- 1 whole chicken, about 4 1/2 to 5 pounds
- 1 teaspoon saffron
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 3 sprigs rosemary
- 2 small oranges, satsumas or tangerines
- 2 Meyer lemons
- Butcher's twine for trussing, about 3 feet
- Preheat oven to 400˚. Rinse chicken under cold water. Pat dry and set aside.
- In the bowl of a mortar and pestle or a small food processor, combine the saffron threads, garlic, salt, and pepper. Grind into a coarse paste. Add leaves from one sprig of rosemary and grind to release oils.
- Slice one orange and one lemon very thinly. Cut the other lemon and orange in quarters. Set aside.
- Slide fingers under the skin of chicken breast to create a pocket. Rub saffron mixture over and under the skin. Place orange and lemon slices under the skin at the breast and legs, alternating orange and lemon. Place quartered orange and lemon, along with remaining rosemary inside the cavity. Season whole bird well with salt and pepper.
- To truss chicken, tie legs together using the middle of the butcher's twine and tuck wings under back. Bring twine toward the neck going over the thighs and wings. Pull tightly and tie in a knot at the neck.
- Place trussed chicken in a large cast-iron skillet or small roasting pan. Place on middle rack in preheated oven and roast until browned and the internal temperature is 165˚, about an hour to an hour and 15 minutes, depending on the size of the bird. Turn occasionally to brown evenly. When done, remove from oven and let rest at least 15 minutes before carving.