Roasted Chicken with Clementines

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!

Roasted Chicken with Clementines on a sheet pan

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.

I highly recommend this cookbook, you will be so inspired by the recipes and the glorious photos. You can purchase it on Amazon.


Reader Rave ~

“I made this with a few potatoes tucked in and also used Cointreau instead of Arak. The flavor was less aniseed more orange which worked well for me. 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

3.5 from 109 votes

Roasted Chicken with Clementines

Author Sue Moran


  • 1/2 cup of arak 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.

Cook's notes

recipe adapted from Jerusalem
The nutritional information for recipes on this site is provided as a courtesy and although tries to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.

Make it your own ~

  • If you don’t love licorice, substitute vodka or chicken stock for the anise liqueur.



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  • Reply
    March 4, 2013 at 2:25 pm

    What a lovely recipe. The clarity of your beautiful photos make this chicken especially appealing. I really have to give this recipe a try. I hope you have a great day. Blessings…Mary

  • Reply
    March 4, 2013 at 1:31 am

    These colors are so beautiful. I can’t wait to try this out.

  • Reply
    belleau kitchen
    March 3, 2013 at 6:07 pm

    this is absolutely perfection for me… as you know I have a thing about chicken thighs and what a way to celebrate them!… the dish looks like glorious sunshine… heavenly… and then adding fennel too… utter, utter perfection!

  • Reply
    March 4, 2013 at 1:53 am

    We enjoy trying new dishes and considering the source this has to be a masterpiece.

    • Reply
      Sue/the view from great island
      March 4, 2013 at 2:21 am

      It really is, and the thing I find interesting about a dish like this is that it’s made with common ingredients, no special techniques, etc, but it does expose you to something new. Imagine, a new take on roast chicken!

  • Reply
    March 4, 2013 at 1:33 am

    I’m seriously putting this on my menu for the upcoming week. LOOKS AMAZING!

    • Reply
      Sue/the view from great island
      March 4, 2013 at 2:22 am

      There are tons of clementines still on the trees, I took a walk this evening and seriously wanted to stuff a grocery bag full!

  • Reply
    Heather Schmitt-Gonzalez
    March 4, 2013 at 12:50 am

    Oh my gosh – this is EXACTLY what I’m craving right now. I’ve been cooking and baking with Absinthe a lot over the past couple of weeks, so I’m going to have to make this and use it in place of the Pernod (basically the same, anyway). Beautiful, Sue!

    • Reply
      Sue/the view from great island
      March 4, 2013 at 2:23 am

      Oh yeah, absinthe would be another substitute. I’ve never used it in cooking, I can’t wait to see what you did with it.

  • Reply
    March 3, 2013 at 10:05 pm

    Looks just beautiful…even the shots of the raw chicken…usually I can’t bring myself to look, I have to turn my head even at the butcher, but somehow you can even make that look amazing! The colors…the fresh herbs…I’ll be making this in the coming week.

    • Reply
      Sue/the view from great island
      March 4, 2013 at 2:27 am

      I love that comment, Annie—that’s just the kind of reaction I’m looking for! (But you know, just between you and me, I’m the same way with chicken)

  • Reply
    March 3, 2013 at 5:30 pm

    I was JUST looking at this recipe in Jerusalem yesterday! It looks delicious, and your version looks beautiful. Jerusalem wins again (and it’s so worth it to have it in all its glory in the book form!)

    • Reply
      Sue/the view from great island
      March 3, 2013 at 5:49 pm

      Every time I pick up the book I end up going straight to the kitchen. I think the photos in the book are the key, I’m not sure I would have made this recipe if I hadn’t seen those bright orange charred clementines in the photo.

  • Reply
    March 3, 2013 at 5:22 pm

    This looks amazing! I need to make a main course chicken dish for a birthday party next weekend, I’ve just found my recipe. A bit different but it has so many interesting flavours, the colours make it seem quite festive too.
    Beautiful photos as always Sue!

  • Reply
    Mary Younkin
    March 3, 2013 at 4:53 pm

    Wow, Sue. The colors are beautiful! I’ve never heard of Pernod before this. I wonder how I would like the anise liquor in this dish? I am not a fan of black licorice and that is what I associate with it. How strong is the flavor? I do like fennel… any thoughts for me?

    • Reply
      Sue/the view from great island
      March 3, 2013 at 5:52 pm

      I can’t STAND black licorice, but natural licorice flavor seems so different, more gentle. I would say leave out the Pernod, and use vodka, or chicken stock in its place. The flavor would still have enough anise with the fennel and the seeds.

    • Reply
      Sue/the view from great island
      March 3, 2013 at 5:54 pm

      I just made a note of that in the recipe.

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