Citizen Reporter
7 minute read
23 Dec 2021
10:00 am

Mouthwatering Christmas: Sage orange roast chicken, and cinnamon roll apple pie

Citizen Reporter

In our 31 days of Christmas series, we will be giving you delicious, wholesome holiday recipes to recreate throughout the festive season.

Sage orange Christmas chicken. Picture: iStock

The time to celebrate Christmas with your loved ones has finally arrived, and what is a festive gathering without a hearty and wholesome, filling Christmas meal, shared with your friends and family?

This scrumptious Christmas dinner menu includes sage orange roast chicken, roasted mixed vegetables, creamy spinach, as well as cinnamon roll apple pie for dessert.

Serve these yummy festive dishes with either rice, dumplings, creamy mash potatoes, or any other starchy dish of your choice.

Sage orange roast chicken

sage orange Christmas chicken
Sage orange Christmas chicken. Picture: iStock


  • 1.5 kg whole chicken
  • ½ cup of softened butter
  • zest of 1 orange
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely minced/crushed
  • 1 tablespoon of sage finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons of thyme leaves
  • 1 teaspoons of salt
  • ½ teaspoon of pepper
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 oranges, halved
  • 1 onion, quartered
  • 2 garlic bulbs, halved
  • 10 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 6 sage leaves
  • 1 cup of white wine


  1. Place softened butter in a bowl, then add the zest of an orange and a lemon, crushed garlic, finely chopped fresh sage and thyme leaves. Season with salt and pepper and mix well.
  2. Allow the chicken to come to room temperature before cooking.
  3. Gently loosen the skin over the breast and drumsticks with your fingers, taking care not to tear the skin.
  4. Spoon the butter under the skin and gently spread over the meat until the butter has been distributed over the chicken.
  5. In a roasting dish, add orange halves, quartered onion, halved garlic bulbs, thyme and sage.
  6. Place the chicken on top then drizzle with olive oil and season generously with salt and pepper on both sides. Pour wine around the chicken then place in the oven.
  7. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  8. Allow the chicken to roast for 45-60 minutes, depending on size, until golden brown and cooked through.
  9. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for at least 10 minutes before carving and serving with the rest of your Christmas dinner dishes.

This recipe was found on

Roasted mixed vegetables

Christmas dinner
Roasted mixed vegetables. Picture: iStock


  • 2 cups of broccoli florets
  • 2 cups of cremini mushrooms
  • 2 cups of chopped butternut squash
  • 1 zucchini, sliced and quartered
  • 1 yellow squash, sliced and quartered
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar, or more, to taste
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of dried thyme
  • Rough salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 218 degrees C. Lightly oil a baking sheet or coat with nonstick spray.
  2. Place broccoli florets, mushrooms, butternut squash, zucchini, squash, bell pepper and onion in a single layer onto the prepared baking sheet. Add olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic and thyme; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Gently toss to combine.
  3. Place into oven and bake for 12-15 minutes, or until tender.*
  4. Serve immediately with the rest of your Christmas dinner dishes.

This recipe was found on

Creamy spinach

Creamy spinach
Creamy spinach. Picture: iStock


  • 450g of baby spinach leaves, washed and dried
  • 1/3 cup of unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped or minced
  • 4 tablespoons of all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup of milk or half a cup of milk and half a cup of cream
  • 1 pinch of ground nutmeg, optional
  • 1 pinch of cayenne pepper, optional
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons of grated parmesan cheese, to serve

ALSO TRY: 31 Days of Christmas: Grilled BBQ chicken and Russian kota recipes


  1. Melt 1/4 cup of butter in a medium-sized pot over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and cook for a couple of minutes until light golden. Add in the onion and cook until transparent (about 2-3 minutes), then add the garlic and cook until fragrant (about 30 seconds).
  2. Pour in the milk (or half and half), whisking constantly until the white sauce thickens (about 5 minutes). Season with salt, pepper, nutmeg and cayenne (If using). If the sauce is too thick, add another 1/4 cup of milk to the sauce, whisking it through until reaching your desired thickness.
  3. Melt the remaining butter in a separate pan, and add spinach in batches, wilting each batch before adding the next, until all spinach is wilted. (Add a small spoon of water if the pan gets too dry.)
  4. Season the cream sauce with salt, pepper, nutmeg and cayenne. Add wilted spinach to the cream sauce, stirring gently to combine. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and serve immediately with the rest of your Christmas dinner dishes.

This recipe was found on


Christmas dinner
Gravy. Picture: iStock


  • 3 tablespoons of butter
  • 3 tablespoons of all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup of turkey pan drippings
  • 2 cup of low-sodium chicken broth (or turkey stock)
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon of freshly minced thyme
  • 1 teaspoon of freshly minced sage


  1. In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Whisk in flour and cook until golden, 1 minute, then whisk in pan drippings. (If you have more than a cup of drippings, use it and reduce the amount of broth!)
  2. Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer gently until slightly thickened.
  3. Stir in fresh herbs, then whisk in 1 cup broth and return mixture to a simmer. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Simmer 10 minutes, gradually adding more broth if gravy is too thick. Adjust seasoning.
  5. Serve immediately with the rest of your Christmas dinner dishes.

This recipe was found on

Cinnamon roll apple pie

Cinnamon roll apple pie
Cinnamon roll apple pie. Picture: iStock


  • 3 cups of all-purpose flour, plus more for garnish
  • 1 cups of unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup of ice water

For the cinnamon crust

  • 1 box of refrigerated pie dough
  • 4 tablespoon of butter, softened
  • 1 cup of granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon

For the filling

  • Cooking spray
  • 5 assorted apples
  • 2/3 cups of granulated sugar
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon of all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon of kosher salt

For the icing

  • 1/4 powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of milk


  1. Place flour and butter into freezer for 30 minutes before starting crust process.
  2. In a food processor, pulse flour, sugar, and salt until combined. Add butter and pulse until pea-sized and some slightly larger pieces form. With the machine running, add vinegar, then ice water into feed tube, 1 tablespoon at a time, until dough starts to come together and is moist but not sticky (test by squeezing some with your fingers). Mixture will be crumbly!
  3. On a lightly floured surface, form dough into 2 balls, and flatten into a discs. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until dough is cold but pliable, about 30 minutes.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together sugar and cinnamon. On a lightly floured surface, roll one disc into a very large rectangle. Spread 2 tablespoons softened butter on dough then sprinkle about half the cinnamon sugar on top.
  5. Starting with one long side, roll dough into a log and pinch ends to seal. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate 30 minutes. Repeat process with remaining dough. 
  6. Slice each log into ½”-thick rounds. On a lightly floured large piece of parchment paper, arrange rounds in a tight circle, making sure they’re all touching. Lightly dust with flour and cover with parchment paper, then roll into circle. Refrigerate for 10 minutes. Repeat process with second log.
  7. Preheat oven to 190 degrees C and grease a pie dish with cooking spray. Place a large rimmed baking sheet in oven. In a large bowl, toss together apples, sugar, lemon juice, flour, cinnamon, vanilla, and salt.
  8. Invert one crust into the bottom of the pie dish. Add apple mixture, then cover top with remaining cinnamon roll crust. Crimp edges to seal bottom and top. Bake until cinnamon rolls are golden and apple mixture is bubbling, about 50 minutes.
  9. While the pie is baking, make icing: In a small bowl, whisk together powdered sugar and milk until smooth. Drizzle over baked pie.

This recipe was found on