Ottolenghi’s Roasted Chicken with Clementines and Arak

Chicken w/ Clementines & Arak

One of these days, I’m going to visit Israel, if only to taste in situ the foods that inspire Ottolenghi, whose Jerusalem cookbook has become one of the most used cooking tomes in our household. The hummus recipe alone is worth purchasing his book.

This recipe combines orange and anise flavors with a delightful roasted chicken. Don’t let the use of Arak, a licorice flavored liquor – worry you. The anise flavor is subtle, despite the use of both fennel and fennel seeds – and perfectly balanced by the clementines.

We served it with brown basmati rice and carrots, and I used the leftovers the next day to make a warm Flageolet salad.


Note – Ottolenghi’s US version of the recipe seems to have made an erroneous conversion of celsius to fahrenheit, and says to cook at 475 degrees. Cook instead at 425, or you’ll find yourself with little juice to serve it with.



  • 6 1/2 tbsp/100ml arak, ouzo or Pernod
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp grain mustard
  • 3 tbsp light brown sugar
  • 2 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp pepper

Chicken and veggies

  • 2 medium fennel bulbs (500g in total)
  • 1 large organic or free range chicken, about 1.3kg, divided into 8 pieces, or the same weight in chicken thighs with the skin and on the bone
  • 4 clementines, unpeeled (400g in total), sliced horizontally into 0.5cm slices
  • 1 tbsp thyme leaves
  • 2½ tsp fennel seeds, slightly crushed
  • salt and black pepper
  • chopped flat-leaf parsley, to garnish


Make the marinade – Whisk together the arak, oil, orange juice, lemon juice, mustard, brown sugar and salt in a bowl large enough to hold the chicken.

Trim fennel and cut in half lengthwise, then cut each half into 4 wedges.

Add fennel, chicken, clementine slices, thyme and crushed fennel seeds to the marinade. . Turn several times to coat, then if tie allows, marinade in fridge for a few hours to overnight.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Transfer all ingredients, including marinade, to a roasting pan large enough to hold the ingredients in a single layer (12×14 1/2 inches); chicken should be skin side up. Roast until chicken is browned and cooked through, 35-45 minutes. Remove from the oven.

With tongs, Remove chicken, fennel and clementines to a serving plate; cover and keep warm. Pour cooking liquid into a small saucepan and over medium-high heat, bring to a boil, then simmer until sauce is reduced and you are left with about 1/3 cup. Pour heated sauce over chicken. Garnish with parsley and serve.


Other Ottolenghi recipes from TBTAM

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