Roasted Chicken With Clementines and Arak
Serves 4. From “Jerusalem: A Cookbook” by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi. All the intense flavors lavished on the poor chicken — arak, mustard, fennel, clementines with their skins, brown sugar — somehow manage to come together in a sweetly comforting dish you will always want to come back to. You can substitute any of the anise-flavored liquors like Pernod or ouzo for the arak.
61/2 tbls. arak, ouzo or Pernod
4 tbls. olive oil
3 tbls. freshly squeezed orange juice
3 tbls. freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tbls. grain mustard
3 tbls. light brown sugar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 medium fennel bulbs
1 chicken, cut into 8 pieces or an equivalent amount of bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
4 Clementines, unpeeled and cut horizontally into 1/4-inch slices
1 tbl. thyme leaves
21/2 tsps. fennel seeds, lightly crushed
Chopped flat-leaf parsley to garnish
1. Put the first 6 ingredients in a large mixing bowl and add 21/2 teaspoons salt and 11/2 teaspoons of black pepper. Whisk well and set aside.
2. Trim the fennel and cut each bulb in half lengthwise. 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 refrigerator for a few hours or overnight. (Skipping the marinating stage is also fine if you are pressed for time).
3. Preheat the oven to 475 degrees. Transfer the chicken and its marinade to a baking sheet large enough to accommodate everything comfortably in a single layer. The chicken skin should be facing up. Put the pan in the oven and roast for 35 to 45 minutes until the chicken is browned and cooked through. Remove from oven.
4. Lift the chicken, fennel and Clementines from the pan and arrange on a serving plate. Cover and keep warm.
5. Pour the cooking liquid into a small saucepan. Place over medium-high heat, bring to a boil and then simmer until the sauce is reduced by one-third. You should have about one-third of a cup of sauce. Pour the hot sauce over the chicken, garnish with some parsley and serve.