrus.  Your family will not be disappointed! Check my notes below the recipe for a delicious “left over” idea!

Makes 6 servings   

Prep time: about 20 minutes     Marinating time: about 1-3 hours    Cooking time: 1 hour


  • 6 bone in, skin on chicken breasts (if your family likes dark meat also, you can use drumsticks or thighs)
  • 1/2 of an orange, juiced
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • zest of one lemon
  • 1 lemon, sliced
  • 1 tangerine, sliced
  • 6 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1-2 shallots, minced
  • 1 tbsp fresh, chopped thyme
  • 1 tbsp fresh, chopped rosemary
  • 1 tsp fresh, chopped sage
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 red chili pepper, seeds and center vein removed
  • pinch or two dried red pepper flakes
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp salt
  • fresh ground black pepper and pink peppercorns (if available)


  1. Clean and trim excess fat from the chicken breast, pat dry with clean paper towel.
  2. Juice 1/2 the orange and the lime.  Zest one lemon and then juice it. Add juice to a bowl or large measuring cup.
  3. Mince garlic and shallots; add to the citrus juice.  Also add the chopped herbs, red chili pepper, red pepper flakes, cinnamon, salt, and  ground pepper.
  4. Add the olive oil.
  5. Place the chicken in gallon sized zippered plastic bag;  3 breast fit in one bag.   Divide the marinade equally between both bags.
  6. Place the bags in the refrigerator for 1-3 hours.
  7. When you’re ready to roast, preheat the oven to 375º .  Brush a roasting pan with olive oil.  Remove the chicken from the bags and discard the marinade.  Arrange the breasts on the pan; do not crowd them one over the other, they should be in a single layer.  Place the slice lemon and tangerine over the breasts.  The juice of these slices will blend with the drippings and add a delicious, citrus flavored sauce that you can use to make a nice gravy* or just spoon over the sliced breast.
  8. Roast for 1 hour. The safe internal temperature for chicken is 165º.  Check with a meat thermometer at the thickest part of the breast before removing from the oven.  It will continue to cook for a few minutes after you’ve taken it out.
  9. If you’re planning on removing the bone before serving, allow the chicken breast to sit for 5 minutes before removing the bone.
  10. To remove the bone use a fork and sharp carving knife.  Start by slicing away at the thickest part of the breast and gently slice away at the rib area, trying not butcher the meat.  Discard the bones and serve the breast meat sliced or whole. Spoon the citrus juice and dripping from the pan onto the meat.  Garnish with chopped parsley and the roasted lemon and tangerine slices.
  11. Makes 6 servings   Prep time: about 20 minutes; marinating                                              time: about 1-3 hours    Cooking time: 1 hour


*To make gravy:  Pour the juices from the roasting pan through a strainer into a bowl or large measuring cup. In a 1-2 quart sauce pan set on medium heat, melt 2 tbsp butter.  Do not allow butter to turn brown.  Add 2 tbsp flour.  Whisk until it starts to brown slightly; it will be like a soft paste. Add the pan juices and on chicken bouillon and continue to whisk gently.  If you do not have a lot of liquid left in the pan after roasting, you can add 4-6 ounces of low sodium chicken broth.  Lower the heat and add 1-2 pinches of salt and fresh ground pepper.  You can add a few sprigs of thyme and rosemary.  Simmer on low heat until thick and bubbly.  Discard the thyme and rosemary.  Serve in a gravy bowl or pour over the chicken breast. 

  • If you have left over chicken breast, try an Open Faced Sandwich with Smashed Avocado the next day for lunch!  Recipe available On the Slab.IMG_E6630

2 thoughts on “Citrus Roasted Chicken with Cinnamon and Red Chili Peppers

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