Big Brother is officially in that picky-eater stage. Pretty much anything that doesn’t look like pizza or chicken nuggets and French fries is deemed “disgusting.” Does wonders for my ego.
I am fortunate, however, that he will consume fruit like there is no tomorrow. Ask him what he wants for a snack, he always ask for grapes or an orange. We go through BAGS of clementines during citrus season.
A few years ago, I was given an assignment to come up with a few recipes using in-season ingredients. In January. There isn’t a whole lot in season in January. Except for citrus fruits. This recipe is a result of that assignment.
If I am going to bake chicken, chicken thighs are my go-to cut. They are just about always on sale and they have much more flavor that boring ol’ boneless, skinless chicken breasts. I’m usually not a big fan of orange-chicken dishes. But when you combine the orange with sweet maple syrup and mustard, it takes on a whole new persona.
If you’ve never given fennel a try, do it just once. It has a very strong anise smell in its raw form, but once it’s roasted, it gets mellow and sweet. A lot like garlic.
In case you are wondering: Yes, my picky little eater did eat this. In fact, once I convinced him to try it, he declared it “tah-licious.”
- ⅓ cup chicken broth
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed clementine juice
- 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons grainy mustard
- 3 tablespoons maple syrup
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- 8 chicken thighs, bone-in and skin-on
- 2 fennel bulbs, cut into quarters
- 4 clementines, unpeeled, sliced thin
- 2-3 few sprigs of fresh thyme
- In a large mixing bowl or resealable plastic bag, whisk together chicken broth, olive oil, clementine and lemon juices, mustard, maple syrup and salt. Season with pepper, to taste.
- Place chicken in the mixing bowl or bag. Toss gently until chicken is evenly coated with the sauce. Allow chicken to marinate in the refrigerator for 4-6 hours.
- Preheat oven to 475 degrees. Place marinated chicken skin side up in a 9 x 12 x 2-inch baking dish. Reserve the marinade. Arrange fennel slices in between the chicken, layer clementine slices and thyme over the top. Pour the reserved marinade over the entire dish.
- Bake chicken for 30-45 minutes until the skin is brown and crisp and the chicken juices run clear.
- Allow chicken to rest for 10 minutes. Arrange everything in a serving platter and drizzle the pan juices over the top.