Fennel and Citrus Roast chicken

Moist roast chicken - not glamorous but oh so delicious!

Moist roast chicken – not glamorous but oh so delicious!

Ok guys, no long rambling write up before I get to this one for three very reasons – 1. I’m sick with the flu and can’t be trusted not to give away deep dark secrets in my fever induced hallucination state 2. this recipe is so good, it really doesn’t need any introduction and 3. I had to share it before it went into that evil disappearing heap of ‘must post but don’t get around to’ recipes.

Look at the beautiful dark glaze on that meatThat this is a brilliant recipe is not a surprise because it’s one of Ottolenghi’s and he always has had the knack of throwing together the most unlikely flavours to create magic. It may have something to do with the high percentage of alcohol and the long marination but we found that this super simple recipe lead to the most delicious resulting roast with moist, flavourful and oh so tender meat. The skin, ofcourse the most flavourful part, turns beautifully golden, the onions softened and caramelized and the juices gorgeous. Need I say more?

Chicken with kinnow and fennel

Prep time: 

Cook time: 

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Serves: 4-5

I started with the Ottolenghi recipe and then played with a few replacements because of what i had at hand. Raki instead of arak, onions and garlic instead of fennel. I also doubled the marinade because i had a hunch that we would need more of it.
  • 6 Tablespoons Raki (or arak/pastis/absinthe or simiar anise flavoured liquor. You could also use vodka with 2-3 teaspoons lightly crushed fennel seeds, depending on how much you like fennel. If you can find the fresh fennel sprigs we nibbled on as kids, that would be even better)
  • 8 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 9 Tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 3 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 3 Tablespoons grainy mustard
  • 6 Tablespoons light brown/palm sugar/jaggery
  • 2.5 t salt or more to taste
  • 3 t Freshly Ground Pepper
  • 4 medium onions cut into halves and then into four pieces each
  • 1 bulb of garlic with the cloves separated
  • 1 whole chicken, with the skin on, divided into 8 pieces (I bought it from Star Bazaar in Andheri)
  • 4 kinnow, unpeeled, sliced ½ cm roundels (you could use other orangey firm skinned citrus fruit like malta)
  • 3 Tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 teaspoons fennel seeds, lightly crushed
  • Parsley, to garnish
  1. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together vodka, oil, orange and lime juices, mustard, sugar, fennel and salt. Season with pepper, taste and correct seasoning. Add onions, garlic, chicken, kinnow slices, thyme and crushed fennel seeds. mix well so the marinade coats the chicken and vegetables well..
  2. Let chicken marinate for several hours or preferably overnight.
  3. Preheat oven to 245 degrees. Lay the chicken skin side up on a large roasting pan. Place the other ingredients around and then pour the marinade over. Roast until chicken is browned and cooked through, 30-40 minutes. Remove from the oven.
  4. Lift chicken, onion, garlic and citrus onto a serving plate. Cover and keep warm.
  5. Pour the juices into a small pan and let boil till it thickens a bit.
  6. Pour the thickened sauce over the chicken and serve.




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