I’m revisiting an Ottolenghi recipe I cooked a while back in 2017. Firstly, because it’s a great recipe for cooking up a one pan chicken dish, but mostly because clementines are now available in Australia!
Back then, I substituted mandarins for clementines, and that worked well. But now we can can buy them locally. And I also have my very own miniature clementine tree growing in my courtyard garden!
The original Ottolenghi recipe “Roasted Chicken with Clementines and Arak” is from his beautiful book Jerusalem.
I made some variations to the dish, which I mention here. I’m not a big fan of anything aniseed, so I used cumquat brandy instead of an aniseed liqueur. An orange liqueur, or ordinary brandy, would be fine too. For the same reason, I substituted shallots for the fennel bulbs. I also cut down on the sugar in the recipe.
100ml orange liqueur or any good brandy (or Arak in the original recipe)
4 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice
3 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp grain mustard
1.5 tbsp light brown sugar
6 shallots (or 2 medium fennel bulbs as in original)
8 chicken thighs with the skin and on the bone
4 clementines unpeeled, sliced horizontally into slices (or mandarins if you can’t get clementines)
1 tbsp thyme leaves
2 tsp fennel seeds, slightly crushed
Salt and black pepper
Put the liqueur/brandy, olive oil, orange and lemon juices, musard and brown sugar in a large bowl with 2 1/2 teaspoons salt and 1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper. Whisk well and set aside.
Peel the shallots and add to the bowl, with the chicken pieces, clementine slices, thyme and fennel seeds. Stir well to make sure the marinade covers the chicken pices.
Leave to marinate in the fridge for a few hours or overnight.
Preheat the oven to 220 degrees C. Transfer the chicken and its marinade to a baking dish that’s large enough to fit everything in a one layer. The chicken should be skin-side up.
Put the baking dish in the oven and roast for 35 to 45 minutes, until the chicken is brown and cooked through. Remove the dish from the oven.
Ottenenghi suggests removing the chicken, clementine slices and shallots to a serving plate, while you reduce the cooking liquid in a small saucepan. The sauce is then poured over the chicken.
I served the chicken straight from the baking dish at the table as I like the idea of serving chicken and juices all in one.
A great dish – super easy and utterly delicious!
Clementine tree ready for planting.