Winter’s pale whites and dull grays bringing you down? I have a great fix for that. Molly Stevens’ roasted chicken with apricots, olives, and orange. Sunshine on a plate. I almost mean that literally- the dish is bright-looking and brightly flavored. Smoky Spanish paprika, tangy apricots, sweet oranges, and briny olives. The stuff of kitchen genius. When they bake with the chicken, the apricots, orange slices, and olives caramelize beautifully.
What worked: Marinating the chicken produced beautifully burnished pieces of meat after a nice roast in the oven.
What didn’t: I think next time, I’ll bump up the amount of spice called for.
Suggested tweaks: A pinch of cayenne would add some welcome heat to this dish. If you like your food a little spicy, which we do. It also might be worth playing around with some blood oranges or cara cara oranges.
- ¼ c. red wine vinegar
- 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tbsp honey
- 1½ tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 small navel orange
- ½ c. olives, preferably a mix of green and black
- One 3½-to-4 lb chicken, cut into 8-10 pieces
- ½ c. dried apricots
- In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, oil, honey, oregano, paprika, salt, and a few grindings of pepper. Grate enough orange zest to add 1 tsp of zest to the marinade. Then, trim the stem and blossom ends from the orange and cut it in half lengthwise. Cut each half horizontally into ⅓-inch-thick half-moons.
- Combine the chicken, orange slices, olives, and apricots in a large stainless steel or glass bowl. Pour marinade over them and toss to coat all pieces. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 6 hours and up to 24 hours, turning the chicken pieces once or twice to help insure they marinate evenly.
- Preheat oven to 375F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with heavy-duty foil. Transfer the chicken, skin side up, along with the marinade, oranges, apricots, and olives to the baking sheet and let sit at room temperature while the oven is warming up.
- Roast the chicken until it is nicely browned and an instant-read thermometer inserted in a thick piece of chicken, without touching bone, reads 170F for any breast piece and about 180F for legs, about 40 to 45 minutes.
- Transfer chicken to a serving platter and scatter with olives, apricots, and oranges along with the pan juices.