Our Citrus Berry Roasted Chicken recipe is a perfect balance of sweet and savory—with the addition of seasonal eggplant to balance the hardiness with something a little lighter. The sweetness of the berries blend with the acidity of the balsamic vinegar and fragrant thyme—creating a delicious sauce to accompany the chicken and vegetables.
This recipe is an easy one-pan dish that utilizes simple food prep techniques that can fit into any tight schedule. Marinating meat with naturally acidic ingredients, like vinegar or citrus juices, tenderizes the meat, making your protein easier to digest. Plus, marinades will help lock in moisture so your meat won’t dry out and toughen up.
On top of all of this they also do something amazing to your dish: they decrease the inflammatory and carcinogenic properties of meat, making this meal not just delicious, but also very healthy. Another plus is the ingredient such as citrus, berries, and herbs provide an extra punch of antioxidants for extra anticancer effects. The marinade is very adaptable, as the berries can be switched out in accordance with the seasons, swapping in frozen berries at any time. All year long you can create new seasonal versions of this tasty meal to satisfy your tastebuds.
Citrus Berry Marinade
- 1 grapefruit, juiced
- ½ orange, zested and juiced
- 3 sprigs thyme
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- ¾ cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1 cups fresh or thawed frozen berries (blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, cherries)
- 1 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 whole jalapeno (optional)
- ¼ salt and pepper
- 4 chicken breasts or thighs
Eggplant, carrots, tomatoes
- 2 medium eggplants
- 8 small carrots or 4 large carrots
- 8 cherry tomatoes
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Mix all marinade ingredients together in a bowl and submerge chicken in marinade. Marinate chicken for at least 4 hours or overnight.
- Once chicken is marinated, preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Prepare the eggplant by cutting it in half lengthwise, and then into quarters, again length-wise.
- Prepare carrots. If using small carrots, cut in half lengthwise. If using larger carrots cut into quarters long ways.
- Sprinkle salt on both the eggplant flesh and carrots.
- Rub the bottom of a large roasting pan with a little bit of oil. Place the eggplant in the pan, skin side up.
- Arrange the carrots around the eggplant then add the marinade and chicken (if chicken has skin, place it skin-side up). Arrange the cherry tomatoes around the chicken.
- Roast the dish, basting with pan juices halfway through cooking, for 30 minutes or until chicken is cooked through and juices run clear.
Citrus juice: Packed full of a multitude of nutrients such as vitamin C, flavonoids, and fiber which aid in vascular protection, reduce inflammation, improve gastrointestinal function and health, and play an important role in preventing diabetes, cancer, neurological disease.
Balsamic vinegar: A popular addition for flavor in salad dressings and marinades, it also can help keep blood sugar level, improve blood circulation and even give you a glowing complexion.
Thyme: Similar to all of fresh herbs thyme contains many vital nutrients such as vitamin A, C and K along with being packed full of antioxidants. Thyme has also been shown to help lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels. The smell of thyme alone has been shown to improve mood and increase the production of happy hormones.
Mustard: Considered one of the most ancient seeds and giving way to the Brassica (cruciferous) vegetable family. Mustard seeds can be a rich source of antioxidants such as flavonoids, and other essential plant compounds that help the body protect itself from oxidative damage and disease. These flavonoids combined with the omega 3 properties may also help reduce the risk of coronary heart diseases.
Olive Oil: A rich source of monounsaturated fats, olive oil contains antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids that exhibit anti-inflammatory effects. Olive oil also promotes gut health, due to its antibacterial properties.
Berries: Extremely nutrient dense contains high amounts of fiber, vitamins and minerals. Berries are packed full of antioxidant for immune supporting and anti-inflammatory properties. The antioxidant, anthocyanins, can repair DNA damage to protect against aging and cancer and increase overall circulation. Berries are great brain food, improving our overall brain functioning, boost up our mood and strengthen our memory.
Eggplant: The deep purple vegetable contains properties that can help increase circulation as well as lower LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol) levels and triglyceride levels. Eggplants also contain solasodine rhamnosyl glycosides (SRGs) that has been to assist with reducing tumor size by causing death to cancer cells and reduce the recurrence of certain types of cancer.
Carrots: Packed full of Beta-carotene (precursor to vitamin A). Vitamin A is integral for vision and immune function, as well as skin and bone health. Beta-carotene is a powerful antioxidant that can reduce inflammation and boost immune function by increasing disease-fighting cells in the body and assists cells in protection against viruses. Scientists have also reported that carotenoid-rich foods (orange foods) can help reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer (especially in the lungs, esophagus, and stomach), and can improve immune system function. Carrots are also an excellent source of vitamin C, an antioxidant that helps destroy free radicals and support the body’s natural immune response, by reducing oxidative stress.
Tomatoes: A great source of lycopene and vitamin C that helps reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease and protect skin integrity. Cooking tomatoes in a healthy fat increases the amount of available lycopene that the body will absorb.