Roasted Chicken with Clementines is a masterful Yotam Ottolenghi recipe from his seminal cookbook, Jerusalem. This easy sheet pan chicken dinner has layer upon layer of flavor punctuated by those gorgeous charred clementines!
Chicken with clementines is 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.
I highly recommend this cookbook, you will be so inspired by the recipes and the glorious photos. You can purchase it on Amazon.
“It was one of the most delicious suppers I have made, but then I love all of the ingredients. Except the grain mustard which I usually don’t like but it just melded with everything else to make a fabulous sauce. Definitely winter dinner party time!” ~Veronica
Roasted Chicken with Clementines
- large roasting pan
- 1/2 cup arak, an anise liqueur, substitute Pernod or ouzo, I used Pernod.
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 4 Tbsp grainy mustard
- 4 Tbsp light brown sugar
- 2 medium fennel bulbs trimmed, halved lengthwise, and then cut each half into 4 wedges
- 1 large chicken, cut into eight pieces
- 4 clementines cut horizontally into 1/4″ slices, leave the peel on
- several fresh sprigs of thyme, leaves removed
- 2 1/2 tsp fennel seeds, lightly crushed (I use a rolling pin)
- salt & freshly ground pepper
- flat leaf parsley to garnish
- Set oven to 475F
- Mix the first 6 ingredients together in a bowl to make the sauce, and set aside.
- In a very large baking dish or baking sheet arrange the chicken, skin side up, fennel and clementines. Everything should be more or less in one layer so the chicken will brown nicely.
- Sprinkle everything with salt and fresh cracked pepper. Add the fennel seeds and the thyme. Pour half of the sauce over all.
- Put the pan into the hot oven. The high temperature is important, make sure you are at 475F. Let the chicken roast for about 35-45 minutes until everything is browned. Rotate the pan halfway through if your oven heats unevenly.
- Meanwhile take the other half of the sauce and put it in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and reduce it a bit. Pour this over the chicken about 10 minutes before it is finished cooking.
- Serve the chicken garnished with some fresh parsley, or more fresh thyme.