Roasted Chicken with Clementine & Fennel
This is a wonderful Israeli dish adapted from Yotam Ottolenghi’s book, Jerusalem, and uses Arak, a popular anise-flavored liquor. I substituted Pernod, which is easier to find – but ouzo would work equally well. Clementines are a hybrid between a mandarin and a sweet orange and are readily available when in season. Like tangerines, they are an easy peel and usually seedless. They are typically juicy and sweet, with less acid than oranges. One could easily substitute mandarin oranges in a pinch.
I used whole chicken legs in this recipe. Bone-in chicken, like all meat cooked on the bone, will retain more of its flavorful juices. The skin protects the meat from drying out during braising, especially during the browning step. The layer of fat beneath the skin also adds richness and flavor to the dish. Because successful braising is all about the exchange of flavor between the braising liquid with the meat juices, the juicier the meat the better tasting the braise. Since thighs and drumsticks contain more fat and collagen than the white-meat breasts, they are tastier when braised.
- 6 Tb Pernod (arak or ouzo)
- 4 Tb olive oil
- 3 Tb freshly squeezed orange juice
- 3 Tb freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 Tb grainy mustard
- 3 Tb light brown sugar
- 1½ tsp kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 medium fennel bulbs, cut lengthwise and then into quarters
- 4 whole leg (drumstick and thigh) organic or free-range chicken (about 2½ - 3 lbs.)
- (Alternatively one could use a whole 2-3lb chicken, divided into 8 pieces)
- 4 clementines, unpeeled, thinly sliced
- 1 Tb fresh thyme leaves
- 2 tsp fennel seeds lightly crushed
- Parsley for garnish
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together Pernod, oil, orange and lemon juices, mustard, brown sugar and salt. Season to taste with pepper. Add fennel, chicken, clementine slices, thyme, and crushed fennel seeds. Turn several times to coat. Submerge the chicken into the marinade as much as possible. If time allows, marinate chicken several hours or overnight.
|Thyme and fennel seeds|
Preheat oven to 425 degree F. Transfer all ingredients, including marinade, to a large roasting pan. Chicken should be skin-side up and raised a bit out of the marinade to allow browning in the oven. Roast until the chicken is browned all over and cooked through, 40-45 minutes. Remove from the oven.
|Chicken in the pan with the fixin's|
Lift chicken, fennel and clementines from pan and arrange on a serving plate. Cover and keep warm. Pour cooking liquid into a small saucepan. Place over medium-high heat, bring to a boil, then simmer until sauce is reduced and you are left with about 1/3 C. You can degrease by using a spoon to remove some of the fat from the top of the sauce. Pour heated sauce over chicken, garnish with parsley and serve. It is wonderful!
This is spectacular served with Saffron Speckled Rice with Cranberries, Herbs and Pistachio as seen in pic and to be posted soon. Watch for it!
Adapted from Jerusalem by Yotam Ottolenghi