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Roasted Chicken with Rhubarb Ginger Sauce

 Rhubarb Ginger Sauce turns a lightly spiced roasted chicken into an
extraordinary seasonal dish. 

Rhubarb is only available for a few weeks a year.  I usually use it to make desserts.  But today I was inspired by Melissa Clark to make a rhubarb sauce full of fresh ginger and scented with thyme and coriander.

A little bit of the rhubarb sauce is spread over the chicken giving it a tangy-sweet glaze and a bit of crunch. The skin is crispy and the meat juicy. You’ll devour it completely.

The chicken is very simple to make.  No special ingredients. It’s seasoned with rub of coriander, lemon zest, ginger, garlic and salt. Then stuffed with fresh thyme.

Let it sit in the refrigerator for an hour allowing the spices to seep into the chicken.

The rhubarb sauce is not complicated either. Rhubarb is sliced and spiced with ginger, coriander and thyme. Honey is mixed in to sweeten up the tangy rhubarb. Let it sit for 30-60 minutes to macerate the rhubarb.

Then it’s roasted in the oven together with the chicken but in a separate pan.

As it cooks it turns soft and saucy. It’s tart with just the right of mount of sweetness. Some of it is brushed over the chicken and the rest becomes a delicious sauce served along side the chicken.  It’s so good I ate more sauce than chicken.  It’s a  vegetable after all.

Rhubarb originated in Asia over 2,000 years ago and used for medicinal purposes. Chinese doctors used the plant to reduce fever and cleanse the body.

Rhubarb contains high amounts of Vitamin C, dietary fiber and calcium. It is a rich source of polyphenolic flavonoids like beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin.

When buying rhubarb, look for crisp, fresh stalks that are red and plump. The red ones give the sauce a beautiful pinkish color when roasted. The green ones taste just as delicious but not the lovely color.  Stay away from the leaves they are poisonous!

Red onions are scattered along side the chicken adding another sweet crispy component. As they roast with the chicken they absorb the ginger, garlic and spice flavors along with the juices from the chicken.

Be sure to cut the onions thick enough so they get brown and crispy.  If they’re too thin they’ll burn.

Serve over cauliflower rice to absorb all the delicious juices. Add sautéed spinach and you have the perfect meal. I love this dish because there’s very little chopping. It’s delicious, nutritious and easy to make.  Enjoy it now while rhubarb is in season.

Rhubarb sports trivia: The sportscaster Red Barber popularized the term rhubarb, meaning a heated dispute on the baseball mound. He was the voice of the Cincinatti Reds, the New York Yankees, and the Brooklyn Dodgers from the 1930s through the 1960s.

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Roasted Chicken with Rhubarb Ginger Sauce

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  • Author: Ingrid DeHart -
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x


A simple nicely spiced roast chicken with an amazing rhubarb ginger sauce and glaze.




  • 2 teaspoons coarse Celtic sea salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest, minced (I use a microplane)
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced (I use a microplane)
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 1 (3 1/2 – 4 pound) humanely raised chicken
  • 3 thyme sprigs
  • 1 medium red onion, halved and sliced 1/4″ thick
  • Extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling

Ginger Rhubarb Sauce

  • 4 cups rhubarb, sliced crosswise 1/2″ thick (about 1 pound)
  • 2 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest, minced
  • 3 thyme sprigs
  • 1/3 cup light honey


  1. In a small bowl combine, salt, ground coriander, lemon zest, ginger, pepper and garlic.
  2. Pat the chicken dry. Rub the spice mix all over the chicken. Put some under the skin and in the cavity. Stuff the thyme sprigs into the cavity.
  3. Put the chicken onto a baking pan. Let it sit uncovered in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour or overnight to let the spices seep in.
  4. 30 minutes – 1 hour before you’re ready to cook the chicken prepare the rhubarb: In a 9″ pie pan or baking dish, toss together the rhubarb, ginger, coriander, lemon juice, lemon zest, and thyme sprigs. Add honey and mix to combine. Let rhubarb macerate at room temperature for 30-60 minutes.
  5. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Toss the red onions in a medium mixing bowl with a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of Celtic sea salt and set aside.
  6. Drizzle olive oil all over the chicken. Roast the chicken in the center rack of the  oven and rhubarb below for 20-25 minutes until the rhubarb is tender.
  7. Remove the rhubarb and stir to break it up. Spoon some of the rhubarb and it’s juices all over the chicken.
  8. Reduce the temperature to 400 degrees. Scatter the red onions around the chicken on the baking pan.
  9. Return to the oven and roast until the skin is golden and the chicken is cooked through, about 20 minutes longer.  An instant read thermometer stuck into the thigh but not touching bone should read 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
  10.  Let chicken rest 10 minutes. Carve and serve with onions and rhubarb sauce on the side.
  • Prep Time: 20
  • Cook Time: 40
  • Category: main dish, chicken
  • Cuisine: seasonal, farm to table, paleo, gluten-free, diary-free

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Here are a few more rhubarb recipes for you to enjoy!

Strawberry Rhubarb Cobbler

Almond Panna Cotta with Strawberry Rhubarb Compote


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