Bildner’s Baked Chicken with Nectarines

I love the roasted citrus flavor of Clementine-Fennel chicken, but don’t always have fennel on hand or the time to make it.  This more streamlined recipe from Bildner and Son’s Cookbook gets a similar sweet-and-savory effect from nectarines, chicken stock, onions and garlic, and takes a little over 30 minutes to make.

Yield: 4 servings

Total time: A little over 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 large onion
  • 4 medium cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 4 boneless half chicken breasts
  • 1 large nectarine
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Optional: To achieve a similar effect to the clementine-fennel chicken, add a little mustard and a little brown sugar.  I’d start with about a teaspoon of each, and add more to taste.

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 F.
  2. Cut onion into 1/3 in. slices. Mince garlic cloves.
  3. Melt butter in a medium saute pan over medium-high heat. Add sliced onion and saute til translucent, about 3-5 mins.
  4. Add garlic & cook, stirring often, 12 mins more.
  5. Arrange onions & garlic in a 8×8″ or 7×11″ baking dish. Place chicken breasts on top of the onion-garlic layer.
  6. Halve, pit, and slice nectarine. Arrange the slices on top of the chicken.
  7. Pour stock over all, and sprinkle with salt & pepper.  If you’re adding mustard and brown sugar, add at this point.
  8. Cover dish with foil & bake 15-20 mins.
  9. Serve with onions & juices from the baking dish.

In looking for a picture of baked nectarine chicken, I didn’t find an appropriate picture but I did find some tasty-looking nectarine and chicken recipes!  More to come!

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Roasted Cumin Cauliflower

Want to know the secret for cooking cauliflower without getting that nasty cruciferous vegetable* smell all over your house?

You oven-roast it.

Oven-roasting makes the taste milder as well as the smell.  It also lends cauliflower a wonderfully crisp, crunchy texture.  My mother usually keeps it simple, roasting cauliflower with a little oil, salt, and pepper.  I enjoy it this way as a side, but it can smell and taste even more interesting.  Check out Eat Live Run’s version, which uses cumin, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper.

Yield: Serves 2-4 as a side dish

Prep time: 10-15 minutes

Total time: 40 minutes

Ingredients

1 large head cauliflower, cut into florets

1/2 teaspoon cumin

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1 tablespoon olive oil

Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix all spices together in a small bowl or cup. (Alternatively, if you don’t want to have extra dishes to wash, skip this step and sprinkle spices evenly over the cauliflower in step 2).

2. Drizzle olive oil all over cauliflower florets and sprinkle with spice mix. Toss together and lay out on a lined sheet tray.

3. Roast spicy cauliflower for 25-30 minutes, tossing occasionally.

4. Serve!

The added cumin in this recipe makes the cauliflower complement Indian food even better!

*the family of veggies that cauliflower, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts come from.  Notice how they can all smell terrible?

Roasted Clementine and Fennel Chicken

An Israeli chef and a Palestinian chef got together to write a cookbook.  Sounds almost like the setup for a joke, but it really happened.  The book is called Jerusalem: A Cookbook, and a review in the Wall Street Journal excerpted this dish.  The recipe was invented by the authors to reflect Jerusalem cooking’s use of arak (anise-flavored liquor) and citrus.  This isn’t the fastest recipe ever–there’s a lot of mixing and prep and the roasting itself takes 35-45 minutes.  But everyone needs a special occasion recipe, and sometimes it’s fun to make something complicated and feel that sense of accomplishment when it’s done.  Plus, this chicken is delicious. It comes out sweet, a little tangy, and juicy. The dominant flavor is the clementine oranges, but the fennel, mustard, and lemon add a little complexity.

Yield: Serves 4.

Ingredients

  • 6 tablespoons arak (or ouzo or Pernod).  I didn’t have any of these (or any cooking wine at all), but I’ve eaten this dish both with and without–they end up very similar and if anything, it may be better without.
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons grainy mustard (I used a horseradish mustard)
  • 3 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 medium fennel bulbs, cut lengthwise and then into quarters
  • 1 2-pound organic or free-range chicken, divided into 8 pieces
  • 4 clementines, unpeeled, sliced thin
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 teaspoons fennel seeds, lightly crushed Parsley, to garnish (I used mustard seeds instead, and put them in to bake with the chicken instead of using them as a garnish).

Instructions

  1. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together arak, oil, orange and lemon juices, mustard, brown sugar and salt. Season with pepper, to taste.  I squeezed fresh lemons and clementines to get the juice, and so had leftover peel..  Add it in step #5 when you put everything in the oven; it adds extra citrus flavor.
  2. Add fennel, chicken, clementine slices, thyme and crushed fennel seeds. Turn several times to coat.
  3. If time allows, marinate chicken for a few hours or preferably overnight.
  4. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  5. Transfer all ingredients, including marinade, to a large roasting pan. Chicken should be skin-side up.
  6. Roast until chicken is browned and cooked through, 35-45 minutes. Remove from the oven.
  7. Lift chicken, fennel and clementines from pan and arrange on a serving plate. Cover and keep warm.
  8. The recipe calls for pouring the cooking liquid into a small saucepan. Place over medium-high heat, bring to a boil, then simmer until sauce is reduced and you are left with about 1/3 cup. You can degrease by using a spoon to remove some of the fat from the top of the sauce.  Then pour this heated sauce over the chicken.  However, this wasn’t necessary for me as the liquid had cooked down so much already.  Plus, with this dish, the sauce is so good that the more of it you have, the better.
  9. Garnish with parsley and serve.  Don’t diiscard the clementine slices and peels;you can eat them along with the chicken, and in my opinion, they’re the tastiest part of this whole dish!

And there you have it, chicken tasty enough to bring peace to Israelis and Palestinians.

If you have leftovers, you can use them as the base for Asian-style orange chicken.