I want to share a recipe I used for one of our Rosh Hashanah dinners. It has wonderful flavors, but was simple to make so it could be made for any dinner where you want to enjoy the flavors of dates and oranges. It does take a little prep ahead of time. The first thing you need to make is date honey syrup. I am providing the link because other than a picture of my dates, there is not much to share in making this and Tori Avey does a very good job in her post.
Dates are decidedly NOT local in Delaware, but I do try to bring home a large supply of dates when I travel to the Middle East or California. We typically have a suitcase that is half-filled with dates and nuts – it is rather amusing.
The chicken needs to marinate overnight (or at least for three hours). So plan on prep time the day before. But day of is very simple. You line your pan with orange slices and fresh thyme…
Add the chicken and roast it, basting every 15 minutes for a total of about 50 minutes.
Date Glazed Orange Chicken
6 large chicken pieces, bone in, skin on (I prefer leg/thigh quarters)
1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1/4 cup hot sauce
1/2 cup + 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3 tbsp mustard (Dijon or yellow)
2 tsp orange zest
Salt and black pepper
Large bunch fresh thyme, divided (from the garden)
3 large navel oranges, divided
2/3 cup date honey syrup – click here for recipe
Whisk together orange juice, hot sauce, olive oil, mustard, orange zest, 1/2 tsp salt and pinch of black pepper to form a marinade. Place chicken pieces into a plastic zipper bag or into a ceramic or glass dish. Pour marinade over the chicken and add 6-8 sprigs of thyme. Seal the bag (if using) or cover the dish with plastic wrap. Marinate in the refrigerator at least 3 hours, up to overnight.
Preheat oven to 475 degrees F. Remove chicken from marinade and discard the excess marinade. Heat 1/2 cup olive oil in a nonstick skillet over medium until hot but not smoking. Add the chicken pieces skin side down, three pieces at a time, and let them cook for 5-10 minutes until the skin is nicely browned. Remove from skillet and repeat with remaining 3 pieces. Remove the skillet from heat.
Lightly grease a roasting pan or dish. Slice two of the large navel oranges into rounds and lay them on a single layer, covering the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle some thyme sprigs into the bottom of the roasting pan as well.
Place the chicken back into the pan, skin side up. Brush each piece generously with date honey.
Cover the pan tightly with foil and bake 45 minutes, basting the chicken every 15 minutes with more date honey.
After 45 minutes the chicken should be cooked through and internal temperature should be at least 165 degrees F (I usually cook it to 170). If not, re-cover and continue to cook until it reaches temperature.
Uncover the chicken. Baste once more with remaining date honey. increase heat to 500 degrees F and cook for 5-10 more minutes until the date glaze is bubbly and shiny. Keep a close eye to make sure the glaze doesn’t burn, it contains a lot of natural sugar and will blacken if you’re not careful.
Slice up the remaining orange. Serve each piece of chicken garnished with a fresh orange slice. Enjoy!