I read the Wall Street Journal every day. Some days it's just the op-ed pages, some days I read the whole front section, and sometimes I have time for the whole paper. Saturday is always one of those days. And in the Personal Journal section they have nifty book reviews, recipes, and stuff you really don't want to buy (ceramic fish candlesticks for $1400 each, anyone?). This chicken is adapted from one such book review. It's not as written, because I didn't have some things (like arak and fennel bulbs and clementines), but here's my take on it:
1 oven stuffer roaster, butterflied
6 tbsp orange juice
3 tbsp lemon juice
3 tbsp Dijon mustard
2 tbsp light brown sugar
1-1/2 tsp salt
4 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp thyme
2 tsp fennel seeds, lightly crushed
1 orange, unpeeled, sliced very thin
1/2 cup cold water
3 tbsp cornstarch
In a bowl, whisk together the orange juice, lemon juice, mustard, sugar and salt. Add the olive oil and whisk hard to combine them. Add the pepper, thyme and fennel seeds. Put your chicken in your roasting pan, pour half of this sauce over the chicken, arrange the orange slices over the entire chicken, pour the remainder of the sauce, and roast as you usually do. When the chicken is done, remove the orange slices from the top, pour the liquid from the roasting pan into a saucepan, and add a couple of large handfuls of ice. Let it sit for a few minutes, then scoop the ice and fat off the top of the pan. Heat on the stove until it reaches a boil, then turn it down to a simmer while you cut the chicken. Whisk the cornstarch into the cold water, add to the sauce, and cook until it thickens. Serve with rice and orange wedges, if desired.
I liked this chicken. My boys were all enthusiastic about the chicken, and, in particular, the sauce. My dearly beloved was less than impressed. I think it's because this was on the sweet side, and he just doesn't like sweet food. Dessert, yes, but not "real" foods which are sweet. So I'm afraid I won't be doing this chicken again.
But if this appeals to you, and the Middle Eastern style of cooking appeals to you, the new cookbook which will be published "soon" is Jerusalem: A Cookbook by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi.