A fresh take on roast chicken, this recipe leaves the meat tender, moist and perfectly infused with a citrus-flavor, nicely complemented by the mingling tastes of sage, rosemary and thyme.
The colors are beautiful, and this goes really well with a side of quinoa (see Martha’s Recipe) or a dark veggie green.
This is a perfect recipe for a shabbat dinner chicken, or for a holiday, or just for having a nice, belly-warming simply delish meal. Inspired by the Barefoot Contessa Ina Garten’s Roast Chicken, Shira has made a few changes to this recipe to make it her own. Bon appetit!
- One 5-6lb. roasting chicken
- kosher salt
- Freshly ground pepper
- large bunch of fresh thyme
- large bunch of fresh rosemary
- large bunch of fresh parsley
- 2 lemons – cut in halves or quarters
- 1 large orange – cut in half
- 1 head of garlic – sliced in half, crosswise
- 1/4 cup of olive oil (or adjust to taste)
- Preheat oven to 425
- Rinse chicken well; pat dry
- Place chicken on large roasting pan or cookie sheet
- Salt and pepper the inside of the chicken
- Stuff the cavity with most of the thyme, rosemary and parsley (no need to chop), lemons and orange; be sure to mix it around so the flavors will be distributed evenly
- Tie the legs together with kitchen string and tuck the wings under
- Brush outside of chicken with the olive oil
- Liberally sprinkle outside of chicken with salt and pepper
- Roast the chicken for approximately 90 minutes; check on it occasionally
- The juices should run clear when you put a cut between the leg and the thigh
- Remove the chicken to a plate or serving platter; cover with aluminum foil to keep warm and let sit for 10-15 minutes
- Carve and serve with remaining sprigs of herbs and any remaining lemon, orange or garlic slices. Sprinkle with freshly chopped parsley.
Matthew Goodman’s “Jewish Food: The World at Table” is a great book. He’s got a great range of recipes from all over the world, as the title indicates, and they are unfussy, and delicious. Below is a favorite, from p. 162.
“Culinarily, the best way of using pomegranates may be with pomegranate molasses, a fixture in the cookery of Jews from Syria, Iran and Iraq. A thick, brown, syrup, pomegranate molasses has a tangily sour taste with a slight undertone of sweetness. It’s used to flavor the sweet-and-sour dishes prominent in the cuisine of the region, in much the same way as tamarind concentrate;to my taste though, pomegranate molasses is more pleasing, fruitier and less powerfully acerbic.
Above – Grilled Quail in Pomegranate Molasses; click here.
Perhaps the most well known of the dishes using pomegranate molasses is in the Iranian pomegranate and walnut sauce called fesenjan. It is most commonly made with duck, though it can also be made with chicken, quail or even meatballs. In my adaptation of fesenjan, I’ve added fresh figs, whose lush sweetness helps to balance the astringency of the pomegranate molasses (which can be purchased at most Middle Eastern groceries).”
Click here for a recipe to make your own Pomegranate Molasses at home.
- 1 chicken, 3-4 lbs.; cut into 8 pieces or 4 split breasts
- fresh ground pepper
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 onion chopped
- 1 cut finely chopped walnuts
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 12 fresh figs, quartered
- 1/3 cup pomegranate molasses
- 2 tbsp. honey
- Rinse chicken and pat dry; Season well with salt and pepper
- Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook until browned on all sides. Remove and drain on paper towels
- Lower heat to medium, then add onion to pan and cook, stirring often until soft and transluscent; Lower heat to medium-low and add walnuts; Cook stirring regularly, until they begin to change colors. About 3 minutes
- Add chicken stock, figs, pomegranate molasses, and honey and mix well. Cover and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, covered for 10 minutes stirring occasionally.
- Return the chicken to the pan and simmer, uncovered, until cooked through, about 35 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a large serving platter and pour the sauce over it. Serve hot.
Who does not love Claudia Roden?
“Claudia Roden was born to a cosmopolitan Jewish family in Cairo, where she grew up eating – and questioning the origin of – food from all over the Middle East. She began by collating recipes at a young age from everybody she met, from family members to virtual strangers. “Food was,” she explains, “a way of re-connecting with my culture – my lost heritage. And the discovery of a 13th century manuscript in the British Library eventually led to my interest in food sociology and anthropology.”
To read more on Claudia Roden, click here.
The recipe below, featured on the BBC’s website is from Roden’s most recent cookbook Arabesque: A Taste of Morocco, Turkey and Lebanon
Prep Time: 3o min
Cooking time – 1-2 hours
||You can buy frozen artichoke bottoms from Middle Eastern and Asian stores. Ingredients
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 onions, finely chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, crushed
½ tsp crushed saffron threads or saffron powder
¼-½ tsp ground ginger
1 chicken, jointed
salt and freshly ground black pepper
½ lemon, juice only
2 tbsp chopped coriander
2 tbsp chopped parsley
2 small preserved lemons, peel only
12-16 green or violet olives, either stoned or left whole
9 artichoke bottoms, defrosted
1. In a wide casserole or heavy-bottomed pan that will fit the chicken pieces in one layer, heat the oil and add the onions. Sauté, stirring over a low heat, until softened, then stir in the garlic, saffron and ginger.
2. Add the chicken pieces, season with salt and freshly ground black pepper, and pour in about 300ml/10fl oz of water. Simmer, covered, turning the pieces over a few times and adding a little more water if it becomes too dry.
3. Lift out the breasts after 20 minutes and set aside. Continue to cook the remaining pieces for another 25 minutes, then return the breasts to the pan.
4. Stir in the lemon juice, coriander, parsley, preserved lemon peel and olives, then lift the chicken pieces and put the artichoke bottoms in the sauce beneath them. Add a little water if necessary and cook for about 10 minutes until the artichokes are tender. Serve with the olives and lemon peel on top of the meat
So apparently we’ve been left out of the loop. I had dinner at my friend Shira’s the other night and she impressed us all with this excellent Chicken Marbella from an apparently famous and must have cookbook: The Silver Palate.
The printed out recipe came from Leite’s Culinaria. What a site. Check it out.
Shira was kind enough to send me home with the recipe and olives out of her own refrigerator, and I made it last night for dinner and it was delish. I made it with boneless, skinless chicken breasts and cut down the proportions. I’m thinking Martha Shem-Tov would be able to avoid all the sugar in there by substituting orange juice in. It was the first time I made it – I think I will try that next time. In any case – it’s easy and full-flavored. Thanks Shira.
The recipe below is for 10-12 servings. I cut the recipe in half and did NOT put in as much sugar (poison!) as it calls for – but I don’t trust my mathematical skills to include my version here.
I threw the chicken into a ziploc bag with the marinade in the AM, and then just pulled it out around 7pm. I think this’d go nicely with quinoa on the side.
- 6 lbs of boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 1 head of garlic – finely pureed
- 1/4 dried oregano
- coarse salt & pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup red wine vinegar (I used white)
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 cups pitted dried plums (aka: PRUNES)
- 1 cup of a mix of pitted olives (preferably Moroccan or Greek)
- 1/2 cup of capers with a tablespoon of their juice (Don’t leave these out!)
- 6 bay leaves
- 1 cup (oy! cut this down!) brown sugar (I used 1/4 cup – but next time will do OJ)
- 1 cup white wine
- Mix the garlic, oregano, salt & pepper, vinegar, olive oil, prunes, olives, capers and juice, and bay leaves.
- Rub the chicken well in the marinade – put it all in a big ziploc bag and refrigerate – MINIMUM: 2 hours – but better overnight.
- An hour before serving, pre-heat oven to 350 F degrees
- Arrange the chicken in shallow baking/roasting pans – spoon the marinade over evenly.
- Bake for 40 minutes – basting every 10 minutes with the pan juices.
- Serve with the juices – you can garnish with parsley or cilantro.