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.”
Clementine Chicken Thighs with Roasted Fennel
- 1/3 cup chicken broth
- 1/4 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.