Lest I bombard you with only sweets recipes this month of December, I am including a chicken recipe.
I love this recipe for several reasons. One, I love roasted fennel. It is one of my favorite things. Two, I can marinade this while we're at swim practice and then just roast it when we get home and still eat a reasonable time. Three, I love the clementines. Four, well, that's all. I don't love the chicken (except for the skin, which is wonderful here), but I don't love chicken in general.
The original version called for "fancy" alcohol. I don't like to buy alcohol just for cooking, so I substituted wine. If you want to stay true to the original recipe, use arak, ouzo or Pernod (I don't even know what two of those are…)
This will serve 4 - 6, depending on who your carnivores are. We serve this over brown rice or couscous. I have never bothered with the sauce because we've been too hungry and the amount of sauce already seemed too reduced to mess with, but I am sure it would tasty.
Roasted Chicken with Clementines and Fennel
adapted from Jerusalem by Ottolenghi
6 1/2 T dry white wine (or chicken broth or water)
4 T olive oil
3 T freshly squeezed orange juice
3 T freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 T coarse grain mustard
3 T brown sugar
2 (or feel free to use more!!) medium fennel bulbs, cut in half lengthwise and then quartered (8 pieces from each bulb)
1 lg chicken, cut into 8 pieces (I cut each breast into 2 pieces and save the backbone/wings for stock)
4 clementines, unpeeled and cut horizontally into 1/4" slices
1 T thyme leaves
1 T fennel seeds, lightly crushed (with a back of a knife or mortal and pestle)
In a large mixing bowl, combine white wine, olive oil, orange juice, lemon juice, mustard, and brown sugar along with 1 T salt and 1 1/2 t black pepper. Whisk well.
Add fennel wedges, slice clementines, thyme, fennel seeds and chicken to the olive oil mixture. Coat the solids with the liquid and cover tightly. Marinate in the refrigerator for a 2 hours to overnight.
Preheat the oven to 475. Transfer the marinated chicken, fennel, and clementines to a half sheet pan (cookie sheet) in a single layer and pour marinade over top. Roast in oven for 35 - 45 minutes or until chicken is dark brown and cooked through.
To serve, transfer clementines (yes, the peel is edible, and quite wonderful), fennel wedges, and chicken to a platter. Garnish with parsley if desired. Serve with rice or couscous.
Optional sauce: Before serving, remove chicken from the baking pan. Pour the remaining roasted marinade into a small pot and bring to a boil over medium high heat. Simmer until the sauce is reduced to 1/3 c. Pour over the chicken.