Latin Spice Roast Chicken with Chimichurri Sauce

This chicken is rubbed with a mix of smoked paprika, cumin, cayenne, butter, salt and pepper, then the inside is stuffed with oranges and cilantro. The whole thing is trussed and then left uncovered in the fridge overnight to "dry." This is how you get that super-crispy skin. The oranges keep the inside moist and the paprika adds incredible smoky flavor and color. This low-key bird is truly a perfect weeknight chicken: Prep it the night before and pop it in the oven when you get home from work. Then you can relax with a glass of wine or watch the evening news while the oven does all the work.
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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 8 hr 30 min
  • Active: 30 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
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1 stick (8 tablespoons) butter

3 tablespoons smoked Spanish paprika

1 tablespoon ground cumin

1 tablespoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper

2 tablespoons kosher salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 large (5- to 7-pound) roasting chicken

1 navel orange, cut into quarters

1 bunch fresh cilantro, trimmed and rinsed and dried


1 bunch fresh parsley, rinsed and dried, only the bottom 2 inches of stems removed, coarsely chopped

1 bunch fresh cilantro, rinsed and dried, leaves and stems coarsely chopped

Juice of 1 lime

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar, or another mild vinegar

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 rounded tablespoon smoked Spanish paprika

5 large garlic cloves, peeled

2 teaspoons kosher salt

1 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


Special equipment:
Kitchen twine
  1. For the chicken: Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat or in a microwave-safe bowl in the microwave. Whisk the melted butter, paprika, cumin, oregano, cayenne, salt and pepper in a bowl.
  2. Remove the chicken giblets. Remove any excess fat and leftover pin feathers and pat the outside very dry with paper towels.
  3. Massage the entire chicken with the spiced butter, making sure to coat the inside. Use your fingers to separate the skin from the breast and pour some of the butter mixture inside, using your fingers to push it into all the crevices. Stuff the cavity of the bird with the orange and cilantro. Tuck the wings underneath the chicken. Truss the legs with kitchen twine and put the bird breast-side up on a roasting rack in a roasting pan. Put the bird, uncovered, in the refrigerator and chill for at least 6 hours and up to 12 hours.
  4. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Allow the chilled chicken to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before cooking. Roast until the skin is crisp and a knife inserted in the thickest part of the thigh produces only clear juices, about 1 hour and 15 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, for the chimichurri: Combine the parsley, cilantro, lime juice, vinegar, red pepper flakes, paprika, garlic, salt, olive oil and black pepper in a food processor. Process until creamy but still a little chunky.
  6. Let the chicken rest 10 to 15 minutes. Remove the twine. Serve the chicken with the chimichurri sauce and drizzled with more olive oil, if desired.
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