Looking for the easiest Christmas chicken recipe? Check out this Dominican-style pollo navideño, with all the flavors you've come to expect, in a less-complicated chicken roast for the biggest feast of the year.
Why we ❤️ it
Our amazing puerco asado (pork roast, pernil roast) is one of the oldest recipes on the blog, no surprise there. It is the most popular main dish on the Christmas table. A few years later, we added our spectacular recipe for a Dominican-style Christmas turkey. But something was missing... Let me show you how to cook pollo asado in the oven. The result is a very juicy chicken that requires no basting, and is frankly, ridiculously easy to make.
Chicken, though clearly not as popular, is still a common choice for our Christmas and New Year feast. It is especially so for those times when the budget doesn't allow for more. But make no mistake, this is a dish that has merits on its own!
Why it's special
Seasoned with more than abundant "sazón dominicano", marinated, and then slow-roasted, this Christmas chicken is very juicy, very flavorful, very tender.
The sazón is a sauce very similar to the one used for the pernil asado and the turkey roast, and has some of the flavors and elements that distinguish our cuisine: onion (yes!), lime juice (or bitter orange), loads of garlic (of course!), orégano (no surprise here), cubanelle pepper, and other spices and fresh herbs.
The result is a very juicy chicken that requires no basting, and is frankly, ridiculously easy to make.
How it's cooked
The chicken for Christmas dinner is seasoned, then we let marinate in the fridge for 12 hours. To roast it, it is tented and cooked slowly in the oven at a slightly lower temperature than typical but for a longer time, which produces the perfect roast chicken with tender, juicy meat and gives it time to absorb more flavor, and is safe to eat. Once cooked, the chicken is broiled to brown it.
Typically, we serve one or two centerpiece dishes for the Christmas and New Year feast, usually puerco asado (pork roast), followed by chicken or turkey. We also serve one or two salads, like ensalada rusa (potato salad), or ensalada de coditos (macarroni salad). A rice dish is almost always present, moro de guandules is a classic, but go the extra mile with arroz navideño (pictured above). At least one pastelón (casserole) or two will further fancify the feast (pastelón de plátano maduro is always a favorite).
About this recipe
Around here, you can buy pork and chicken already roasted, or pre-order a few days in advance. But, if you're like me, you like homemade. (or don't have a Dominican cook to order from). This recipe has all the right flavors you come to expect for the special occasion.
But don't just make it for Christmas or New Year, this is great all year round!
I made a 4 lb chicken, and it serves 4 very generous portions or 6 regular portions. You can double the quantities for extra servings (using 2- 4lb chickens).
- 1 cubanela, cubanelle pepper (or green bell pepper)
- 1 medium red onion, chopped
- ¼ cup minced parsley, plus extra sprigs for garnish
- 6 garlic cloves
- ¼ cup capers
- ½ tablespoon oregano (dry, ground)
- 2 tablespoons salt
- 1 small bunch parsley
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- Juice of 1 lime, or half of a bitter orange juice
- 1 whole chicken, 4 lb [1.8 kg], thawed overnight in the fridge if previously frozen
- Making the seasoning: In the bowl of the food processor or blender, combine onion, garlic, capers, salt, parsley, soy sauce, and lime juice. Blend to obtain a coarse paste.
- Marinating the chicken: Place the chicken in a large bowl. Pour the seasoning, and rub the chicken making sure the inside of the whole cavity is coated with it, and leaving some of it covering the chicken breast.Cover the bowl with aluminum foil and let it rest in the fridge for 12 hours. Remove from the fridge and let it rest on the counter for about an hour to reach room temperature.
- Roasting the chicken: Heat the oven at 350 ºF [175 ºC].Remove the chicken from the bowl and place it on a roasting pan (with wire tray). Loosely cover the chicken with the aluminum foil. Roast in the preheated oven for 1¾ hours.Remove the aluminum foil, cook at your oven maximum temperature for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the skin is golden brown and the internal temperature measured inside the thigh indicates 165 ºF. If you do not have a thermometer, puncture the flesh between the thigh and the body and check there is no pink liquid present. Using a meat thermometer [Amazon affiliate link] is very highly recommended .
- Serving: Remove from the oven, garnish with parsley (rosemary or fresh thyme also make great garnishes, if you have some), and serve.
Tips and Notes
Nutritional information is calculated automatically based on ingredients listed. Please consult your doctor if you need precise nutritional information.
More chicken roast recipes
- Pollo con wasakaka (drumsticks)
- Brined chicken roast (butterflied)
- Chicken with lemon and garlic sauce (drumsticks)