Roasted Chicken with Clementines and ArakJanuary 7, 2016
It's been an unusually cold winter with this "polar vortex". I wanted to make a delicious Friday night Shabbat dinner that would be warm and comforting. One of my friends highly recommended this unique sounding chicken dish from the highly touted new cookbook by Yotam Ottlenghi and Sami Tamimi, called Jerusalem (published by Ten Speed Press, Berkeley, CA). First a word about the cookbook: Jerusalem is a beautiful and lovely foray into the world of Middle Eastern cooking. Ottolenghi and Tamimi are Jewish Israeli and Arab Israeli chefs who co-own a restaurant in London, England. They use ingredients that are fragrant, wholesome, fresh, and soooo delicious. This chicken dish came out looking exactly like the photo in their cookbook and was a huge hit! Perfect for a cold winter night! I also recommend Ottolenghi's earlier published cookbook, Plenty (vegetables of all kinds). It makes me want to stay in the kitchen and cook for days. Who wants to join me!?!
- 6½ tsp arak, ouzo or Pernod Sharon's comment: Do not use Sambouca - too sweet!
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 3 tbsp fresh OJ Sharon's comment: I forgot to buy, so I squeezed the clementines and used clementine juice, worked just fine.
- 2 tbsp grainy mustard
- 3 tbsp brown sugar light or dark brown
- 2 bulbs fennel medium, cut off tops & fronds
- 1 large chicken divided into 8 pieces (important to have chicken with bone and skin)
- 4 clementines with skin on - washed and sliced horizontally into 4 slices each
- 1 tbsp thyme leaves
- 2½ tsp fennel seeds lightly crushed
- salt and freshly-ground pepper
- parsley for garnish
- To make the marinade, put the first six ingredients into a large mixing bowl and add 2½ tsp salt and 1½ tsp black pepper. Whisk well and set aside.
- Trim the fennel and cut each bulb in half lengthwise. Cut each half into 4 wedges.
- Put the chicken, cut up fennel and clementine slices into an extra large zip lock bag. Pour the marinade into the bag.
- Add the thyme and crushed fennel seeds. Close the bag really well (make sure you "suck out all the air" as you close the bag). Once the bag is closed, massage the marinade, thyme, and fennel seeds into the chicken, fennel, and clementines.
- Marinate in fridge overnight or for several hours, turning bag over and "massaging" marinade into the other side half-way through the marinating time.
- Preheat the oven to 475°F (yes - this is the correct temperature - a HOT oven!). Transfer the chicken, fennel, clementines, and marinade to a low-rimmed baking sheet, large enough to accommodate everything in a single layer (roughly 12 ✕ 14.5″). The chicken should be <strong>skin side up</strong>. Roast for 35-45 minutes until the chicken is coloured and cooked through. Carefully remove the pan from the oven.
- Lift the chicken, fennel and clementines from the pan and arrange on a serving platter. Cover and keep warm. Carefully pour the marinade into a small saucepan, and place on medium-high heat on the stove. Bring to a boil, and then simmer until the sauce is reduced by ⅓, so you are left with about ⅓ cup. Pour the hot sauce over the chicken, garnish with some parsley (either chopped and sprinkled over everything or set around the platter) and serve.
Can serve this over rice, barley, Israeli couscous, egg noodles, bow ties, or soft and creamy polenta.