Looking for the easiest Christmas chicken recipe? Try this Dominican-style pollo horneado navideño, with all the flavors you've come to expect, in a very flavorful chicken roast for the biggest feast of the year. An easy-to-make dish that will pleasantly surprise your guests.
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!
Dominican Christmas chicken
Seasoned with more than abundant "sazón dominicano", marinated, and then slow-roasted, this Christmas chicken is very juicy, very flavorful, and very tender.
The sazón used in this Pollo navideño asado dominicano is a very similar sauce 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 Dominican roast Christmas 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.
Pollo Navideño a la Dominicana (Christmas Chicken).
With our Christmas roast chicken, we typically serve one or two centerpiece dishes for the Christmas and New Year feast, usually puerco asado (Dominican Christmas ham), followed by chicken or turkey. We also serve one or two salads, like ensalada rusa (egg, carrots, and potatoes salad), or ensalada de coditos (pasta and vegetables salad).
A rice dish is almost always present, moro de guandules is a classic, but go the extra mile with arroz navideño, or enjoy this festive rice with cranberries and walnuts.
At least one pastelón (casserole) or two will further fancify the feast (pastelón de plátano maduro is always a favorite). And don't forget our Christmas telera bread!
- For easy cleaning, line the bottom baking tray with aluminum foil when baking (I forgot to do it for the video and had to spend some time scrubbing the tray).
- 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).
- If you don't have bitter oranges, use the juice of 1 lime, or 1½ lemon.
- Double the ingredients to make two chickens and serve double the people, the cooking time remains the same.
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!
This awesome free recipe contains Amazon affiliate links, we receive a small commission from any purchase you make at no extra cost to you. Thanks!
- 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 half 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 cubanelle pepper, onion, garlic, capers, salt, parsley, soy sauce, and bitter orange 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 chicken 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 .
- 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 nutrition information.
More chicken roast recipes
- Pollo con wasakaka (drumsticks)
- Brined chicken roast (butterflied)
- Chicken with lemon and garlic sauce (drumsticks)
The trick to cooking a chicken roast without coming out too dry is not overcook it. Use a meat thermemoter to measure precisely when the chicken has reached a safe internal temperature (165 ºF. or 74ºC) and remove it from the oven.