Thursday, October 18, 2007

Oranges and Aquavit

I read a recipe by Jamie Oliver like this using gin to marinate the chicken. I was dying to try it but had no gin in the cupboard. I did, however have a bottle of Aquavit that the mister had brought home to me from Sweden a few weeks ago. While I wouldn't drink the stuff, it sure makes a nice marinade for chicken. Stick this in the fridge to marinate at lunchtime, it will be ready to go by dinner (marinate at least 6 hours).

3 large, very juicy oranges (or 6 small, juicy ones, like Mandarins), including skin, chopped into large chunks
¾ cup Aquavit (found in liquor stores)
1 small bunch rosemary, leaves stripped from woody branch
1 small head garlic (yes, the whole head), peeled
1/3 cup olive oil

This is enough marinade for 2 small chickens cut up, or 8 large single chicken breasts (halved)-- or any combination, but all must be on the bone.

1) Place all marinade ingredients into a food processor or blender. Process until relatively smooth. Pour over chicken pieces in two resealable bags or Tupperware. Marinate in the refrigerator for 6-8 hours.

For the roast chicken
2 fennel bulbs, bottom trimmed, sliced into 1” bias slices
1 large leeks, trimmed and cut into 3” pieces, then halved lengthwise
A good glug of olive oil

1) Pre-heat oven to 225C (450F).

2) Remove chicken from the marinade and place on a large platter. Blot any extra mariande off chicken to dry it. Season each piece well with salt.

3) In a large bowl, toss the slices of leek and fennel together with olive oil. Season well with salt.

4) Line a very large baking tray with parchment paper. Place the drum sticks and thighs on this and roast for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven, take the drum sticks and thighs off, and layer the vegetables on. Now replace the drum sticks and thighs on top of the vegetables and add the chicken breast pieces (all skin-side up). Put in the oven and roast for about 30-45 minutes, until the chicken is deep golden, cooked through and the vegetables are soft. Serve alone or with horseradish-mashed potatoes.

Serves 6. As tasty as the chicken is, the vegetables, especially the fennel really shine in this dish. Even if you don’t care too much for fennel, this may change your mind.

No comments: