Sour-Orange Yucatán Chickens

Serving Size: 8
Total Time:


  • garlic cloves, halved
  • 2 chickens (3 1/2-pound each)
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 4 tsp kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
  • 2 Tbsp hot paprika
  • 0.25 cup ancho chile powder
  • 0.5 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1.33 cup fresh orange juice
  • 0.25 cup vegetable oil
  • 0.25 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.

Best Chicken Dishes in the U.S.
Roast Chicken Recipes
How to Make Fried Chicken
Recipes for Chicken Breasts
Recipes with Rotisserie Chicken

Recipe Credit: Marcia Kiesel
Image Credit: Con Poulos