For Christmas Sister gave Mom the cookbook, Jerusalem. And so for Mom’s birthday I suggested that she pick out a recipe or two from the cookbook and I’d make it for her for a birthday dinner. Mom chose this fantastic chicken dish. While we didn’t have the arak, I used vodka and added a star anise for a little extra licorice flavor. Now, I’m not a fan of licorice, so if you aren’t either don’t be turned off. This dish has more of a citrus flavor, and slight sweetness from the fennel. This was really easy to put together, and the flavors were really stand-out. Next time I’d get boneless, skinless chicken thighs, so feel free to do that if you prefer. I didn’t take the time to reduce the juices into a sauce, but I think that’d be excellent if you have the time. As it was, the pan juices were excellent over brown rice.
Do you have a favorite birthday meal or do you change it up every year?
Fennel and Clementine Baked Chicken
Adapted from Jerusalem
- 6 1/2 Tbsp vodka (the original calls for arak or ouzo, but I used what I had on hand)
- 1 star anise
- 4 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 orange, juiced
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 2 Tbsp grain mustard
- 3 Tbsp brown sugar
- 2 medium fennel bulbs
- 5 chicken thighs
- salt and pepper
- 4 clementines, unpeeled
- 1 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves
- 3 tsp fennels seeds
- parsley, to garnish
In a small bowl, whisk together the alcohol (you could probably use chicken stock or white wine if you don’t keep liquor in the house), star anise, olive oil, orange juice, lemon juice, mustard, and brown sugar.
Cut the fronds off the fennel (you can save those for another family, or garnish this dish with chopped fronds), cut the fennel in half longwise, and then quarter each half. Season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper. Slice the clementines into 4 rounds. In a large bowl, combine the fennel, chicken, and clementines, and pour the marinade over them. Allow to marinate for at least 30 minutes, or up to overnight.
When ready to bake, preheat oven to 450°F. Carefully pour the contents of the bowl into a large jelly roll pan. Bake for 40-50 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and browned on top. I served the chicken over rice, as is, but you can transfer all the solids to a serving dish and then pour the drippings into a small saucepan and simmer until thickened to make more of a sauce.