This recipe was originally created by Melissa Clark, for the New York Times. It is a sheet-pan dinner of roast chicken, plums and red onions. She came up with it as a dish appropriate to Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year, which begins on September 18, 2020 but it’s outstanding meal that can grace any table for a great family style meal.
This sticky, bright-flavored joyful meal is beautiful to behold and easy to make. This sheet-pan dinner combines sweet plums and soft red onions with crisp-skinned pieces of roasted chicken. Toasted fennel seeds, red-pepper flakes and a touch of allspice add complexity while a mound of fresh torn herbs crowns the top. If good ripe plums aren’t available, you can substitute another stone fruit including cherries, peaches, nectarines or pluots, though if your fruit is very sweet, you might want to add a squeeze of lemon at the end. Serve this dish with rice pilaf, couscous, polenta or warm flatbread for a festive meal.
Recipe Adapted from
New York Times Cooking September 2020
Serves 4 to 6
2 teaspoons fennel seeds 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon grated lemon or orange zest
4 garlic cloves, finely grated
2 teaspoons honey
¼ teaspoon ground allspice
A very large pinch crushed red-pepper flakes, or to taste
One whole 3 1/2 pound chicken, cut into parts
Kosher salt, to taste
Ground black pepper, to taste
2 cups ripe, soft plums, pitted and cut into 3/4-inch thick slices
1/2 cup cherries, pitted and halved
1/2 cup nectarines, pitted and cut into 3/4-inch thick slices
6 fresh thyme sprigs
1 medium red onion, peeled and sliced from root to stem in 1/2-inch wedges
Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
⅔ cup torn mint, basil or cilantro leaves (or a combination), for garnish
Maldon salt flakes, for garnish
Toast the fennel seeds in a small skillet over medium heat, stirring, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Pour seeds into a mortar and pound with a pestle until coarsely crushed (or lay seeds on a cutting board and pound them with a can or jar).
Put the seeds into a large bowl and stir in lemon juice, zest, garlic, honey, allspice and red-pepper flakes. Season chicken generously all over with salt and pepper and add to the bowl, turning the pieces to coat them with marinade.
Mix in plums and thyme sprigs. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 24 hours.
When ready to cook, heat the oven to 425 º F. Put the chicken pieces, fruit and thyme sprigs on a rimmed baking pan. Add onions, spreading them out around the chicken and plums. Season plums and onions lightly with salt.
Drizzle everything with olive oil. Roast until chicken is golden and cooked through, 30 to 45 minutes, removing the white meat if it’s done before the dark meat.
To serve, transfer chicken pieces as they are done to a platter. Spoon the plums and onions around the chicken. Drizzle a little of the pan drippings over the chicken and serve, garnished with the herbs and flaky Maldon salt.
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