This Clementine Roast Chicken with Fennel and Honey is a lovely Winter dish that is light and zesty, but very comforting as well. This is a simple sheet-pan dinner recipe that comes together effortlessly and makes the best of two seasonal ingredients – citrus and fennel – paired with succulent roasted chicken leg quarters. A winning trio all the way.
The perfect marriage of Citrus and Fennel, inspired by two Classic-French Recipes.
The inspiration from this Clementine Roast Chicken dish came at the cross-point between two Classic-French recipes. First, Duck a l’Orange – a much-celebrated recipe that features a golden, sticky-sweet, roasted duck in a rich orange sauce. And then, the Fennel Orange salad – a Winter favorite of mine that is bright, bittery and simple.
I wanted to recreate all the cozy yet bright feelings of these two recipes, but in one simple dish.
The use of seasonal clementines and lemons bring tons of pep and fragrant juices, the fennel brings bitterness, the golden-skinned roast chicken leg quarters brings that staple coziness – all binded together with sticky sweet honey, a touch of white wine and aromatics .
It’s bright, comforting, and healthy-ish too!
I love that this Clementine Roast Chicken recipe cooks in the oven and requires only one sheet pan – no fuss, no extra steps. Yet it holds complex flavors and is a great way to use seasonal ingredients in the Winter. Read my cooking notes below, and you’ll be all set for success.
- Leaving the skin on the chicken is essential to this recipe as it will contribute greatly to building flavors in this dish. You can choose to remove the skin later on – in your plate, once the dish is served.
- Instead of chicken quarter legs, you can substitute withskin-on chicken legs or chicken thighs. In this case, the cooking time may need to be slightly shorter (about 45 minutes).
- I highly recommend opting for organic citrus fruits, since we’re using sliced lemons and clementines with the skin on.
- Choose a big chubby fennel bulb that is slightly tender to touch, with white ends and bright green tiny fronds.
- This recipe requires marinating the chicken for at least 2 hours, so plan your schedule accordingly.
- After developing this recipe and thoroughly enjoying it, I did some research on Clementine-themed chicken recipes on the net and stumbled onto this Ottolenghi recipe, which happen to be similar to this one (great minds think alike!); so I thought it would be worth mentioning it. A few differences include Ottolenghi using grainy mustard and Arak – a Levantine anise spirit – instead of white wine, which I am sure lends incredible flavors as well. As a substitute to white wine or Arak, you could also opt for a French Pastis, such as Pernod.
This recipes fits a half-sheet pan, which measures 18-by-13 inches. This is likely the sheet pan you use everyday, to make cookies or other sheet-pan dinners.
I hope you’ll love Clementine Roast Chicken with Fennel and Honey as much as I do! This is a simple yet impressive recipe that is perfect for Winter and that will feed 4 people. Serve it with white rice, couscous or other types of grains (quinoa, barley, etc.) or even orzo pasta.
You may also like:
- Bacon Wrapped Chicken Breasts in Grape Sauce
- Simple Chicken Marengo with Mushrooms
- Cod Provençal with Tomatoes, Capers and Olives
- Slow-Cooker Beef Bourguignon
Did you make this recipe?
4 Chicken quarter legs (300-350g each)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1/2 cup (118ml) dry cooking white wine
2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
2 tbsp (30ml) Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 lemon : ½ lemon juiced + ½ lemon unpeeled, cut in ½-inch (1.25cm) slices
6 clementines: 2 clementines, juiced + 4 unpeeled clementines, cut in ½-inch slices
3 tbsp (60ml) honey
1 tsp fennel seeds, crushed
1 tbsp butter (salted or unsalted)
Salt, black pepper – for seasoning, to taste
Step 1 - At least two hours before or the night before, season the chicken pieces with salt and black pepper, and place them in a large ziplog bag or shallow bowl.
Wash the fennel and trim off the tiny green fronds – keep aside for decorating later. Cut the fennel in half lengthwise and then each half into quarters, so you get 8 wedges. Add these wedges to the chicken pieces.
Add the white wine, crushed garlic cloves, EVOO, the juice of ½ a lemon and slices from ½ a lemon, the juices from 2 clementines and slices from 4 clementines, 2 tablespoons (40ml) of honey and fennel seeds. Seal the ziplog bag and massage for a few seconds to make sure all ingredients are well mixed together and the chicken is well-coated with the marinade. If using a bowl, stir well and cover with a plastic film. Refrigerate for 2 hours or as long as overnight.
Step 2 – Two hours later (or the next day), pre-heat your oven at 350F (180C) (convection ON), with a rack in the middle.
Take the marinated chicken out of the fridge and arrange all the ingredients on a large baking tray, placing a few citrus slices on top of chicken pieces and pouring all the juices over top.
Place dollops of butter (1/4 tbsp) on top of the chicken pieces and season to taste with salt and pepper. Finally, drizzle the whole tray with 1 tbsp (20ml) of honey.
Step 3 - Bake for 50 to 55 minutes, until the chicken is cooked and the skin looks golden. Once or twice during cooking, open the oven quickly, dip a cooking brush in the juices at the bottom of the pan and brush the chicken pieces to keep moist.
Serve immediately on a bed of white rice. Arrange fennel wedges and citrus slices around each chicken pieces and decorate with fresh fennel fronds.
Did you make this recipe?
I’d love to know how it turned out! Please let me know by leaving a comment below, rate the recipe and/or share a photo on Instagram: tag @pardonyourfrench and hashtag it #pardonyourfrench. Bon Appetit!