Last Sunday, I made roasted chicken with clementines (tangerines or mandarin oranges). The recipe was adapted from Jerusalem cookbook by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi. I’ve been so into Middle East cooking style recently. However, every recipes require a lot of distinctive spices like cumin, nutmeg, anise or cardamom, which makes it hard to make without adaptation. Anyways, cooking is all about having fun and being creative in the kitchen, isn’t it?
The original roasted chicken with clementines recipe itself also requires quite unusual ingredients such as anise seed, fennel seed or Arak (or Ouzo or Pernod – kinda Middle East Alcohol). I decided to take liberties with the ingredients and substitute Arak with white wine and lightly crushed anise seed (to make up for the anise-flavored liquor). I also used onions instead of fennel bulbs just because I already had those in my pantry.
The chicken came out perfect with different layers of flavors, the aroma from all the citrus juice, fresh clementines, and thyme, the piquant taste of fennel and anise seeds. The meat was perfectly cooked, juicy on the inside, the broth oozed out when using a knife to cut through the crisp skin outside. Delicious!
Noted: You obviously cannot eat the clementine slices after roasting because those were caramelized, and the oil from the clementines’ skin are really bitter.
I’m probably going to make this recipe again with Arak when I found a small bottle at the liquor store. I’ll keep you guys updated!
6 tablespoons white wine
1/4 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange (or clementine) juice
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons grainy mustard
3 tablespoons light brown sugar or honey
2 teaspoons kosher salt
8 bone-in, skin-on chicken (thigh or drumstick)
4 clementines, unpeeled, sliced thin
a few sprigs of thyme
2 – 3 medium onions (or fennel bulbs) cut lengthwise then into quarters
1.5 teaspoons fennel seeds
1.5 teaspoons anise
freshly ground pepper
1. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together white wine, olive oil, orange and lemon juices, mustard, brown sugar, salt and pepper.
Place chicken skin side up in large roasting tray with clementine slices, thyme sprigs, onion pieces (or fennel wedges) and crushed fennel and anise seeds. Pour sauce over top and gently toss everything together with your hands.
Marinate the chicken in about 30-45 minutes. You can also marinate overnight in a ziplock in fridge. My little trick is putting a slice of clementine, a pinch of anise and fennel seeds under the chicken.
2. Preheat oven to 475 degrees. Roast for about 40 minutes, then check on the chicken frequently. Turn the heat down to 400ºF and continue roasting until the skin is brown and crisp, 10 to 25 minutes longer.
3. Transfer the chicken, tangerines, onion and fennel pieces with juices to a serving platter. Let rest 5 to 10 minutes before serving.