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Chicken with olives, marsala and blood orange

chicken, olives, marsala and blood oranges

chicken, olives, marsala and blood oranges

Each week for the last month I’ve scanned the local market stalls that sell citrus fruits desperately looking for blood oranges. It knew their appearance was imminent and I was impatient, simply because I wanted to make this delicious recipe for chicken pieces oven roasted with blood oranges, green olives and thyme.

You might remember me telling you about Diana Henry’s excellent book dedicated to chicken recipes called “A Bird In The Hand.” An asset on any cook’s bookshelf, it’s filled with a myriad of inspirational ideas for cooking a chook.

Blood ranges are relatively new in Australia. I remember my very first taste, in Italy, in 1997. I was hooked on the rich sweet and sour flavour instantly, but had to wait for a few years before enterprising Aussie growers began harvesting crops to take to market. Blood oranges have since became an annual late winter treat for me to enjoy in as many guises as possible.

This dish brought a little warm mediterranean sunshine to our table although you’ll hear no complaints about winter in Brisbane from me. The mild sunny days alone are responsible for the northward migration of retirees from Australia’s chilly southern states for the duration of the winter months.

Adapted from a recipe with the same name from “A Bird In The Hand” by Diana Henry, I made changes to her recipe so it complied with my FODMAP diet, a delicious dinner that’s the perfect balance of sweet, savoury, salty and herbal flavours.

Chicken with marsala, olives and blood orange

4 chicken marylands of good provenance

1 tablespoon olive oil

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 bulb of fennel, halved and thinly sliced

1/2 cup dry Marsala **

3 blood oranges

8 sprigs of thyme

3 tablespoons good quality green olives

a little castor sugar

Preheat the oven to 180C fan forced.

Juice one blood orange and set aside.

Separate the legs from the thighs then season with salt and pepper.

Heat the olive oil in a wide shallow ovenproof pan that will contain the chicken in a single layer, then brown the chicken all over. When done, remove the chicken from the pan and set aside.

Add the sliced fennel and saute over a medium heat until it softens.

Deglaze the pan with the marsala.

Add the blood orange juice to the pan, then put the chicken on top, skin side up. Add any juices that have run from the chicken to the pan.

Add 6 sprigs of thyme.

Bring the juices in the pan to the boil then transfer it to the oven and bake uncovered for 20 minutes.

Cut the peel and pith off the remaining two oranges, then slice the fruit into thick slices, discarding any pips.

After 20 minutes, add the green olives and arrange the orange slices on top of the chicken.

Sprinkle the orange slices with a little sugar then return the pan to the oven for another 20 minutes.

The juices should be reduced, the orange slice caramelised and the chicken cooked.

Add the remaining sprigs of thyme.

Delicious served with dressed radicchio leaves.

** Dry Marsala can be tricky to find. Dry sherry makes an acceptable substitute.

About ladyredspecs

I live in sunny Brisbane, Australia. My love of good food drives me as a cook, a reader, a traveller, an artist and but mostly as an eater. I cooked professionally for many years but have no formal training. Simply guided by a love of eating good food, respect for ingredients and an abhorrence of artificial additives, I cook instinctively applying the technical know how acquired by experience. I hope you enjoy what I share Sandra AKA ladyredspecs

47 comments on “Chicken with olives, marsala and blood orange

  1. chefkreso
    November 6, 2016

    Delicious! Have to try this recipe as soon as possible !

    Like

  2. LB
    August 11, 2016

    Never tried blood oranges paired with chicken and olives. Sounds great! I can’t wait to try it.

    Like

  3. ChgoJohn
    July 26, 2016

    I’ve never seen blood oranges used like this, Sandra, but it sounds delicious. And it’s easy to prepare. Sounds like a winner to me!

    Like

  4. chefceaser
    July 24, 2016

    Reblogged this on Chef Ceaser and commented:
    Use Kosher Chicken

    Like

  5. Michelle
    July 24, 2016

    And beautiful, too!

    Like

  6. chef mimi
    July 22, 2016

    I don’t think I’ve ever used this combination together! It is so pretty, but I can only imagine how good it tastes!!!

    Like

  7. Nancy |Plus Ate Six
    July 22, 2016

    I can’t get blood oranges so I’m going to have to make do with what I can get because i just know with the marsala in there it’s going to taste amazing anyway.

    Like

  8. Eha
    July 22, 2016

    A recipe to try very soon as I have far too few for fennel and I have grown to love the taste! Ate my first blood orange imported from Morocco in Florence in the distant past. We had made friends with a US female buyer of chandeliers [!!] on a bustrip: offered to buy her dinner. She accepted if she could order. Methinks we were slightly taken aback when the three courses were sautéed scampi, pasta aglio & olio, followed by blood oranges ‘ceremoniously’ peeled by the head waiter – too ‘ordinary’ by far for my husband – that is until the end of the meal when one realized what a v simple preparation could do to perfect ingredients! Still smile . . .

    Like

  9. Chez @ Chez Moi
    July 22, 2016

    I’ve only tried blood oranges once – they were imported and I found them a bit squishy and bland, disappointing overall. I really should know better! I shall look out for locally grown ones at the market this weekend and give them another go. The recipe sounds delicious – just the thing for winter that is thinking about spring (already).

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      July 22, 2016

      Definitely feel like spring to me. You’ll be hooked once you try the local blood oranges. Choose those with lots of red coming through on the skins, they’ll be jewel-like inside with a deep rich spicy orange flavour.

      Like

  10. Lisa @ cheergerm
    July 22, 2016

    What a great combination of ingredients, blood orange, fennel and chicken. Just picked up a few small blood oranges at the local markets yesterday. Can’t wait to eat them.

    Like

  11. Sumith Babu
    July 22, 2016

    Stunning photograph with great vibrant food!!

    Like

  12. StefanGourmet
    July 22, 2016

    Love this recipe.
    Chilly states in Australia? Except for perhaps Tasmania, you’ve got to be kidding 😉

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      July 22, 2016

      Victoria is having a hard winter though still mild by Northern European standards. I’m really enjoying the warm days of my first subtropical “winter” however. This is a delicious combo of flavours Stefan….

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Debi @ My Kitchen Witch
    July 21, 2016

    Wonderful recipe. I adore all of Diane Henry’s cookbooks. Shame blood oranges have such a short season – at least in my experience scouring the markets. Will need to wait until winter again.

    Like

  14. sandidureice
    July 21, 2016

    This looks really yummy. I’ve just put two of Diana Henry’s books on hold at my library. And passed the blog page onto my son. Thanks!

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      July 21, 2016

      Thanks Sandy, I think you’ll like Henry’s books, great for the home cook, nothing tricky, just interesting flavour combinations.

      Like

  15. Debra Kolkka
    July 21, 2016

    I remember ordering an orange juice in Rome 43 years ago and wanting to send it back because it was red…and then I tasted it and fell in love. They are really common in Italy and I have them whenever they are in season. It’s great that we can now get them in Brisbane. Next up, clementines.

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      July 21, 2016

      Oh yes Clementines, they were available in Melbourne late last winter, fingers crossed we see them here soon…

      Like

  16. katechiconi
    July 21, 2016

    Blood oranges are such a lavish treat, it’s a pity their season is so short. I’ve always loved blood orange and raspberry sorbet, and blood orange citrus tart with a rich sweet shortcrust pastry with thin caramelised slices arranged on top. This chicken dish sounds lovely, and makes me wish my chook wasn’t already in the oven in its Schlemmertopf…

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      July 21, 2016

      Oh well, next time. Aren’t blood oranges the best. I have a delicious blood orange polenta cake, gluten free, that you’ll find in my archive,

      Like

      • katechiconi
        July 21, 2016

        I’ll compare it with my lemon polenta cake recipe, perhaps you have some improvements I can integrate 🙂

        Like

  17. Sabiscuit
    July 21, 2016

    Mouthwatering and I’m not just saying that. I really want to try it. I want to try a version of this with lime and honey.

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      July 21, 2016

      Oooo that sounds like a great summery idea

      Liked by 1 person

      • Sabiscuit
        July 21, 2016

        Thanks. I can’t wait to try it. I am not skilled enough to try oranges but it’s on my list. Have a lovely Thursday evening. xo

        Like

      • ladyredspecs
        July 21, 2016

        Thanks! Just watching Masterchef….hilarious episode

        Liked by 1 person

      • Eha
        July 22, 2016

        Anyone passing my cottage last night would have wondered about the laughter: Methinks we all ‘needed’ that Masterchef episode: George Colombaris, Matt Sinclair and Harry Foster should all be on stage : what a happy set that has been . . . and I have learned SUCH a lot!!

        Like

      • ladyredspecs
        July 22, 2016

        It’s been a great series, real life last night. Who do you tip to take the honours?

        Like

      • Eha
        July 22, 2016

        A Sydney blogger and I just agreed it would be Elena but our hearts are with Matt: that guy aimed for a food truck and, like cream rises over milk, is already shooting much, much higher methinks 🙂 ! Good night: off to the Alps: TdF also finishing in three days : boo! hoo! . . .Then back to work . . . [of course Rio is beginning in less than 14 days . . . ]

        Liked by 1 person

  18. Sue
    July 21, 2016

    Sounds delicious….so what do you serve it with? Just those radicchio leaves?

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      July 21, 2016

      I toyed with making polenta but in the end just served some dressed radicchio. The bitterness was a delicious with the sauce

      Liked by 1 person

      • Sue
        July 21, 2016

        I’m sure…but thinking that wouldn’t fill me up!

        Like

  19. Pam McDonald
    July 21, 2016

    This sounds yummy. I will certainly give it a go.

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      July 21, 2016

      It’s seriously good Pam and very simple to put together😀

      Like

  20. Saskia (1=2)
    July 21, 2016

    That sounds gorgeous! Love those ruby-red orange slices (I also tasted my first blood orange in Italy).

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      July 21, 2016

      You must be glad it’s blood orange season too. Are there any other delicious things Italy is yet to reveal?

      Liked by 1 person

      • StefanGourmet
        July 22, 2016

        Probably 🙂 But it’s hard to tell which would be a revelation to you.

        Liked by 1 person

  21. leannemurphyblog
    July 21, 2016

    That sounds delicious, I’ll have to give it a go!

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      July 21, 2016

      It’s a great combo of flavours. I’m a big fan of warm green olives and paired with the orange and marsala they are wonderful

      Like

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