Baked Israeli Chicken in Citrus Juice

By Bevi
February 12, 2010
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Author Notes: When I lived in Israel, a simpler version of this chicken, calling only for orange juice, was served as a holiday staple at Kibbutz Naot Mordechai, located in the Hula Valley. I had friends who found their way to Naot to stay and work, and I often visited them from my location in Tel Aviv. The kibbutz was famous for its raising of chickens and production of shoes. I have eliminated the preserved kumquats that are listed as an ingredient in a recipe that I was able to find when I went searching for any kind of help in replicating the dish, back when I was a much younger cook who did not have the confidence to play with ingredients. I added other citrus components to add a zesty, tangy flavor. This dish is easy to prepare, and you can change up the ratios of citrus you use to get the flavor you prefer. Bevi

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Serves: 4

  • 2 each Chicken Breasts, split; thighs, and legs, skin on
  • 1 Pink or White Grapefruit
  • 2 to 4 Oranges that are juicy
  • 1 to 2 Lemon- Meyer or Eureka
  • 1 lime
  • 1/4 cup Honey
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoons Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon each sea salt and fresh pepper
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Place the chicken skin side down in a 9x13 glass baking dish. Salt and pepper the chicken and set aside while you make the marinade.
  2. Juice all the citrus and pour into a mixing bowl. NOTE: You can play with the citrus juice ratios. Also, use various oranges, such as cara cara, etc.
  3. Add the honey to the citrus juices; mix well with a whisk to incorporate all the honey into the juice.
  4. Add the crushed red pepper to the honey and citrus marinade. Pour the marinade over the chicken and let sit for about 20 minutes.
  5. Place the chicken in the oven on the middle rack. After the meat loses its pink color (about 15 to 20 minutes), flip the pieces over with tongs so the skin side is facing up.
  6. Baste one or twice. If necessary, move the chicken to a higher rack so the chicken skin will brown. You can also move the oven heat to 400 degrees.
  7. Continue to baste several times; after another 20 minutes, the skins should be nicely browned. At this point, remove from oven and place the chicken breasts on a platter. Cover with aluminum foil to keep warm.
  8. Pour the hot marinade in a saute pan over high heat. Bring to a rolling boil, and reduce to a consistency of your choosing. I like my sauce syrupy but not too thick.
  9. Plate the chicken on a bed of Israeli couscous, regular couscous, or quinoa. Pour half the sauce over the chicken, and serve the remainder of the sauce on the side.

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