Sweet and Spicy Roast Chicken

For a delicious holiday dinner, you must try Sweet and Spicy Roast Chicken.  The zesty flavors in the marinade kick this chicken dish to a whole new level.  Add in some honey and crushed pepper and you’ve got sweet, tangy, spicy all wrapped up in one dish!  Carrots, onions and dates roast with the chicken pieces and best of all, it roasts on one sheet pan in under one hour!

Begin by whisking lemon and orange zest & juice,olive oil, whole grain mustard, honey, red pepper flakes, garlic and thyme together.

Place the chicken, carrots, onions and dates into a large resealable bag.  add the marinade and massage it into the chicken pieces.  Marinate for at least 6 hours, but overnight is perfect!

Spread the ingredients from the bag onto a sheet pan and roast until the chicken is lightly brown and cooked through.  This will take about 40-45 minutes.

I’ll confess that I slightly overdid it.  I forgot to peek in at about 30-35 minutes to see how it was roasting.  I looked at 45 minutes and saw a very charred skin.  That’s because of the honey in the marinade.  My guy was thrilled because he digs all things charred but most people don’t so I suggest you peek at it early and keep an eye on it.  If, after 45 minutes, it isn’t brown enough, you can always pop the broiler on.  If it’s browning too quickly, lightly tent it with foil.

Transfer the chicken and marinade to a serving dish.  Sprinkle with parsley and chopped pistachio nuts.  Enjoy this mouthwatering dish!

Share Your Thoughts...

Lastly, if you make Sweet and Spicy Roast Chicken, be sure to leave a review down below at the bottom of this page (stars are also appreciated)! Above all, I love to hear from you and always do my best to respond to each and every review. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is one of my favorite things to do!

Sweet and Spicy Roast Chicken

Makes: 4-6 servings

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour & 15 minutes plus marinate time 6 hours


  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 3 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice, from 1 large lemon
  • 1 tsp orange zest
  • 6 tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice, from 2 oranges
  • 6 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tbsp whole grain mustard
  • 6 tbsp honey
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves (or 1 tsp dried)
  • 2 & 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4 pounds bone-in chicken pieces (thighs, drumsticks and breasts)
  • 3 cups 1/4-inch sliced carrots
  • 1 medium yellow onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1 cup thinly sliced dried dates
  • 2 tbsp chopped Italian parsley, for garnish
  • 1/4 cup chopped salted pistachios, for garnish


Make the marinade by whisking together in a medium bowl the lemon zest, lemon juice, orange zest, orange juice, olive oil, mustard, honey, red pepper flakes, garlic, thyme, and salt.

Place the chicken, carrots, onions, and dates in a large sealable plastic bag. Add the marinade and seal shut. Massage to make sure everything is evenly coated with the marinade. Place the bag on a rimmed sheet pan to protect against leakage and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours or overnight.

Preheat the oven to 425°F and set an oven rack in the middle position.

Transfer all ingredients from the bag, including the marinade, to a rimmed sheet pan (do not line the pan with foil). Turn the chicken skin side up. Roast until chicken is lightly browned and cooked through, 40 to 45 minutes. About halfway through cooking, stir the carrots so that they don’t burn around the edges of the pan. Toward the end of cooking, watch carefully so that the skin doesn’t burn.

If the skin isn’t nicely browned, turn on broiler (leave pan on middle rack), and cook 1 to 3 minutes more, or until skin is golden brown and crispy. Watch carefully: the honey in the marinade can cause the skin to burn quickly.

Transfer the chicken, carrots, onions and dates onto a platter, along with the sauce in the pan. Sprinkle the parsley and pistachio nuts over top and serve.

Recipe from Once Upon a Chef


    You May Also Like

    Recipe Reviews

    Avarage Rating:
    • 5 / 5
    Total Reviews:( 1 )
    • Harry

      I made this dish and shared it with my mother. She loves the drum sticks. I’m a breast guy, so I kept them. She also can’t take hot spices. So I put some hot crushed red pepper flakes after I cooked it in the oven. We both love it. She was surprised I was able to make such a delicious dish. Thanks Fran, I can always rely on your recipes to have something new. Cheers

      • Francine

        So glad to help, Harry!

    Leave a Review

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *