For someone who only roasts chicken by the “low and slow” method followed by a “high and fast” step, trying this recipe from Jerusalem cookbook was quite a change: the pieces are blasted at 475F from start to finish. They advise to check the state of the skin after 30 minutes, and reduce the temperature slightly in case it’s darkening too fast. I was curious to see how our Supernova handled this challenge. but it cruised through the test! All pieces were nicely and homogeneously browned, the meat cooked to perfection.  This is a super festive dish, perfect for entertaining.

Roast Chicken with Clementines2

Jerusalem is one of the many cookbooks sitting on my bookshelf, but my inspiration to make this dish was a post from “Alexandra’s Kitchen” ,  a blog I love! You can read, and print her version of this recipe (which I followed) by jumping here.


This is a simple but unique treatment of chicken pieces. A flavorful marinade is prepared with a mixture of arak (or ouzo), honey, orange, lemon juice and spices.  You can use a whole chicken cut up, or go for chicken thighs as I did.  The main flavor will be fennel and anise. Reading Alexandra’s blog as well as a few other sources in the net, it became clear that if you are not a fond of anise, better modify the recipe.   It turns out that I absolutely despise ouzo (as well as Pastis, which brings a sad tale to my mind that shall be told some other time), so I used dry Vermouth instead. I also added only 1 teaspoon of fennel seed instead of 2 + 1/2  as originally called for.  It turned out perfect for us.

The clementine slices add a lot visually to the dish, but I did not care for their texture, even the ones that cooked protected from direct heat seemed a bit bitter and tough to me.  They release a lot of juice and flavor into the sauce, so even if you don’t eat them in the end, no big deal.

After the chicken is roasted, the sauce is transferred to a saucepan, reduced almost to a glaze, and poured over the meat on the serving dish.  You might be tempted to skip this step. Do not.  It is one of those details that take a dish from great to spectacular, trust me on that…


Additional comments:  Probably one of the reasons this recipe works so well with intense heat from beginning to end, is the fact that the pieces are surrounded by quite a bit of liquid during roasting.  The final texture is perfect, and the sauce tastes amazing, a powerful kick of fennel and the sweetness of clementines pairing with it.  If you like anise flavor, go for Ouzo or, if you can find (and afford it), opt for the more authentic Arak.

I know that most people associate recipes from Jerusalem exclusively with Ottolenghi, so I made a point of including Tamimi on the title of my post.  I don’t think he gets the credit he deserves for  being the co-author of such an amazing cookbook.

This dish was our first dinner in the year 2014, and I thank Alexandra for the inspiration. It was a  perfect meal to launch the New Year!

Roast Chicken with Clementines1Dinner is served!

ONE YEAR AGO: Eight-Ball Zucchini: The Missing Files

TWO YEARS AGO: Grilling Ribbons

THREE YEARS AGO: Peppery Cashew Crunch

FOUR YEARS AGO: Ossobuco Milanese: an Italian Classic


  1. Oh how wonderful! I had been looking for vegetarian salads from ‘Jerusalem’ just a moment ago [I LOVE the book, use it lots and do like that Sami Tamimi’s name has been added here!] and the tome was right next to me🙂 ! I have not made this chicken recipe as yet, but love fennel and fennel seeds, so this will be prepared soonest, possibly using vermouth the way you have ~ I am not so keen on aniseedy flavours either. The cooking time suggested in the book is 45-55 mins at 200 C which actually does not sound unusual for me. Your photo looks more appetizing methinks tho’ the Ottolenghi one has more vegetables showing! What glorious fun comparing and a good ‘push’ to try the recipe oneself!! And am going back to ‘Alexandra’s Kitchen’ ~ it does look like a very interesting blog! Thanks for all!!


  2. As it turns out, I despise ouzo also! It is going to make for a very interesting half Greek wedding in November… Anyways this looks amazing, as does anything from Jerusalem. Leave it to Ottolenghi and Tamimi to come up with a new method to roast the chicken pieces that actually WORKS.


  3. I too prefer to use the “high and fast” method for chicken roasts, even the ones which don’t have liquids at all. It keeps the chicken very moist and creates a tasty crust.
    Maybe because I was born and raised in Jerusalem, just like both authors.🙂
    Though the book is not about traditional recipes and it’s more of their own inspiration based on local foods and cooking techniques. In many recipes I’ve found they complicate the simple original ones to no end, but on the whole it is a good and inspiring book.


    • Very interesting to hear your perspective on their recipes – I guess it is true that if you want to write a cookbook, some “complication” might be added to simple recipes. I see that in some Brazilian recipes – but I also think they do a great job with their changes, so creative, without going over the top. I am so tired of the pork belly showing up EVERYWHERE. A while ago it was bacon, now it’s pork belly… 🙂


  4. Looks beautiful, Sally! So happy you liked it. You are so nice to link to me — thank you! — but you should totally post the recipe in your post too if you want!

    Ps: did I mention last time how I covet your espresso machine? Is it amazing? Does it froth the milk well? Love the color too!


    • Oh, nice to see you here! The espresso machine is awesome.. it does froth the milk too, I keep telling Phil he should go for some designs on the froth, and the other day he managed a nice little flower. Yesterday was….. a pear. Not his best attempt, I should say, but let’s keep it a secret..😉


  5. I made this recipe a few months ago, toning down the anise/fennel notes by eliminating the bulbs and seeds but using the 6 1/2 T Pastis, (Which I also can’t abide as a beverage, but find invaluable when used sparingly, a few drops here and there, with certain ingredients) I used oranges, as I had them on hand. The fennel flavor was still strong, and the oranges were fought over….. chewy, savory candy!
    Years ago, I had a bad experience with fennel bulbs. I was involved with culinary experiments with them, and all the tasting resulted in my entirely losing my sense of taste for 2+ weeks. That slight numbing effect from the essential oils greatly magnified. Ive never eaten them again…fear of fennel! (shudder)


    • Hummmmm… interesting, so maybe cooking with Pastis won’t be bad. I don’t know I have a huge trauma from it…

      Your experience with fennel sounds scary – I have two friends who suffered loss of taste – one of them recovered after a little over a year. The other never did. It gives me shivers… very tough thing to go through, I am glad yours came back. I can understand very well your unwillingness to try fennel again… Forget it!


  6. 475, wow! That does seem high and yet the skin and chicken seemed to have turned out beautifully…supernova met the challenge!🙂. What a symphony of flavours going on in this dish Sally — sounds like a winner. The clementines do add great visuals — so pretty and give that succulent/juicy feeling — love the seared ones too.


    • It was a lovely dish to start 2014! Of course, it would have been great to be in L.A. and join you and your family for a coffee or a drink on the 1st, but… glad you could have that great experience, pork chops aside 😉 😉 (I still laugh about that one… too good!)


  7. I thought I had left a comment but I can’t see one so I will have another go. Yum! I use this recipe very loosely as I don’t like cooked fruits with meat apart from lemons, and pastis reminds me of student travels and dubious drinking sessions long past, so I did it with fennel and lemons and loads of garlic and served it in the summer for a garden lunch and it was delightful and I love the fast and hot cooking method and the extravagant big pan of chicken, so juicy and fragrant.


    • Odd – I saw a comment from you on Facebook, but not here, and I even went to look at the spam folder and “pending”. Nothing there… Thanks for re-commenting, I know that can be frustrating…


  8. Ah that must be it!!! Did I leave a comment there, my apalling short term memory, (makes mental note never to comment on blogs on facebook again but go to the right place, doh) xx


  9. So funny we’ve posted Ottilenghi’s recipes at the same time🙂 I’m not a fan of anise either, and try to avoid it at any cost (which is sometimes complicates as in Marseille where my hubs is from worship Pastis), Vermouth sounds way better for me🙂


    • I think I would either leave it out or use maybe a little white grape juice (unsweetened) with a squirt of lemon juice to give it some acidity? But I do think that you can get by without it, there’s so much flavor in the other components!


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