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Blood Orange Chicken with Whiskey and Green Olives

Serves: Makes 4 servings


  • 2 small blood oranges, or 1 large Cara Cara or navel orange
  • ¼ cup smoky Scotch whiskey or Pernod
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon whole-grain mustard
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 teaspoons fennel seeds, lightly crushed
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 garlic clove, grated on a Microplane or minced
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Pinch of red chile flakes
  • 1 small red onion
  • 1 small fennel bulb, trimmed, fronds chopped for garnish
  • 1 whole chicken (3½ pounds), cut into 8 pieces and patted dry
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
  • ½ cup pitted green olives, quartered lengthwise
  • ½ teaspoon granulated sugar


A little more involved than the other sheet-pan suppers in this book, there are several steps necessary to create this lively, pretty, Mediterranean-flavored dish-including caramelizing pans of sliced blood oranges, marinated chicken, and roasted fennel and onion under the broiler in quick succession. It’s not at all hard, and the layering of flavors-briny olives, smoky, garlicky meat, and juicy-sweet citrus—is worth the extra attention.

Finely grate the zest of one blood orange (or half of a large orange), and place in a large bowl.

Slice the ends off the oranges. Stand each orange up on a cut end and use a paring knife to slice off the peel and pith. Slice oranges crosswise into ¼-inch-thick rounds and set aside.

Stir the whiskey, brown sugar, mustard, lemon juice, fennel seeds, thyme sprigs, garlic, salt, pepper, and chile flakes into the bowl containing the orange zest.

Cut the onion in half lengthwise, through the root. Cut each half into ¼-inch-thick wedges, keeping the root end intact. Do the same with the fennel bulb. Add the onion, fennel, and chicken pieces to the bowl. Toss the entire mixture well to combine. Let it stand, covered, at room temperature for 30 minutes, or refrigerate it overnight.

Position a rack in the center of the oven, and heat the oven to 475° F.

Remove the chicken and vegetables from the marinade, leaving as much liquid behind as possible (discard the liquid). Arrange the meat and vegetables in a single layer on a large rimmed baking sheet, and drizzle with the olive oil. Transfer the baking sheet to the oven and roast until the chicken is just cooked through, about 30 minutes.

Turn the oven to broil, and broil the chicken until it is blistery, 1 to 2 minutes (watch it carefully). Transfer the chicken to a platter and tent it with aluminum foil to rest. Sprinkle the olives over the vegetables. If the vegetables look pale, run the sheet quickly under the broiler until the vegetables brown and caramelize; watch them carefully so they don’t burn. (If they don’t need broiling, just toss the vegetables and olives together in the baking sheet to warm up the olives.)

Arrange the reserved orange slices in a small roasting pan, sprinkle the slices with sugar, and broil until browned in spots, 5 to 10 minutes. Scrape the vegetable mixture and the pan juices over the chicken, and serve topped with the oranges and fennel fronds.

Reprinted from Dinner: Changing the Game copyright © 2017 by Melissa Clark. Photographs copyright © 2017 by Eric Wolfinger. Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.

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