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Ottolenghi Roast Chicken with Mandarins or Clementines

This is a fantastic Yottam Ottolenghi recipe from his beautiful book Jerusalem. The recipe is based on his Roasted Chicken with Clementines and Arak.

As is my want, I have made some variations to the dish, through personal pereference or, in the case of the clementines, because I couldn’t get them!

I loved the idea of the sweet clementines cooked with the chicken, but, as we don’t have clementines readily available in Australia, I used mamdarins instead. They worked really well!  They cooked down to a sticky softness.  I’m not a big fan of anything aniseed , so I used cumquat brandy instead of an aniseed liqueur. An orange liqueur, or 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.

Ingredients

100ml orange liqueur or any good brandy. I used a lovely home made cumquat brandy I had on hand.
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
8 chicken thighs with the skin and on the bone
4 mandarins unpeeled, sliced horizontally into slices  (or clementines if yuo can get them)
1 tbsp thyme leaves
2 tsp fennel seeds, slightly crushed
Salt and black pepper

Method

Put the liqueur/brandy, olive oil, orange and lemon juices, musard and borwn 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,manadarin/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.

I served the chicken straight from the baking dish at the table.  There was a lot of lovely juice, so I served the dish with lots of wild rice. Couscous would be great too.

The original recipe says to remove the chicken, madarin/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.

Up to you – it’s a really delicous dish either way!

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