Of all the culinary lessons that I have learned while living in Palestine, one that particularly stands out to me is that the world of flavor combinations is limitless. I have often found myself surprised at how well certain ingredients work together. It has taught me to be bolder and more open with regards to the unexpected – a lesson that holds true in and outside of the kitchen.
This roasted chicken recipe is indeed reflective of that innovative style. Honey and lemon provide for a burst of sweet and sour flavors, while dates add texture and richness. The coriander seeds bring everything together with their citrusy and nutty elements. But overall, my favorite part about this recipe is that it is an excellent last minute option. Prepare it the night before and simply pop in the oven the next day for a meal that will be sure to impress. What more could you want? 🙂
8 chicken pieces, drumsticks and thighs, with skins, or your choice of parts
2 tablespoons honey
zest of 2 lemons
juice of 1/2 lemon/ 5 tablespoons
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
good grinding black pepper
3 garlic cloves, finely minced
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
5 thyme sprigs or 1 tablespoon thyme leaves
2 bay leaves
2 shallots or 1/2 medium onion, sliced
6-8 whole garlic cloves
4 medjoul dates, coarsely chopped
1. Make a few shallow cuts under the skin of each chicken piece so that the marinade can better penetrate the meat, optional. Place the chicken pieces in a large ziplock bag. Mix together the honey, lemon zest, lemon juice, olive oil, salt, black pepper,and minced garlic until well combined. Stir in the coriander seeds, thyme, bay leaves, and sliced onion. Spoon the sauce into the ziplock bag and massage the chicken. Refrigerate 1 hour to overnight.
2. Preheat oven to 200c/400F and place the chicken and its marinade in a roasting dish. Scatter the whole garlic cloves and date pieces over the top. Lightly sprinkle extra salt over the chicken. Roast for 40-45 minutes until golden and thoroughly cooked. Garnish with chopped fresh parsley and toasted pine nuts or almonds.