Here’s another tribute to the new cookbook Jerusalem by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi, the two London-based chefs who grew up in opposite ends of Jerusalem and have teamed together to share classic dishes filtered through their very different perspectives. This is one of those dishes that just goes off in a new direction for most of us…fennel, clementines, anise liqueur and thyme is a potent mix of flavors. Then, because it’s cooked at a very high heat, it all caramelizes into a masterpiece. I just love the crispy chicken next to those bright charred clementines.
There are several layers of anise flavor in this dish with the fresh fennel, fennel seeds, and the anise liqueur. There is a sweetness from the orange juice and the brown sugar, a slight bitterness from the clementines, and a sharpness from the mustard and lemon. The aroma of fresh thyme hovers over it all. It’s sophisticated and unusual.
The green grocer at my store pointed me to these small local tangerines. They aren’t quite as tiny as clementines, but any small tangerine you can find will work.
The recipe calls for arak, a middle eastern anise liqueur, but you can substitute any similarly flavored variety like Pernod or ouzo. And, if you’re like me and you don’t have any of those in your collection, try buying a couple of small airline sized bottles.
I love the look of the grainy mustard in the sauce…you just know it’s going to be delicious.
I made a few changes in the recipe and so I rewrote it in my own words. I found that my sauce evaporated completely in the high heat of the oven, so I doubled the original amount and added more at the end of the cooking. Don’t try to stuff everything into a small casserole; your chicken will simmer instead of brown. And make sure your oven is hot.
Ingredients Instructions Notes recipe adapted from Jerusalem
recipe adapted from Jerusalem
I highly recommend this cookbook, you will be so inspired by the recipes and the glorious photos. You can purchase it on Amazon.
**If you don’t love licorice, substitute vodka or chicken stock for the anise liqueur.