Roasted chicken with tea, clementines + smoked salt {A comforting meal, a comforting evening}

Clementine, tea and smoked salt are a winning combination.

Clementine, tea and smoked salt are a winning combination.

Roasted chicken…it might sound boring to some, but it’s one of my favorite meals. And the fact that S, my 5-year old daughter also loves it, makes it a regular dish in our home.

Crispy skin, fall-off-the bone meat…what’s not to love? With caramelized shallot mashed potatoes and some sautéed green beans it becomes a comforting, satisfying meal.

When I see a whole chicken, I see a blank canvas on which to experiment, whether it’s a dry rub I mixed together, fresh herbs and some olive oil, or garlic and lemon.

For weeknight meals, easy is key. A few nights ago, I made this tea-roasted chicken with clementines and smoked salt—only three ingredients turned the chicken into a smoky, scrumptious dinner.

While the chicken roasted my daughter painted with watercolors, played “restaurant” with her kitchen and danced around to Pandora’s French Cafe channel, then pretended to meditate to sitar music (such a cute site). Meanwhile I stood in the kitchen, caramelizing shallots in olive oil, boiling potatoes and sautéeing green beans. I looked over at her playing, so intense she is, so engaged in all the moments of her life.  It was a comforting scene for a comforting meal.


Notes from my kitchen:

Tea: To baste the chicken, I used Yunnan Black Needle tea from Tattle Tea, one of my favorite tea companies. But feel free to use any black tea you like. You can check out another tea recipe, including this pound cake.

Music: While I cook I often listen to the French Cafe Channel on Pandora.  Songs like this by Madeleine Peyroux are played.

Zest: It’s not mentioned in the recipe, but I also zest some of the clementine onto the chicken for added flavor.  Yes, I just started selling this zester…you can use the code TASTY888 for $5 off.

Smoked Salt: It really adds a lovely nuance to the chicken an dI highly recommend it. I get mine at The Meadow, but I’m sure you can find it elsewhere.

Wine: A fruity Gigondas goes well with this chicken, or a Pinot Noir.

Tea and clementine-roasted chicken with smoked salt


  • 1 whole chicken (about 4-5 pounds)
  • 2 clementines (or small oranges)
  • 3 teaspoons of smoked salt (You can buy this at The Meadow in NYC or online)
  • 1 cup of water (and more if needed)
  • bag of black tea (I used yunnan tea from Tattle Tea)


Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
Clean the chicken inside and out, and remove any giblets.
Place chicken in a roasting pan.
Pour the juice of 2 clementines over the chicken, then place clementine halves into the cavity of the chicken.
Rub smoked salt onto the chicken.
Pour about 1 cup of water into the pan.
Place 1 tea bag (I use loose leaf tea and unbleached tea bags) into the water.
Place in pan and roast for 30 minutes.
Lower heat to 375 and baste chicken with the liquid. Roast for an additional 1 hour, basting every 15 minutes or so, adding more water if necessary.
Remove and let rest for 5-10 minutes before carving.
Serve with your favorite side dishes.

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