I was introduced to this wonderfully warm, sweet, comforting dish by Deirdre O'Sullivan at the recent Ubud Writers & Readers Festival. She raved about it and I made a vow to try it out when I returned home. She was right - it's fabulous! I used Pernod as the liqueur and seedless mandarins instead of clementines. The flavour will be more intense if the chicken is marinated overnight, though you can skip this stage if pressed for time.
The recipe is from is from Jerusalem by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi.
- Prep Time : 25-30 minutes
- Cook Time : 45 minutes
- Yield : 4
- arak, Pernod or ouzo - 100ml
- olive oil - 4 tablespoons
- freshly squeezed orange juice - 3 tablespoons
- lemon juice - 3 tablespoons
- grain mustard - 2 tablespoons
- light brown sugar - 3 tablespoons
- medium fennel bulbs - 500g in total
- organic or free range chicken - approx 1.3kg, divided into 8 pieces
- clementines (or mandarins) - unpeeled (400g in total), washed, sliced horizontally
- fresh thyme leaves - 1 tablespoon
- fennel seeds - 2 1/2 teaspoons, slightly crushed
- salt and black pepper
- freshly chopped flat-leaf parsley
Put the first six ingredients in a large mixing bowl and add 2 1/2 teaspoons salt and 1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper.
Wash and trim the fennel and cut each bulb in half lengthways. Cut each half into 4 wedges. Add the fennel to the liquids along with the chicken pieces, clementine slices, thyme and fennel seeds. Stir well with your hands then leave to marinate in the fridge for a few hours or overnight.
Preheat oven 220C/200C fan-forced. Transfer the chicken and its marinade to a baking tray large enough to accommodate everything in a single layer (approx 30cm x 37cm tray); the chicken skin should be facing up. Once the oven is hot enough, place the tray in the oven and roast for 35-45 minutes, until the chicken is coloured and cooked through. Remove from the oven.
Lift the chicken, fennel and clementines from the tray and arrange on a serving plate; cover and keep warm. Pour the cooking liquids into a small saucepan, place on a medium high heat, bring to a boil then simmer until the sauce is reduced by a third, so you are left with about 80 -100ml. Pour the hot sauce over the chicken, garnish with freshly chopped parsley and serve.