Roast Chicken with Fennel & Orange

Modern Jewish Cooking_Roast Chicken with Fennel and OrangeRecipe by Leah Koenig

Modern Jewish Cooking: Recipes & Customs for Today’s Kitchen, Chronicle Books (2015)

With just a few simple additions, regular roast chicken becomes extraordinary. This version slips sweet fennel and slices of bright orange—both popular ingredients among Mediterranean Jewish communities—under chicken thighs and legs to soften and soak up the juices while the bird roasts. The result is a super-flavorful meal in a pan: tender vegetables, caramelized citrus fruit, and a gorgeously browned bird scented with thyme.


  • 2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus 1/4 cup
  • 2 navel oranges; 1 zested and juiced, 1 cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • 1 Tbsp dried thyme
  • 3 medium fennel bulbs, halved, cored, and cut into 8 wedges each
  • 2 small yellow onions, quartered through the root
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 lb Chicken Leg Quarters, trimmed of excess fat


  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F. In a medium bowl, whisk together the 2 Tbsp of the olive oil, orange zest and juice, and thyme.
  1. Arrange the fennel and onions evenly on the bottom of a roasting pan or on a large rimmed baking sheet, and top with a layer of orange slices. Drizzle with the remaining 1/4 cup oil and season with salt and pepper.
  1. Sprinkle the chicken pieces with salt and pepper, then dip them into the oil–orange mixture, turning to coat. Arrange the chicken pieces, skin-side up, on top of the fennel and orange and roast for 30 minutes. Spoon the pan drippings over the chicken, then continue roasting until the skin is browned and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of one of the thighs reaches 165°F, 25 to 30 minutes more. Transfer the chicken to a platter with the roasted fennel, onions, and orange, and drizzle with the pan juices. Serve hot.

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